A few initial thoughts

Just to sum up the results for those of y’all who have not been paying much attention to things, I will recap some of the big things that have happened. First, the expected winners were, by and large, the winners on Tuesday night in Statewide elections. Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis won their respective bids for Governor, John Cornyn easily beat back challengers for another nomination to the Senate, George P. Bush got the GOP nod for Land Commissioner and Stephen Brown got the Democrat nod for Railroad Commissioner. All three incumbent Supreme Court Justices who saw right-wing primary opponent were able to easily prevail.

In a few other races, the expected result happened, but in a very different manner. This was largely due to the fact that the Texas Tribune poll released about a week ago was total garbage. It was not worth the fictional paper it wasn’t printed on, to quote a friend. In these races, David Alameel and Kesha Rogers indeed will proceed into a runoff for the US Senate Democrat primary, as will David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick for the Lieutenant Governor Republican primary. However, the Tribune poll seriously miscalculated who would come in first and by how much. Instead of Rogers holding a commanding plurality lead, she hovered near 20% while Alameel was just a few perilous points so close to winning outright. Instead of the preconceived notion that Dewhurst would receive 40-something percent compared to Patrick’s 20-something, the roles were reversed.

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I voted today

I drove into Houston this morning for a productive weekend to take care of some personal and professional business. Needless to say, one of the first things I did was to go to the West Gray Multiservice Center and fulfill my civic duty to vote. Regardless of what I may have said about the value of voting in the Republican Primary, I voted in the Democratic contest. I voted for the following candidates in contested races, which I have enumerated bellow the jump. Additionally, I cannot help but to note the good feeling I got out of voting for a fellow Horwitz for the second time in my life. My father, James Horwitz, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination in County Probate Judge #4. These are only the races I personally voted in, and they may feature races Texpatriate has yet to field an official endorsement in.

Click here to read my slate!

Texpatriate endorses in DA primary

The election for Harris County District Attorney being held this fall should not be happening. Indeed, we just had an election for the post in 2012, wherein longtime prosecutor and Judge Mike Anderson, a Republican, was elected. Sadly, a few months later, Mike Anderson passed away after a battle with cancer. Governor Rick Perry, charged with filling vacancies in District offices, tapped Mike Anderson’s widow, Devon Anderson (another longtime prosecutor and Judge), as a successor to serve until the next election. She is running in this special election, and has not drawn any challengers in the Republican primary. The Democratic primary, however, has attracted two candidates. One, Kim Ogg, is a highly qualified and serious candidate with a great platform. The other is none of those things.

The daughter of longtime State Senator Jack Ogg, Kim Ogg is a former felony prosecutor who later became the executive director of CrimeStoppers. In that position, she presided over a drastic reduction in gang-related violence throughout the County. Ogg also has an impressive platform that has wowed us. From giving individual prosecutors more discretion to reversing the office’s asinine “trace-case” policy (in which individuals with trace amounts of cocaine are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law), she has demonstrated her competence on the campaign trail.

Click here to read the full endorsement!

Texpatriate’s Questions for Kim Ogg

Editorial note: This is the twenty-first in our series of electronic interviews with candidates in contested primaries at both the Statewide level and throughout Harris County. We have sent eight open-ended questions to each of the candidates. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.

Kim Ogg, candidate in the Democratic primary for Harris County District Attorney

Texpatriate: What is your name?
KO: Kim Ogg

Click here to read the full interview!

Democrats battle incompetence in race for DA

After the incumbent District Attorney, Mike Anderson, passed away this last August, Harris County began preparing for a Special Election in November 2014 to fill the remaining two years of his term. In the interim, Mike Anderson’s widow, Devon Anderson (hereafter, “Anderson”), was appointed by Governor Perry to fill the vacancy.

Anderson, a former Judge, will be running for re-election, though one should probably expect a challenger in the Republican primary. Meanwhile, the Democrats already have a good candidate announced: Kim Ogg. She is from a prolific political family, has extended expertise in both law & criminal justice (former director of Crime Stoppers) and will make a great candidate who stands a good chance of winning the election. Contrary to public opinion, the DA should not simply be the high executioner who shows no mercy, it is a position about justice and equity. In other words, perfect for a progressive person such as Ogg.

But these are the Democrats we are talking about, which naturally means adding a tablespoon of incompetence. Since we are talking about the Harris County Democrats in specific, probably two tablespoons to be safe. And I do not mean the leadership of the County Party, I mean the people who show up and vote in the primaries.

Click here to read who the Democrats must fight in their battle against incompetence!

An election for District Attorney

The Houston Chronicle reports that Kim Ogg, a longtime prosecutor and former director of CrimeStoppers, will run for the District Attorney’s office as a Democrat in 2014. Devon Anderson, the newly appointed District Attorney, wasted no time in noting that she will run for a full term herself in 2014.

The only policy issue that the Chronicle noted of Ogg was the previous District Anderson, Mike Anderson’s, reversal of the precedent in drug “trace cases,” where a nearly negligible amount of drugs such as crack cocaine would still constitute a felony.  The policy was reversed during the tenure of Pat Lykos from 2009 to 2013, but reinstated upon M. Anderson taking office.

Ogg is the daughter of Jack Ogg, a political legend from a previous generation. The senior Ogg, also a Democrat, served in the State House from 1967 to 1973, and in the State Senate from 1973 to 1983. During his last legislative session in the upper chamber, Ogg served as the President Pro Tempore.

Considering how viscerally negative the response of many in the GOP have been to D. Anderson’s appointment to the DA’s office, it is not a forgone conclusion that she will win the primary. I am not a betting man (Editorial note: That’s a damned lie, Noah), but I would reckon that next year’s GOP DA Primary would feature something of a three person race, between Anderson, a Pat Lykos backer and someone to the very far-right.

When it comes to the Democrats, all bets are off. For those who remember, last year the Democrats defenestrated themselves by nominating a complete loon for the post. That primary season was especially painful for Democrats, however, as our US Senate nominee couldn’t even clear a primary against literal no-names.

This news should also open up the conversation about our Countywide contests. As far as I know, Ogg and David Rosen for County Treasurer are the only Democrats running for all of Harris. The Clerks & County Judge still need candidates. Ann Bennett talked about running for one of the Clerkships last summer, but I have not heard anything recently about.

Big Jolly Politics & Off the Kuff have more.