Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hubert Vo and Carole Strayhorn

Local blogmeisters Kuff and Evan have scored with Texas Monthly passkeys (which won't last more than a few days) on two of the more fascinating political stories currently playing out in Deep-In-The-Hearta.

The election of Hubert Vo, the Vietnamese-American and Democrat who toppled Talmadge Heflin in the ferociously contested statehouse race last year, portends a favorable trend:

The fortunes of the Democratic Party seemed bright on a warm evening this spring, when four hundred Vo supporters gathered at a Vietnamese restaurant downtown for a belated appreciation dinner. Chinese American city council candidate Mark Lee worked the room, as did Jay Aiyer, an Indian American city-council-at-large candidate. Against a red-white-and-blue backdrop, students from Alief high schools performed folk dances; girls in sparkling headdresses sashayed to Bollywood songs, and teenagers in white peasant skirts stomped to mariachi music. Vo’s campaign staff was as multicultural as the crowd: His Latino direct-mail consultant was there, as were his African American treasurer, his Pakistani American media consultant, and his folksy Anglo attorney (“We’d like to thank all y’all,” Larry Veselka said to the crowd with a tip of his white Stetson). Vo rose toward the end of the evening to sound the themes of his campaign and thank the audience. His 81-year-old father, who sat a few feet away, beamed. “I will not let you down,” Vo told the crowd to sustained applause. One of the last speakers of the night was Gordon Quan, the city councilman who is considering challenging DeLay. “Hubert provides hope that we can take back this state,” Quan said with a broad grin. “Look around this room. This is Texas.”

... and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the GOP state controller who has pissed off Rick Perry and David Dewhurst and Tom Craddick with her tight-fisted management of the state's budget (that's a good thing) will likely run for higher office:

“Hogwash on Perry having the base locked up,” she said, interrupting my speculations. “They’re believing their own news releases. I do not mind rough-and-tumble. Texans are ashamed of what is going on now in their state.”

But hasn’t she been reduced to seeking contributions from trial lawyers?

“Hogwash on trial lawyers,” she said.

“When are you going to announce?” I asked, trying not to sound too eager for the answer.

She stared at me. “We view ourselves on the eve of battle,” she said. “We are nerved for the contest and must conquer or perish.” I should have recognized it, but I didn’t. Sam Houston, before San Jacinto.

If you want the skinny on the latest in Texas politics on both sides of the aisle (and keep in mind that what happens here is transferred nationwide shortly after) then go pay those two links at the top a visit and read the entire articles.

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