This time last Sunday we were preparing for the Juneteenth Filibuster, which began just as the rain stopped and ended as the sky opened again. A brief account was posted here and a few pictures here.
I drove back to Houston Monday morning in the middle of the worst of the downpour, but experienced only minor traffic delays on I-45 and the South Loop. The white-knuckle, windshield-wipers-on-fast-and-still-can't-see, slightly-hydroplaning-once-in-awhile ride took 2 1/2 hours instead of one, but really the worst of it was on the other side of the highway, where the Loop was flooded -- not just the access roads -- and the cars were stopped, their drivers out walking around. A scene reminiscent of the Rita evacuation. *shudder*
On Tuesday the 21st I met the Van Oses -- David, Rachel, Maya, and Leya -- at the Galveston County Courthouse and began our odyssey. Well, their odyssey. Fifteen courthouse stops in three days, of which I managed six in two. After Galveston came Chambers (Anahuac) where we met mayor Guy Robert and Judge Jimmy Sylvia and others for lunch at the Wooden Spoon. The Baytown Sun covered this visit. Then to Liberty, where about twenty supporters greeted us, among them CD-02 challenger Gary Binderim and and mi bloghermano Stace Medellin, who posted a lengthy account of this part of the trip at his place. We got in a radio interview with KSHN-99.9 FM before we left for Kountze, the seat of Hardin County, where David spoke to about thirty activists including chair Willa Coe, mayor Fred Williams, superintendent of schools Gus Holloman, and others. (It's important here to note that Hardin County has no Republicans on the local ballot. This is true of several of the counties we visited -- Southeast Texas remains Yellow Dog Democrat country.)
From Kountze to Beaumont and the Jefferson County courthouse, a radio interview with Jack Pieper of KLVI, and then a dinner reception with the Progressive Democrats of Southeast Texas, headed up by DVO supporters John and Suzanne Stafford. (David was kind enough to acknowledge my mother Jean's upcoming birthday in his remarks.)
Wednesday started in Orange, Texas and a press conference including Glenn Earle of KOGT and county judge Paul Thibodeaux, who told David that the steps from which he spoke were the same ones where Lyndon Johnson addressed Orange County citizens in his 1947 Senate run.
I lef the tour after Orange and returned to Houston; David and family continued on to nine more county seats, wrapping up the trip in Conroe on Thursday the 22nd, with Agriculture Commissioner candidate Hank Gilbert and 70 supporters. Sharon posted an excellent DKos diary here with photos, links to coverage by the Montgomery County Courier and the Jasper Newsboy, and podcasts by David of the tourstops. Thursday night concluded the week's events with a spaghetti dinner fundraiser held at the Woodlands home of Nahla Williamson. Mrs. Diddie and I tried to get up there for it, but once again the weather (and 5 o'clock rush hour traffic on I-45 North) was uncooperative; we were forced to turn back after getting caught in the gridlock.
Friday morning the 23rd I returned to Galveston County and represented the campaign at the Mainland Ecumenical Alliance luncheon, and spoke for a few minutes for David along with Chris Bell, Barbara Radnofsky, Hank Gilbert, county judge Jim Yarbrough, and district court judge Susan Criss. In attendance were many of the area's Baptist ministers, parishioners, Democratic activists, organized labor leaders Lee Medley, Sam Munn, Daryl Stewart and more.
Saturday at the Pride Parade we filled in at the DFA booth registering voters and signing up supporters. The heat and humidity did not deter the revelers.
I'll try to manage a few photos of some or all of the week's events later.