Monday, February 15, 2016

The P Slate for the Texas D primary on March 1st

I'll be voting tomorrow morning, at the earliest possible moment in the Democratic primary, which will eliminate me from all but press credentials in terms of participating in the Harris County Green Party's county, state, and presidential nominating conventions (to be held this summer right here in H-Town).  Here's a few people who have earned a vote on my ballot, and some who've earned a thumbs-up from me that aren't, and a few that don't.  YMMV, and if you don't like my options, pick your own from the League of Women Voters' Guide.

I'm predicting the following two winners in the Texas presidential primaries:

I don't mean to imply that they're the same person; they're just the two people most likely to emerge victorious. Or if you prefer...

Scary, I know.

For President of the United States: Bernie Sanders.

Plan A is in effect.  Plan B is on deck.

For US Congress, Seventh District: Nobody.  I've expended too many disgusted pixels blogging about John Culberson and James Cargas.  Cargas is, in fact, one of the most significant reasons why I'm a DINO.  This is an undervote in the primary and in the general.

Not on my ballot but having earned my support for his personal outreach is Adrian Garcia over Gene Green.  Green is just too embedded in the establishment, too wedded to the fossil fuel operators that line the Houston Ship Channel, and much, much too conservaDem for my taste.  I have written a lot of very mean things about Garcia during his tenure as county sheriff and in his mayoral bid, but he never complained to me about it, never stopped following me on Twitter or unfriended me on social media.  After last year's mayoral election he sent me a kind note unrelated to politics via LinkedIn private message, and and I wished him luck in his race for Congress.

Garcia may or may not be a better Democrat these days, but he endorsed Sylvester Turner for Houston mayor while my choice, Chris Bell, endorsed Bill King.  That's good enough for me. Sometimes that's all it takes to earn a vote, folks.

For Railroad Commissioner: Lon Burnham.  I'll probably vote again for Martina Salinas, the Green candidate, in November because Burnham -- one of the most staunch progressive Democrats in the Lege until his defeat a couple of years ago -- has reached out to people like Bill White and Wendy Davis to help him get nominated.  As such, I'm voting for one of Burnham's primary challengers.  Not Grady Yarbrough; Cody Garrett.  Burnham is a good enough choice, as evidenced by this Dallas News op-ed; but he lost my vote when he could have held on to it.

For Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2: Lawrence "Larry" Meyers. The Republican-turned-Democrat on the Court of Criminal Appeals lost in his bid for state Supreme Court two years ago and is running for re-election this cycle.  Democrats really need to turn out the vote for him in November, as he is the state's highest-ranking Democrat (by virtue of his party switch).  If he falls short in a presidential election year, with a Clinton-Castro ticket at the top ...

For State Senator, District 13: Rodney Ellis.  With much regret, as he no longer wants this job, preferring the high-dollar gig on Harris Commissioners Court.  Ellis, a longtime elected official, doesn't respond to my constituent e-mail and doesn't follow me on Twitter.  In most other cases I would not endorse or vote for that level of representation, and I might have to withhold voting for him for commissioner if I cannot get his attention any other way.  But I'm going to give him one last vote and see what happens.  Hellllo, Senator ...

For Sate Representative, District 146: Borris L. Miles.  Pretty much the same personal experience with him lately as Ellis.  If you search the archives here you'll find dozens of glowing reviews of Miles dating back to his first challenge to Al Edwards.  I've been his guest on a bus back and forth to Austin for opening day and for lobby days at least twice.  But he's gotten a little crazy over the past few years,  and when he voted to strike down Denton's fracking ban in the last session -- and then didn't return several of my calls to his office for explanation -- I had to step off.

Now he wants Ellis' job.  He won't get my vote for that if I don't see some greater effort trying to earn it, particularly since it's rumored he will have formidable opposition.

For Chief Justice, First Court of Appeals: Jim Peacock.  Peacock fell short of getting elected to the Harris County bench in 2014, collecting 45% of the vote in his bid for the 157th District Court against Randy Wilson.  This cycle he's stepping up to be the general election foe against Republican Sherry Radack.  If Hillary Clinton's coattails are long enough, there's a chance.

For Justice, First Court of Appeals, Place 4: Barbara Gardner.  Long favored and previously endorsed in this space, Gardner is top-shelf.  Let's take this once-every-four-years opportunity to get some Democratic representation on the Court of Appeals.

For Justice, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Place 2: Jim Sharp.  I still like Sharp even though he's been a loose cannon, to understate the case.  Harold Cook -- whose political opinions I have disagreed with perhaps more than any other Democrat in Texas -- does not.

Between the two, Cook is the bigger egotistical jerk.  Vote for Sharp.

I'm undervoting the Place 5 CCA where Betsy Johnson is the late filer.  She's not qualified.  She was recruited at the last minute by the TDP so that the Green, Judith Sanders-Castro, wouldn't be unopposed in November.  That's bullshit (here's what I wrote about that back in December).

Read more about the candidates for Courts of Appeal in both major party primaries on your respective ballot from Bob Mabry.

Harris County

For District Judge, 11th: This contested primary is very close to call.  I'm going with Jim Lewis, whom the Chron recommends.  Stace has nice things to say about Rabeea Collier.

For District Judge, 61st: Dion Ramos.  I like Ramos over his two female challengers because he's been a district judge previously.  I have also snarked on him in the past (scroll to the end, watch the video), and his opposition is worthy, but Ramos has made the personal touch that the others haven't.  (You may be noticing a trend in my endorsements.)

Vote also for Democratic incumbent Judges Larry Weiman, Kyle Carter, R.K. Sandhill, Michael Gomez, Jaclanel McFarland, Mike Engelhart, Robert K. Schaffer, Alexandra Smoots-Hogan, and for former Judge Josefina Rendon over Ursula Hall. (Hall isn't as bright as she claims.)

I also like these candidates in contested and uncontested judicial D primary races: the Honorables (past and present) Hazel B. JonesShawna Reagin, Randy Roll, Steven Kirkland, Herb Ritchie, and Maria Jackson.  Like the Chronicle, I prefer JoAnn Storey over incumbent Elaine Palmer.  Palmer was bad news before she got elected.  I'm also taking Kelli Johnson over Lori Gray, who like Palmer is financially supported by the odious George Fleming.

The Harris County District Attorney's contested race features Lloyd Oliver, Kim Ogg. and Morris Overstreet.  I'm voting for Overstreet because I just don't think Ogg can beat Devon Anderson.  Anderson is covering all the Democratic bases, from indicting the Planned Parenthood sting videographers to collecting an award from the NAACP, for which that organization has been criticized.  The only question is how many Republican votes the incumbent DA stands to lose.  She's uncontested for re-election in the Republican primary.

County Attorney Vince Ryan, Harris County's highest-ranking Democrat, is unopposed and will face whichever Republican emerges from that party's contested primary: Chris Carmona or Jim Leitner.  Carmona has a handful of failed city council bids on his resume' while Leitner has an English surname, which appears to be his strongest advantage.  Murray Newman doesn't like Leitner but Murray Newman's pain-in-the-ass blogging antagonist certainly does.  Big Jolly's GOP endorsements spreadsheet has Carmona in the lead 4-1, with Leitner's lone backer being Dr. Steven Hotze.

(I report, you decide which Republican is worst.)

I'm voting for Ed Gonzales, Harris County's next sheriff.  I have no recommendation to make in the Justice of the Peace Precinct 7, Place 1 contested primary.  I can only winnow the field down to Not Hillary Green the incumbent, and Not Keryl Douglas.

That leaves County Tax Assessor/Collector, and I'll be supporting Ann Harris Bennett over Brandon Dudley.  This one was very simple: Dudley, as Rodney Ellis' chief of staff, never made sure my inquiries and entreaties to the senator's office got answered.  Dudley may be all that and a bag of chips, but I just wouldn't know.  Bennett, on the other hand, has long been this blog's preferred candidate, and she barely missed in 2012.

Sometimes votes are won and lost as easy as that.


Gadfly said...

Good deal on noting Place 5 CCA, and the undervote as an additional protest.

Otherwise, locally, I got dreck to vote for on the Dem ballot. No local candidates; no opposed regional/state ones except RRC.

meme said...

You certainly forgive much quicker than I do. Garcia should apologize to the immigrant community for his role in safe communities.

My hunch is that come November there were will be less Democrats sitting in county offices. The Democrats tent is getting smaller every year.

PDiddie said...

I think you stand a good chance of being correct about your November prediction, Manny. There's a real schism happening in the Democratic Party, and a extraordinary amount of condescension to one faction from the other that's going to make patching up differences very difficult after the fight concludes (again, I believe it's about 30 days away, give or take a week).

As for Garcia, it's not my place to call for anything from him. His supporters stand with him for various of their own reasons and he still has a lot of support. We'll see whether it's enough support to defeat Green or not.

PDiddie said...

'an' extraordinary amount

Gadfly said...

Sounds kind of serious. Other than Hawk knocking off Watkins for DA (and that wasn't really a political race, it was Watkins' ethical screw-ups), in Dallas, the D party generally continues to expand. Fort Worth side of the Metromess, it still struggles a certain degree, to be sure.

Michelle Michon said...

Brandon posted a pic of him standing next to Sissy Farenthold on FB & Twitter as if.... Sissy has now and always has endorsed Ann Harris Bennett for Tax Assessor Collector - Voter Registrar. He's even copying how she puts out her endorsement memes & copying Anns' "In it to win it" in public. Has he ever had an original thought? I'm just waiting for him to start copying Ann when it comes to her advocating for Medicaid Expansion. Watch for it....
The party establishment was crazy not to support Ann Harris Bennett for Tax Assessor Collector - Voter Registrar. With her numbers in the past three election cycles it was just down right stupid to miss an opportunity to support a qualified, viable Democrat.

meme said...

As to Garcia he has to be hoping for high turnout similar to 2008 and it does not look like it is happening. Unless people are waiting till election day, which I doubt. There just does not seem to be much enthusiasm out there in the Democratic side. If the poll above is correct about Texas, Sanders may not put up much of an effort. Would not blame him a waste of resources.

mikej said...

Thanks! I'm crossing over to vote for Bernie because all of the Republican presidential candidates have insulted my intelligence a few times too many. I've come to believe that the best possible outcome of the November election would be Bernie in the White House and a conservative Republican Congress that won't even rise to its feet when Bernie comes to make his State of the Union Address. If you recall, the last time that the federal government claimed anything like a balanced budget was back in Slick Willie Clinton's last couple of years with his Republican Congress. We need more of the same.

So I'm feelin' the Bern, but I didn't want to vote for just Bernie. I wanted to help the Democratic Party select a slate of whacked out lefties who would have no chance against their Republican opponents for state offices. You've given me one. Again, thanks!

PDiddie said...

You're welcome! Just wish I could take more credit.

My advice, Mike, is to vote as many times a you can for James Cargas in CD-7 (Culberson). That guy loves getting his beaten by Culberson, and he STILL doesn't live in the district.