Come January, the halls of Congress will likely be populated by strengthened Democratic majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Texas will need able representation in all arenas in that shifting legislative environment.
It will be especially important for Texans to have a strong, respected voice inside the expected Democratic majority in the Senate. Rick Noriega offers such a voice, with a distinctive Lone Star tone and perspective. The Chronicle endorses Noriega for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican John Cornyn.
The contrast on the issues follows the logic ...
(The term "Texas Democrat"), once common currency in the state's political conversation, seems to have fallen out of favor over the past several Republican-dominated years. But it resonates once more in this season of voter discontent with partisanship uber alles. Some old-fashioned moderate bipartisanship, Texas style, should be much welcomed in the Washington debate, particularly on overheated topics such as energy and immigration. Rick Noriega can provide it.
Noriega well understands that there are subjects on which Texas Democrats must stand apart from the party's national leadership. Energy is one. He is committed to bringing the message that the nation will need new domestic oil and gas supplies as it builds a bridge to greater energy independence and increased reliance on alternative energy sources. He will be able to point out in a forceful and personal way the folly of relying almost exclusively on hurricane-prone areas of the Gulf for supplies when abundant reserves can be tapped on the East and West coasts with little risk to the environment.
On immigration, Noriega is in step with traditional Texas views of tolerance and a warm embrace of cultural differences, rooted in respect for the law. He will bring calm and reason to the national debate.
This rundown is devastating to the incumbent, and the Chron notes:
...John Cornyn also has been a too-loyal foot soldier for the Bush administration, willing to make a right turn off the cliff in support of fatally flawed policies on Iraq and torture, as well as casting improvident votes on a host of social issues. Unlike Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, he is not known for his attention to constituent services.
Over the years, Noriega has worked his way up through the ranks. He has distinguished himself as a soldier in Afghanistan and on the Texas-Mexico border, and as an elected official in Austin. During Hurricane Ike, he performed duty above and beyond the call helping those in need at the George R. Brown Convention Center. He richly deserves a promotion to Washington.
Noriega is showing himself to be the model of an effective Democrat — a centrist, moderate Texas Democrat — in a time when most voters are sick of political extremes. As such, he may one day set the standard for what a strong Texas senator can be.
The Senate seat contested by Cornyn and Noriega has an impressive pedigree. Prior to Cornyn it was held by Phil Gramm, John Tower and Lyndon Johnson. Noriega would make a worthy successor.
Rick Noriega reflects the new face of Texas while speaking in the welcome tones of moderation that are a tradition worth reviving. The Chronicle urges a vote for Noriega for U.S. Senate.
Freeper heads exploded on impact.