Thursday, December 17, 2015

Texas Greens file for 57 state and local offices in 2016

Kuff and Stace both have your Democratic rundown; I had some first-take POV on Tuesday, and yesterday the Green Party of Texas offered their slate for next year.

A total of 57 filed for offices across Texas, and here's the full list.  (I only counted one presidential candidate because recent polling shows Jill Stein with 63%, but she has four challengers, including Kent Mesplay of Texas).  The GPUS presidential nominating convention will be held in Houston next August, with most events occurring in and around the University of Houston.  The state convention will held in April, in San Antonio.

Regular readers here will note that I have been advancing a vote for Stein for president on the expectation that Bernie Sanders will eventually be eliminated from contention as the Democratic Party's nominee, and that his supporters should be welcomed to join the only real progressive campaign remaining after this spring.  Both Stein and the GPTX agree with me.

“The Democratic Party is not going to allow Bernie Sanders to squeak through, so where would we be if we don’t have a Plan B? When Bernie gets knocked out of contention, there would be no place for people to go if not for our campaign. The difference between our campaign and Bernie’s is that we’re not looking for the Democratic Party to save us. We are establishing an independent base for political resistance where we can continue to grow, because there is no relief on the horizon and we need to get busy right now building the lifeboat we’ll need to rescue ourselves and our children.”

Sanders is riding a populist wave in the Democratic primary that closely aligns with Green positions. For Greens who are committed to building an electoral alternative outside of the Democratic Party, we must be prepared to capture as much of this momentum as possible when the super-delegates and other Democratic Party machinery finally close the door on the Sanders campaign. To do this, we will put forward a solid and coordinated slate of candidates this cycle, and we will conduct a Green Party brand awareness campaign intended to let voters know that they still have an opportunity to vote their values and put people, peace, and planet before profit.

Since Texas Democrats and Republicans finally figured out that the way to reduce the electorate's choices back down to two was to file a candidate for every statewide office and let the mindlessness of straight ticket voting works its magic, it becomes imperative that to avoid having to petition for signatures for ballot access in 2018, a statewide Green (and Libertarian, for that matter) needs to hit the 5% threshold in next year's elections.

The statewide offices on the ballot in 2016 are Railroad Commissioner, state Supreme Court (Places 3, 5 and 9), and state Court of Criminal Appeals (Places 2, 5 and 6).  Multiple Democrats and Republicans have filed for those seats, most of them incumbents, and the primary elections in March will determine who bears the D and R standard in November.

The Railroad Commissioner's contest will be the liveliest, with over half a dozen candidates, including former Republican state representative Wayne Christian and three other goombah Republicans trying to out-"most conservative" each other in the GOP primary.  Former Land Commisioner Jerry Patterson's in-and-out dance prior to the filing deadline last Monday ended when he decided he couldn't be a ticketmate with Trump.

Former statehouse Democrat Lon Burnham, infamous perennial Grady Yarbrough -- you should remember him from his 2012 US Senate runoff against Paul Sadler -- and one other are vying to represent the Blue Team.  The Greens re-submit Martina Salinas, who got north of 2% in a 2014 bid for the RRC in a four-way race.

Gadfly had a good suggestion as the best shot for the Greens to hit their 5% number, and I won't disagree.  Quoting...

Cheryl Johnson is NOT running for Place 5 on the CCA, though. And the Democratic candidate, Betsy Johnson, is in a solo practice, which means she probably doesn't have a lot of legal depth she brings to the race. Her Texas Bar page lists, besides criminal practice, real estate and wills/probate.

Judith Sanders-Castro is the Green here; she got 10.45% against a Republican and a Libertarian in the CCA contest in 2014.  She had a long career as a voting rights activist going back to the '80's and early '90's with MALDEF.  Both Sanders-Castro and Salinas should campaign together and work the RGV and urban areas for Latin@ votes in their respective races.  Their success will be key in the bid for continued ballot access.

Besides those two excellent candidates, longtime Travis County activist Debbie Russell is running for sheriff there.  She and I spent time working on David Van Os' campaign for TXAG in 2006.  Deb Shafto, the Green Party's gubernatorial nominee in 2010, will make a run at Sylvia Garcia in Texas Senate 6, and her husband, George Reiter, the past co-chair of the state party, takes aim at Congressman Al Green in CD-9.

The godmother of the Texas Green Party, katia gruene, is a candidate for the statehouse (District 51, incumbent Eddie Rodriguez) and Joseph McElligott, fresh off his bid for Houston city council, will run against Dan Huberty in HD127.  Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee also draws a Green challenge from Adam Socki, a transit/urban planner with engineering outfit HDR.

David Collins, the Harris County Green Co-Chair, posts more.


Unknown said...

This is great news! I know they can get their 5% and retain ballot access.

I do hope someone with the Greens runs a google search on James Partsch-Galvan before the nominations are finalized, though.

Gadfly said...

Adding your link to my post.

And, Katy, what's the scoop on this guy?

Unknown said...

Gadfly: I'm hesitant to make fun of anyone in public. However, I will say that he is prone to wild conspiracies, many of which involve his own family and some of which involve things like Mayor Parker ordering METRO not to pick him up for a mayoral debate last time he ran for mayor.

He's figured out how to file the paperwork to run for office and has run for mayor and city council a few times. His facebook page is pure gold...

If I were making decisions for a political party, I'd at least want to be aware of him and his past and personality before approving him in a partisan race.

dbcgreentx said...

Rest assured that there are Greens in Harris County who are aware of Partsch-Galvan's proclivities, and delegates will take them into account at the county convention on 12 March (which I hope he will attend).

Meanwhile, I look upon Adrian Garcia's decision to challenge Gene Green to a primary duel in District 29 with some jaded amusement.

dbcgreentx said...

Additional note: The notation on the txgreens site that Kent Mesplay is from Bexar County, Texas, is inaccurate. He still lives in San Diego County, California.

joseph m said...


Let's give folks who have filed with the Green Party the benefit of the doubt.

Regardless, we could have an objective screening on -5 key issues that are important to the green party.

Make candidates defend their positions and provide solutions.

Otherwise the candidates might as well be a democrat ;)