The spotlight for the open U.S. Senate position might be on the Republican Party, but the race for the Democratic nomination has also begun and this might be the year that sees Texas turn purple.
In 2009, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson ran for Governor against incumbent Rick Perry and lost. In the process, the Republican Party ripped her to shreds by labeling her a “moderate.”
At that time — the height of the Tea Party movement — this sort of labeling was considered a political death sentence. After losing the governorship, Hutchinson announced in 2010 that she would not be running for re-election in the Senate. She would, in fact, retire her seat.
With an open seat in the Senate, Tea Partiers scrambled to find a suitable conservative candidate. The Republican front-runners are as follows: ex-Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Cruz has won in various polls over Dewhurst because he’s garnered the much coveted Tea Party endorsement.
Commenters might say that a Democratic nominee has no chance in Texas, but one needs only to think about how diverse and fierce the Texan spirit is. Not to mention the fact that many young Hispanics will be of voting age this year, and they tend to vote Democrat.
Texas has the second largest Hispanic population in the United States, and therefore, the time is ripe for change. For more than 100 years the Democratic Party was the majority party in Texas, and it wasn’t until the ’60s that it changed. Ex-Governor, the late Ann Richards, was one of the most popular and celebrated governors of Texas, and she happened to be a Democrat. One only needs to look at our neighbors in Louisiana to see that a state with a senator from each party is not only possible but logical. So, without further ado, Democrats meet your nominees:
The first is Paul Sadler, who was a representative in the Texas House of Representatives from 1991 to 2003. His website states that he is a proud Democrat like our parents and grandparents were. According to Sadler, it was our Democratic ancestors who “built this great State.” He also strongly believes that Texans are fiercely independent and that the Senate seat does not belong to a single party.
Sean Hubbard is an Austin native who wants to bring the voice of an “everyday Texan” to the Senate. Hubbard’s website says he is “tired of elected officials that forget who they’re supposed to be fighting for,” which — according to Hubbard — are everyday Texans.
Famous Texas Democrats like Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn and Ann Richards, he says, represent the best of Texas and fought tirelessly for progressive values.
The third candidate is Daniel Boone. Boone has been a farmer, laborer, professor and businessman. He says on his website that his campaign is “about preventing the destruction of the middle class and returning the power to the people.”
Boone fears that money has taken over Washington D.C.
Whoever wins the Democratic nomination has a tough fight to follow. Right now the Texas district map is a mess. The Texas Legislature is in the midst of redistricting the state and is already behind schedule. Primaries have been pushed back, and there is currently no end in sight. The results of the census garnered Texas four new seats in Congress, and the controversy lies on how they should be divided up.
If the districts are spliced in a certain way then they might just be the extra push that wins a Democrat the seat or perhaps the Texan independent spirit might shine through nonetheless.
Alejandro Caballero is a creative writing junior and may be reached at email@example.com.