October 31, 2007

Travis County Chair's race... and then there were two

What was looking to be a three way race for Travis County Democratic Party Chair has evolved into a two way race with the withdrawal of local CPA and longtime Democratic activist, Rosie Mendoza

That is why I wanted to be the first to inform you that after much deliberation, I have decided to withdraw as a candidate for Travis County Democratic Party Chair. This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I wholeheartedly believe that it is the right decision for the future of our Party.

In recent elections, there has not been a contested race for Chair of the TCDP but this year there are three declared candidates, including myself. The race has already caused divisions in a community that should be united as we move into the 2008 election year. Current developments put us on a course for a highly contested Democratic primary, plus a likely primary run-off in April. With that in mind, even conservative estimates show that we (the three candidates) will end up spending several hundred thousand dollars combined to win this campaign.

I cannot, in good conscience, contribute to a campaign that risks fracturing us on the eve of the most important election in our lifetime nor can I justify spending tens-of-thousands of dollars from donors for an intra-Party campaign while some of our incredible incumbent Democrats like Representatives Donna Howard and Valinda Bolton need every available dollar to win re-election over well-funded Republican opponents next Fall.

When families disagree (and we are family, bound by our shared values) we must consider the consequences of our actions. We must be prepared to place the success of our Party over the success of the individuals. Today, I am taking that individual first step, and I sincerely hope that the two remaining candidates - Andy Brown and Fidel Acevedo - will consider our shared vision and values before continuing toward a costly race in March.

The 2008 election presents enormous opportunities and challenges for Democrats across Texas. The next Chair must enter his/her term with the credibility to unify the Party, keep it on solid financial ground, clearly communicate our vision and values and substantially increase voter turnout in all the communities of our Democratic base. Then, and only then, Travis County can live up to its full potential as not just a blue oasis in a red state, but as a driving force behind statewide Democratic victories in 2008 and 2010!

I gotta tell you, I met her and I loved her. She's extremely genuine and has a fantastic reputation. So why did I choose to support Andy? Mostly because I know him better and I love his giant novelty checks. I also have a lot of respect for Fidel 'Ace' Acevedo. The real deciding factor, at least for me (and I know many others)? Kirk Watson. Mendoza was seen by many as his preferred candidate. The only thing that could have been worse these days in Travis County Dem circles was support from CradDICK The Whiney himself. Kirk's got a ton of fence mending to do.

I did want to take some time thought to thank (I know, I know...serious moments are lame) Andy, Fidel and Rosie for putting themselves out there for Travis County Democrats. Win, lose or withdraw, you're all amazing people.

Posted by mcblogger at October 31, 2007 01:50 PM

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