Posted on 03/06/2006 1:58 PM EST
El Editor Endorsements in March 7 Primary Elections
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this year’s race for the Democratic nomination for governor has been the most active in many years. The major candidates for the post are Chris Bell and Bob Gammage.
Chris Bell, a former Houston councilman and Congressman is running on a promise “begin a real conversation about what we should be doing in Texas.” He says that a one-party rule has taken hold in this Texas. “Honest debate and bipartisan compromise has been replaced by partisan bickering and the politics of division. Our voices have been drowned out by the voices of entrenched partisans and well-connected lobbyists, and we have all lost our seat at the table.”
Bell calls on a “new mainstream that includes all who share an optimistic vision of freedom, responsibility and accountability” to come together and work toward a better Texas.
In his issue statement Bell addresses how he will address the problem of having a better education funding system in Texas, how to better protect our kids and how he will work to address the failing health system.
It is what many say is a definite plan for addressing Texas’ problems that voters say is his main strength in the race.
Despite being well liked by Houston Hispanics, Latinos for Texas endorsed his opponent Bob Gammage. The group said that during their endorsement convention that although, “there really was no negativity towards Bell, in fact lots of praise, but it came mostly down to this: Gammage has a deeper and broader experience AND activates and energizes people more.”
In a sentence this probably describes Bob Gammage. Gammage has a lengthy history of public service, most notably having been a member of the Texas “Dirty Thirty” in the 1971 Texas legislature. The “Dirty Thirty” is credited for helping to bring about a stop to bribery and corruption among elected officials in Texas during the seventies.
One Texas newspaper writes, “Bob Gammage has called on Texas Democrats to return to their progressive roots, with a focus on educational excellence, affordable prescription drugs, an increase in the state minimum wage, and strengthening campaign finance laws to subdue the ‘politician for sale’ odor that flares our political nostrils.”
We can agree with this after listening to Gammage when he visited Lubbock. The statement really says it all for us. Our endorsement goes to Bob Gammage in the Democratic primary.
This year's Republican Primary has some VERY important contested races, in which non-traditional Republicans are running. If these candidates win, they could fundamentally change the direction of the Party.
Here in Lubbock, veteran State Rep. Delwin Jones is being opposed by the hard right candidacy of Van Wilson and Frank Morrison. Delwin, hardly a liberal, often votes with the Democrats these days...a good reason to vote for him in the corrupt Tom Craddick era.
Perhaps one of the most important races of all from the Chicano perspective is the Matt Powell-Tommy Turner contest. Powell has been part of the Bill Sowder regime in the DA's office...notice that his campaign ads feature a scary-looking group of minority faces, ala the Willie Horton campaign of the elder Bush! Tommy has contributed to Democrats and would bring the DA's office back to the people.
Another important race involves Judge Drue Farmer who is looking to get re-elected to the post. Judge Farmer has proven to be an effective judge in Lubbock. Her opponent is openly saying that he wants to reduce the amount of money spent for defense of indigents. With 60% of the jail population being indigents, how can we afford to reduce the monies being spent? The program that he is proposing has been criticized for denying the constitutional rights of the prisoners. Our choice is Judge Drew Farmer for re-election.
"Hispanic" Mike Arismendez is running for County Clerk...note I said "Hispanic" instead of Chicano...if you want to continue the cynical Bush policy of appointing "Hispanics" to office in an effort to win the emerging Chicano vote [Clarence Thomas comes to mind for the blacks, and Alberto Gonzales, Tony Garza and how many others here in Texas] then Mike is your man...but he is a REAL Republican, like David Gutierrez...do we need more of these?
Jean Ann Stratton, an open-minded Republican lady, is running for Justice of the Peace against a policeman, Dennis Kelley. The police department is OVER-represented in our government...on the City Council, we have Tom Martin and Floyd Price, former policemen, and the wife of a former policeman, Linda DeLeon...in the Legislature, numerous former cops and prosecutors are the ones passing all of these painful laws we have been experiencing...do we need more?
In the County Chair race, longtime civil rights and community activist Roger Settler, one of our columnists here at El Editor, is running for Republican Chair against a regular Republican, John D. Steinmetz. John has been endorsed by Mad Marc McDougal, who also endorsed Van Wilson after giving a large contribution. If you REALLY wish to see changes in the Party, Roger could do it!
I hope this helps you wander through the GOP ballot