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October 23, 2003

State Rep. Kino Flores and US Rep. Lloyd Doggett to run in the 25th

By Byron LaMasters

The Quorum Report writes that both Wayne Christian and Kino Flores are planning to run for Congress should the new map be adopted. Christian is running in the new 1st district against Rep. Max Sandlin. Flores would run in the open 25th district stretching from Austin to McAllen. Flores has already lined up impressive support for his bid for Congress:

The "Kino for Congress" bandwagon rolled into Jim Hogg and Duval counties Tuesday, with around 20 political leaders from the Rio Grande Valley traveling in support of their man.

State Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores (D-Mission) has done everything but announce his candidacy for the new "open" Congressional District 25 seat, embarking on an aggressive campaign to win key endorsements from mayors, county judges and commissioners.

Tuesday's tour came as two other potential South Texas candidates announced they were considering running for a seat that extends 350 miles from the Rio Grande to south and east Travis County.

Now, Flores was a Craddick ally, but he's good on most issues and has a (7% Lifetime rating from the Young Conservatives of Texas). However, being anti-choice will clearly hurt him in Travis County. I don't live in the district, but I'd be inclined to support a candidate that was 1) from Travis County and 2) is pro-choice for such a heavily Democratic district.

Talking about Austin representation in Congress, the Daily Texan profiles our Congressman at UT, Lloyd Doggett, who as a former Student Government President has had ties to the University of Texas for decades. Now, because of the GOP gerrymander, he may no longer represent UT in Congress. It's a good read...

Update: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) has announced today that he will run in the open 25th Austin-to-the-valley district if the current redistricting map holds up. It'll be a tough race against State Rep. Kino Flores (D-Mission), but I'd still consider Doggett the favorite as he has decades-old roots in Travis County as well as some statewide name recognition as US Senate candidate in 1984 and from his time on the State Supreme Court. Doggett will also have a significant money advantage in a primary. Needless to say, I fully support Doggett in whatever district he runs for re-election in. He's our congressman and has served Austin well.

Update II: Greg's Opinion has the best wrap-up of all the redistricting / congressional news for today. So check out his post for more.

Update III: This was just emailed to me:

Opponent Of Texas Remap May Run In New District
Texas state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, one of 11 Democratic members from the state Senate who fled to New Mexico this summer to block a vote on a Republican-drawn redistricting plan, may run in one of the new congressional districts the state Legislature approved earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported.

Barrientos said he would run only if the Justice Department approves the state's new congressional maps and if the new districts survive court challenges. He said he would run in the 350-mile-long, 25th District that runs from his hometown of Austin to the border with Mexico.

"The first priority should be to kill the new districts," said Barrientos. "I hope it gets killed, but, if it doesn't, I am open to running."

Texas lawmakers passed redistricting last week, after state Senate Democrats returned from a 45-day self-imposed exile in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

As for Barrientos, he would complicate this race. I'm not sure if his entry would benefit Flores (split the Austin vote) or Doggett (split the Hispanic vote), but my guess is that Doggett is on the phone lining up his Austin support right now. And if Barrientos is serious about running, he needs to announce very soon and start lining up support, because Flores and Doggett are probably both furiously lining up support at this moment.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at October 23, 2003 12:27 PM | TrackBack


I've watched Mr. Doggett's performances since I was at UT in the late 1970s. He is an amazing survivor, and although I rarely agree with him on anything substantive, I cannot help but be impressed with his durability. I wouldn't count him out of any political race, ever. If necessary, he'll mutate into whatever he next needs to be in order to maintain his career path (and I mean that in a grudgingly admiring way, if it's not clear).

Posted by: Beldar at October 24, 2003 05:52 PM
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