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June 09, 2005

East Texas Rumor

By Katie Naranjo

As an East Texan, I was privileged to a rumor yesterday about who might be running for Todd Staples seat for Senate District 3. Word has it; former U.S. Congressman Max Sandlin is playing with the idea of running for Staple’s seat. Max served in the US house from 1997 until 2004, when he lost his election due to redistricting. When looking at the counties in Sen. District 3 and his results in the 2004 elections, Max has a good chance for a career in state politics if he chooses to run.

As a former staffer for him, I know he has the charm to win the republican county Nacogdoches. Angelina, San Augustine, Sabine, Polk, Shelby and Tyler are all blue counties, and Max has name recognition within these counties. This is our chance to take back East Texas. I hope this rumor turns out to be true.

Posted by Katie Naranjo at June 9, 2005 05:26 AM | TrackBack

Comments

I hope he takes a look at it and runs. Montgomery County and the Hollytree area of South Tyler are the only real sore spots in that district for Max! Nacogdoches has been a tough county for at least the last few years for Dems.

Posted by: pc at June 9, 2005 10:45 AM

If anybody can win them, it'll be Max Sandlin. He's one of the coolest guys in the state and he'll have my support 100%. Let's get him elected to this so he can run statewide sometime in the very near future.

Also, I think Paul Sadler might go for a rematch against Kevin Eltife, who barely edged him out in a 2004 special election to Bill Ratliff's SD-1. With school finance failures looming even larger, the state's number 1 school finance guy would look mighty good for that seat. Furthermore, SD1 is the only State Senate seat that was drawn to be truly competitive. He lost by about 2 points in the special, higher turnout and looming disaffection with GOP leadership could put him over the top.

There are a couple of other seats that might open up-- Jon Lindsay is kicking around retirement, Kyle Janek is thinking about a run for the US Senate. Both of those seats would be very difficult for a Democrat, but if we fight hard it could mean coming close and getting enough voters out to win a governor's or US Senate race. Look for credible Dems there too.

Posted by: Andrew Dobbs at June 9, 2005 12:31 PM

As another East Texan, and staffer of Max's, I hate to disagree w/Katy on this one.

Max never won Nacogdoches county during his 4 elections to Congress and would not for State senate. And as the CD1 primary and SD3 primaries, CD1 in 2004, Special Election SD3 have all shown -- the votes lie in Tyler -- an area a Democrat can never win (unless your name is Ralph Hall, and wait, he switched parties).

Sadler won all of the counties in SD1, if I remember correctly, lost Tyler's votes, and still lost the election. John Graves, in the run-off against Gohmert for CD1 won nearly all (if not all) of the counties but Tyler's votes, and lost the run-off.

As much as I love Max, he got tarred in the last election, and some of those commericals will not soon be forgotten, and would probably be used again (Max supports terrorist, kiddie porn).

The incmbent also lost to Staples 2 cycles ago in SD3, and I doubt Max would fare much better...

Posted by: Matthew at June 9, 2005 03:43 PM

I kept saying SD3 and Staples...silly me. That was the SD I lived in, not the one Max would run in -- SD1 is correct. However, my analysis is still correct -- the votes are in Tyler, which is 80+% Republican.

Posted by: Matthew at June 9, 2005 03:47 PM

Gosh -- I'm confused! That's what I get for commenting from work while doing other things!

I *was* supposed to be talking about SD3! Haha. Doesn't that include part of Tyler? I'm so brain-dead at the moment -- I'm combining SD1 & 3 in my head...sheesh!

Posted by: Matthew at June 9, 2005 03:50 PM

Katie -- one more thing -- Max lost all counties last go round except for San Augustine, which he barely carried -- even lost his home county! He lost all of the counties he had always won, even "blue" Angelina, which was new to him.

The ads really hurt and would do so again....

Posted by: Matthew at June 9, 2005 04:01 PM

Matthew - this may help you.

Click Here for a map of SD 3.

Posted by: no at June 9, 2005 04:55 PM

Okay, I've looked at the numbers too and here's what I see:

2000: David Fisher (D) only won: Jasper, Newton, Sabine, San Augustine, and Tyler counties. None of these are particularly large counties, nor did he win by big margins in any of them.

2000: Overall results: Staples (R) 60.6%, Fisher (Incumbent-D) 39.35%

Of all the counties in SD3, Max has represented only Nacogdoches & Shelby in Congress. (As a side note, Max is from Marshall, which is in Harrison County -- how can he run in SD3?)

Of all the counties, Max has run in (because of 2004 re-redistricting): Angelina, Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, & Smith (in Smith, there is more of the county in CD1 than in SD3).

Of the counties Max has represented he won: zero!

Of the counties Max has run in prior to 2004 he won: only San Augustine.

Katie, you mentioned he'd win: Nacogdoches, Angelina, San Augustine, Sabine, Polk, Shelby, and Tyler.

In 2000, Fisher (Incumbent-D) did not win Polk, Nacogdoches, nor Shelby counties.

I really don't think that Max has a shot at this, which is too bad as I'd want him to win more than anyone.

So, Katie, you are right, he does have name recognition in a few counties, but the bad news is, he didn't win them, so his name recognition isn't so hot.

Posted by: Matthew at June 9, 2005 08:18 PM

Fisher was not an incumbent. It was an open seat. Fisher was a bad candidate.

Posted by: no at June 9, 2005 08:38 PM

you're right...it's been too long of a day...but I still believe Max would lose...he just has not represented the area and no one knows him...

was it david cain that was an incumbent? i know there was some east texas senator that lost...or am i going crazy?

Posted by: Matthew at June 9, 2005 09:25 PM

Matt

Max lost his election in Smith county, alot of issues went into that election. People in Southern counties didn't think Max would win Smith so they went with who they thought would win. Jim McReynolds will help Max in his counties, and with the new map, Max previously held a seat in a couple of those counties. It is less competitive then SD1 and Max is conservative and use that to pull in Republicans. Plus I don't know of any Republicans that have come up to the plate.

P.S. i love you matt!!!

Posted by: katie at June 10, 2005 01:19 PM

Most of Tyler is in SD1. Still the SD3 part includes the Hollytree Country Club area which will go 65 percent for the GOP at least. I think this is a much better district for Max! He would have to move to Nacogdoches, Athens, or Palestine, and be called a carpetbagger. Max or Chuck Hopson would be fine Senators. Mike Head may also run.

Posted by: pc at June 10, 2005 04:58 PM

It is highly likely that Max Sandlin will be on the 2006 ballot. However, he will not be a candidate for State Senate.

Max believes there are numerous excellent Democratic possibilities for each district including Jim McReynolds, Chuck Hopson and Mike Head in the 3rd and Tom Ramsay as well as Paul Sadler in the 1st -- just to name a few.

Personally, Max will continue to gauge the potential of a statewide race and he would certainly consider another run for Congress should the Supreme Court restore some sanity to the Texas redistricting process.

In any case he is certainly not through with public service or Texas politics and will continue to be a forceful advocate for Democratic candidates.

He asked me to thank all of you for your kind thoughts and inspired analysis.

Katie and Matt -- good to hear from you.

Posted by: Bill Brannon at June 10, 2005 08:28 PM

This only caught my interest because of the mention of Shelby County - where my grandma used to run Center, TX's best BBQ pit. As much as I wish it were a blue county, the goods indicate otherwise.

Shelby County precinct breakdown - 2004 Presidential results

Posted by: Greg Wythe at June 10, 2005 10:27 PM

Thanks for the update Bill! Glad to hear Max is still interested in public service! I will support him for whatever he runs for!

Posted by: Matthew at June 11, 2005 03:52 PM

Bill!!!!

If Max is running for something, seriously let me know, I would love to help anyway I can. Do you think Jim-Mc is considering running for Senate? that would be very interesting. I hope to see you at the July meetin for SDEC.

P.S. I love East Texas Democrats!!!!

Posted by: katie at June 12, 2005 04:32 PM
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