So we've hit Election Day, and it's time to sum up our BOR endorsements. We already have Barbara Radnofsky for Senate and Ted Ankrum for CD-10.
The following are written after consulting the full BOR writing crew. Among those that responded, the general feeling was divided, but hardly out of strong opinions (different in each case). So weighing those, here are the remaining Burnt Orange Endorsements.
Lt. Governor: Ben Z. Grant
Marked by a lack of campaign news a notch above Gene Kelly and a level of caring among activists about as high, our endorsement of Ben Grant is hardly one of a hard-line nature. A teacher, Grant has served the state in public service as a State Rep for 10 years, six of those as Chair of the House Judiciary Cmte., District 71 Court Judge, and 17 years as a Judge of the Sixth Court of Appeals. A member of the Dirty 30 Reform group, Grant can add to the ethics message for November's election. He's also been endorsed by the Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and other state papers.
Simply put, Grant can stand up to Dewhurst in experience as a candidate, having already served the state, bringing a certain level of credibility and fundraising ability to the race, something lacking in his opponent Maria Alvarado, the remaining candidate of a pair of Alvarado's, one of which never made it on the ballot. While some feel that we should toss away the Lt. Gov position in order to aid Bell in the governor's race with a Hispanic candidate to aid turnout, we disagree with the notion. Alvarado, while a fine woman with a noble calling to service, cannot match Grant or Dewhurst in background or experience and with little to no money will have a marginal effect on any race. It will only be seen by the media and most Texans as feeding the narrative that Democrats "gave up" this year in state elections as viewed by our slate of nominees.
Texas House District 47: Valinda Bolton
While opinions were more available for this race, many are supportive of the quality of both candidates and cautious to endorse at all, prepared to support either nominee 100% in November. That being taken into account, BOR endorses Valinda Bolton in today's primary over Jason Earle.
Surprising most by becoming the lead vote-getter in March, Bolton made wise use of her more limited funds (1/3 that of Earle) with volunteers, the Statesman and Chronicle endorsements, and TV to get her this far. Having also been endorsed by the Sierra Club and Annie's List (among many others), Valinda has brought the type of ground game to this race which will be needed heading into November to upset either Alex Castano or more likely Bill Welch, avidly anti-choice Republicans in an area similar to Donna Howard's more pro-choice district.
District 47 has also proven to be more favorable electorally to Democratic women, an advantage she can easily press this fall. Her background with Domestic Violence solutions and programs, adds a needed perspective to a House chamber that must realize that funding our social services and health care system are related to healthy and safe families, which make for a more economically viable Texas.
Texas House District 42: Richard Raymond
Current Representative Raymond missed winning his primary against 3 opponents outright by less than .2% of the vote. We see no reason at this time to encourage anyone to replace him in representing his South Texas district. In 2 years, he may run against Cuellar (as he almost did this year) and for that alone 2 more years in the Texas House on his resume would be worth it. He has our full endorsement.
Texas House District 146: Borris Miles
Borris Miles finished 2nd to Blogosphere favorite (in a bad way) Rep. Al Edwards, most widely known for his sponsorship of the "Sexy Cheerleader" bill last session. Often named 'furniture' by Texas Monthly and a water carrier at times for Speaker Craddick, it's hard for any of us not to support his ouster, even if it means Pink Dome loses half their traffic. Borris Miles is a fully competent candidate with the backing of local blogger Greg Wythe who has supported him from the beginning. If you live in Houston, this is the race for you. Let's clean up our caucus if we can.