As reported at EOW yesterday Rick Noriega went down to the Valley earlier in the week. On that visit not only did Noriega, as is his MO, “speak truth to power”, and beat Sen. Cornyn over the head with his own record of neglect for the Valley, he also tried to gently encourage Mikal Watts to “stand aside” in the US Senate race, and let the more experienced candidate go forward against Texas’ failed US Senator.
In reaction to Noriega’s visit Mikal Watts went down to the Valley too and again trotted out his “endorsers” in the Valley to show his support down there. While there will be endorsements for both candidates from this area and, eventually, who will be declared the “winner” someday – if there is such a thing – of Valley endorsements, we’ll just have to wait and see. But because of Watts’ millions those endorsements will be looked at with skepticism.
Whether Draft Noriega bloggers will be able to reach our September goal is not, and should not, be looked at as the only marker of whether Noriega is the people powered candidate in this race. While blogs have increased scrutiny in politics, and given voice to previously voiceless, we are not a substitute for the previous ways of fundraising and campaigning. Our campaign is only one, and we hope an important part, of a larger campaign to show and help spread the word that Rick Noriega is the people’s candidate in the race for US Senate in Texas in 2008.
What the Democratic explorers’ Valley actions show is two different types of candidates. Watts, it appears, is trying to garner endorsement and votes the only way an inexperienced, wealthy candidate can, with money. Noriega, on the other hand, is trying to garner endorsements and votes the way a non-millionaire, politician, with a record of achievement best can, by trumpeting that record and asking people to join up with him and trust in his proven record of service.
It’s been said a few times already in this early stage of the primary, that while money is important, it’s not everything. It will continue to be said as long as these two candidates are involved. It’s also been said that if money was the “only” thing it took to win an election we’d be in Gov. Sanchez’s second term right now. While, we can hopefully assume, Watts is a much better inexperienced candidate than Sanchez was, what Democrats need most is a well financed and experienced candidate to take out Sen. Cornyn. With one of these two candidates being the likeliest to get the nomination, Noriega is the only one with the needed experience. The money can be raised in time to beat Cornyn, Watts cannot make up for his inexperience in time. The only way to get an experienced, well-funded candidate is for Watts to step aside and for Democrats in Texas to fund the experienced candidate, Rick Noriega, with all our might.
I also came across this from KERA in Dallas, Commentary: Texas Democrats. It’s about the Democrats chances in 2008 and Democratic resurgence in Texas, which has thus far been mainly in the urban areas. But there was this little blurb in it about Rick Noriega.
The key, of course, is Hispanic voters. It is their strength in South Texas that has prompted Dan Weiser to predict a strong run for Houston legislator and veteran of the war in Afghanistan Rick Noriega in the Democratic race to take on Republican Senator John Cornyn next year. Noriega may not win in the fall. Incumbents are hard to beat. But if he gets past the primary, he may well make the way for other Democrats in other years. “One day,” said [Dan Weiser, a long-time expert in the politics of the Democratic party], “we’ll wake up and the Hispanic giant will have voted.” That will be the day the Democrats rise from the cities to take on suburban, Republican Texas.
I’m not to familiar with Dan Weiser but he seems to think Noriega provides Democrats the best chance against Cornyn.