Diana Maldonado will finally find out who her Republican opponent will be in November on April 8th. Ever since soon-to-be-former Rep. Mike Krusee (R – Round Rock) decided in December to not seek re-election, the choice for his designated Replublican replacement has been up in the air. Four candidates threw their hats in the ring for the GOP nomination. Now there are two left, insurance man Bryan Daniel and Williamson County Assistant DA Dee Hobbs. As far as their stances on the issues, (see here, here and here), there are few differences between the two.
Both, like many in their party, have seen the light on toll roads and now oppose the Trans-Texas Corridor. While they have no alternate funding plan to toll roads to build new roads, other than cutting the state budget, just where those cuts would come from, they won’t say. They would support school vouchers, hiking the sales tax, building the border fence, the continued scapegoating of immigrants, non-punishment of corporations that employ them, and worst of all, another term as Speaker for Tom Craddick.
The biggest difference between the two is that Daniel is better funded with his statewide connections. Hobbs has been endorsed by the two candidates that didn’t make the runoff and is a native of Williamson County. Oftentimes it’s assumed that the candidate with the most money is a shoe-in. That’s not necessarily the case with the GOP voters in Williamson County. Current Congressman John Carter faced a daunting money deficit in the primary when he first ran for Congress and was able to overcome it and win, due mainly to the loyalty of the voters in Williamson County. Without polling in this race it’s hard to tell what the outcome will be. It would seem that Hobbs is the favorite, but if money matters in this race then Daniel has to be given a chance.
But HD-52 and Williamson County are not the same as they were in 2002.Â The changing demographics have made this a much more Democratic leaning as is Williamson County as a whole.Â No matter who wins this runoff for the right to take on Maldonado in the fall, it’s important for Democrats around the state to understand that this is one of the most important Democratic pick-ups for 2008. And if Democrats not only make sure Craddick does not get reelected as Speaker in 2009, but that they take over the majority in the house as well, this is a must-win.