The Devil You Do Know

Posted in Commentary, The Lege, Williamson County at 5:00 pm by wcnews

Sal says Rep. Mike Krusee will run in 2008. At this point and time, at least publicly, nothing less should be expected. Like Tom DeLay, Rep. Krusee wouldn’t want to give the impression, this early, that he won’t run because then the campaign contribution money would dry up. Whether it’s ego or bluster at this point only Mike Krusee knows for sure.

With such a poor showing in 2006, in both the Republican Primary and the General Election, as Sal correctly points out, he’s sure to draw opponents, and better financed opponents, in both races in 2008. Krusee is vulnerable in the primary because he’s not a “base” Republican and the primary is won by the candidate that gets the support of the base. And in Williamson County the Republican base is on the far-right. While Krusee bills himself as a “conservative” he’s a “conservative” in the free-market/business sense and not in the social/religious/”moral values” sense. He would be more in the fiscal conservative, social liberal wing of his party. While Rep. Krusee votes the party line on most of those issues he’s never an outspoken proponent on those issues. Therefore that could open him up to a challenge from somebody on the “conservative”, social, wing-nut, right of his party in Williamson County.

That matched with the fact that Rep. Krusee has alienated almost every rural voter in the Eastern part of his district only adds to his problem in the 2008 GOP primary. There will be a significant “anyone but Krusee” contingent in the 2008 GOP primary for District 52.

It’s less than a year from the primary, and if Rep. Krusee thinks his money will be able to buy him reelection in 2008 he’s mistaken. His money can’t change what most, if not all, of the primary voters already know about him from his many years as an elected official in Williamson County. Therefore his message will more than likely be, “vote for the devil you know, not the devil you don’t know”, and a campaign of smearing and gutter politics. Not only Krusee’s party hierarchy, but primary voters too, will be more inclined to back a primary challenger because they will see Krusee’s renomination as a sure loser in the general election in 2008.

Whether Krusee wins or his future opponent does in the GOP primary, the Democrats in Williamson County will be in an excellent position to win this seat. The Democrat this time will either be running against an even weaker incumbent than 2006 or a yet to be named challenger, in a district that is becoming more and more Democratic by the day. The Texas Democratic Party already has it’s eye on this seat as a pick-up in 2008, to once again add to it’s numbers in the Texas House.

It would be fitting for Williamson County to put a Democrat back in the House in 2008, in District 52, for the first time since Rep. Mike Krusee was first elected and, hopefully, at the same time help the Democrats takes back the Texas House.

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