AAS On Williamson County Democrats Chances In 2008

Posted in HD-52, Election 2008, Commentary, Williamson County at 10:28 pm by wcnews

Here’s the article, Pointing to some shifts, Williamson County Democrats say they could break Republican dominance. It’s basically an article that does very little to break open the issues and only talks about Democrats chances in the county as a whole. Not how the demographics and issues are causing changes to specific districts, and commissioner precincts, which are providing opportunities for Democrats that haven’t been there for a while. WCDP Chair Richard Torres makes his points well in the article.

..Williamson County Democratic Chairman Richard Torres, is pinning his hopes on candidates such as Diana Maldonado, a Round Rock school board member who says she will file for the Democratic primary in March to try to unseat incumbent Republican state Rep. Mike Krusee in District 52. In Williamson County, candidates for school board do not run with a party affiliation.

Last year, Democrat Karen Felthauser, a virtually unknown substitute school teacher from Round Rock, got 44.2 percent of the vote, compared with Krusee’s 50.5 percent.

“Karen’s race tells me we are in striking distance of being able to defeat Mr. Krusee,” Torres said.


Torres thinks two reasons for the increase are rising concern over the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq and demographic changes. Last year, 6,746 households moved from Travis County into Williamson, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics analyzed by the Capital Area Council of Governments.

“I think the people who move up here are more likely to be Democrats than Republican because Travis is heavily Democratic,” Torres said.

The GOP chair on the other hand doesn’t seem worried and believes their county wide straight ticket advantage will continue to pull them through.

[GOP Chairman Bill] Fairbrother points to what he thinks is a bottom-line figure: In 2006, 21,426 people in the county voted a straight Republican ticket, compared with only 10,255 Democrats who voted straight-party.

“I just don’t see any evidence of real momentum” by the Democrats, he said.

He must be blind not to have noticed that the numbers are moving in the Democrats for the first time in a while in Williamson County. There will be an extremely competitive race in 2008 in HD-52. Here’s what the incumbent in that race had to say.

Krusee, in his eighth term as the District 52 representative, is confident.

“I don’t pay much attention to numbers or demographics,” Krusee said. “I just concentrate on doing my job along with county and city officials to get a better quality of life for the people of Williamson County. I seek the vote of anyone, Republicans, Democrats or independents, based on my work.””

Well those words are not confidence words. Any incumbent that says they “don’t pay much attention to numbers or demographics” is either stupid or a lying.

The article is good but about what we’ve come to expect from an Austin paper discussing Williamson County politics. But to try and discuss the HD-52 race in terms of the GOP’s county wide numbers the author is either lazy or uninformed about politics in the county. Not to mention that it’s the incumbents negligence of most of his constituency, and his catering to special interests, that’s caused so many people to have sour on him. The demographics in HD-52 are trending Democartic, Krusee knows that, and if the Democrats run a good race he’ll be gone, and he knows that too.

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