The Austin Chronicle On The TDP Chair Race

Posted in Around The State at 12:54 pm by wcnews

The article, Maxey Goes Statewide?, is mostly about Glen Maxey but does a nice job of showing where the race stands and where the state Democratic politicians are lining up. It opens with this question and never answers it.

Can an openly gay Austin liberal lead the Texas Democratic Party into the 21st century? That depends on which of the party’s delegates show up to vote at the state convention June 8-10 in Fort Worth, where former state Rep. Glen Maxey hopes to capture the party’s chairmanship over his leading opponent, Young County lawyer Boyd Richie; and a third candidate, San Antonio lawyer Charlie Urbina-Jones.

That’s definitely the question. Toward the end of the article it takes up the argument of how much help the party can be in getting candidates elected to office. In the context of Donna Howard and Hubert Vo and there is this odd quote from “go-to” Democratic consultant Kelly Fero:

“I consider the state party to be at its best when it’s almost wholly irrelevant, which it currently is,” said Kelly Fero, an Austin political strategist who helped engineer the victories of Howard and Vo. Fero, who worked briefly for the state party under Soechting, went on to explain his theory about the party’s irrelevance: “In Texas, the political environment has traditionally been candidate-driven, not party-driven,” he said. “The rise of the Republican Party here has changed that somewhat, but the decline of Democratic fortunes over the same period has only strengthened that tradition.”

Let me see if I have this straight. The Republicans who have had more success than the Democrats in Texas over the last 20 or so years have built a party infrastructure and have have taken over the state. The Democrats whose party has fallen into disarray has strengthened the tradition of the Democratic party’s irrelevance in putting Democrats in office, no longer holding any statewide office. That looks to me like the Party with the “more relevant” party is running everything. I don’t see how what Mr. Fero said proves his point of the Democratic Party’s irrelevance being a good thing. It probably proves why he’s no longer working for the party though.

Remember as Mr. Fero talks about the party’s irrelevance it was money pumped into Hubert Vo’s and other campaigns by the party that put them over the top in ’04.

BOR has more, Is the Party Irrelevant?

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » My Pre-Convention Thoughts said,

    June 6, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    […] There has been much debate over the past week about the current irrelevance and what the future relevancy of the party should be. While I agree the TDP should not be running campaigns and campaigns are candidate driven, the party should be able to assist candidates with a base of support and grow that base support whether through fundraising or grassroots efforts. […]

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