GOP Speed Dating

Senate candidate Serafine and others meet the press

Serafine: Going after Watson's
Serafine: Going after Watson's "feel good" policies (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

In an attempt to snag some air time before today's big game, the Travis County Republican Party assembled several of its election candidates in its new combined campaign headquarters for a press meet-and-greet. Considering how many first-time filers there were, communications committee chair Joe Gimenez equated the experience to speed dating.

It's one of the largest slates the Republicans have mustered in Travis County in living memory, with 16 candidates on the county primary ballot, eight more that cross county lines, 22 statewide and seven federal. From those in attendance there was little discussion of local issues, and far more emphasis on how to run against the Obama administration (watch for the careful balancing act of some candidates being anti-establishment, as long as that establishment isn't the Republican-dominated political system of Texas). Still, there was little doubt in the room that it will be a struggle to turn any of the blue county red. County chair Rosemary Edwards said, "This is one of the most liberal last strongholds that [Democrats] have, and they will not give up without a fight."

One of the more surprising candidacies may be that Mary Lou Serafine, who has taken on the big task of challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Kirk Watson in the general election. She explained, "My bottom line is that Kirk has not served Travis County very well, and stuff he has proposed has been what I call feelgood legislation. It looks good on paper, like tax rebates and tax incentives, like for sound stages. I recognise the music community is important, but that's not real economic development." Her solution? "Lower taxes and less government interference in free enterprise."

As for how to to solve the impending state budget crisis, her solution is re-allocation. "For example, I would say, some of the agency domains need to be diminished." When asked for an example, she suggested the Texas Residential Construction Commission, which she said "does not serve the people well." That's hardly a controversial statement, since the Texas Legislature decided to abolish the commission last session, and it's now five months into its year-long wind down.

Serafine's original campaign announcement below:

Austin attorney Mary Lou Serafine has filed to challenge state senator Kirk Watson in District 14. Ms. Serafine is a licensed attorney and a former UT San Antonio and UT Austin faculty member.

"I'm running," Mary Lou said, "because there's been too much tinkering with two-bit legislation. My issues are job-creation, health insurance overhaul, tort reform, and homeowner property rights. My aim is to stop Texas from becoming California."

Ms. Serafine's candidacy is seen as part of the anticipated increase in Republican candidates running in the 2010 election cycle in Travis County.

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Elections, Election 2010, 2010 Primaries, Republicans, Kirk Watson, Mary Lou Serafine

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