It's a Party -- Bring a Chair
Also in the race are state Rep. Garnet Coleman, San Antonio labor attorney David Van Os, and committee member and former state Senate candidate Mary Moore. Coleman's popularity in Dem circles has expanded this year with his lead role in the redistricting fight, but he initially announced only for "interim" chair -- until the state convention next summer -- and some committee members are said to want to fill the job permanently. (Mauro had also said "interim," but then changed his mind.) Van Os is a leader of the party's "progressive populist" caucus, which tried in vain to oust Malcolm at the 2001 meeting, and he briefly considered running against her prior to last summer's convention but was dissuaded by star-crossed gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez. Mary Moore of Bryan is presumably the dark horse. Party insiders say that while Mauro and Soechting are the front-runners, a race this short with this few voters is unpredictable. "It could take several votes to decide a winner," said one former officeholder. "It's hard to get anybody to commit for certain, and they'll switch depending on what somebody said to them yesterday."
Meanwhile, state Republican Party Chair Susan Weddington also resigned last week, so that Gov. Perry could appoint her as chair of the OneStar Foundation, the governor's nonprofit to promote volunteerism.