Democratic and Republican Primary Run-Offs, April 11
Note that both Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn continue to collect petition signatures for the governor's race, and because of the restrictive Texas election law, anyone who votes in the Republican or Democratic run-off cannot sign a petition for either one.
U.S. Senator: Barbara Ann Radnofsky
Houston lawyer Radnofsky is the only serious candidate, and it is one mark of the disarray of the state Democratic Party that she must once again defeat the perennial token candidate, Gene Kelly, who should find himself a different hobby. Radnofsky deserves a chance to make a real, visible run against incumbent Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Real, serious Democrats will get to the polls and vote for her.
U.S. Representative, District 10: Ted Ankrum
For us, this election is not about ideology it's about which Democrat has a remote shot at knocking off incumbent Bush-policy rubber stamper Michael McCaul. We endorsed Ted Ankrum of Cypress in the original vote, largely on the instinct that his military service might prove popular with rural voters and moderate conservatives in this sprawling Austin-to-Houston district the people who will ultimately decide the winner, since Travis Co. liberals will support whichever Dem gets the nod. The initial results have us reconsidering those instincts: Austinite Paul Foreman dominated the rural vote, and it was mainly due to Travis Co. that Ankrum was able to finish in a virtual tie with Foreman. Foreman insists he's been organizing actively outside of Austin and that those connections will carry him to victory over McCaul. But although Foreman's a good man, a longtime independent activist, and undoubtedly the best poet/publisher running for Congress, we still aren't convinced that he's the better choice here.
On the issues, there really isn't a whole lot to distinguish between the two both want the U.S. out of Iraq, both support universal health care, both are appalled by the daily tales of corruption coming out of the Bush administration. The only major tactical difference is that Foreman says he'll immediately push for impeachment. A fine idea, but not a realistic one unless the Democrats retake control of Congress, and probably not one that will resonate between here and Houston. In a perfect world, perhaps both these candidates would be congressmen. Forced to make a choice, we still believe Ankrum will best appeal to voters in the middle, where this battle will be fought and won.
Lieutenant Governor: Benjamin Z. Grant
In the initial vote, we endorsed Grant because of his specific legislative and judicial experience (he both served in the Legislature and is a longtime Texarkana judge), but he was narrowly edged by novice politician and social program researcher Maria Luisa Alvarado, apparently by Hispanic voters looking for a kindred name. That's no worse than Anglos voting for Gene Kelly, but it's also no better. With the similarly unknown Adrian De Leon out of the race, it's quite possible Alvarado will win, but we continue to believe that Grant's experience makes him a better candidate to take on GOP incumbent David Dewhurst.
State Representative, District 47: Valinda Bolton
We found Bolton to be the most politically experienced and historically social activist candidate, with a broad grasp of the issues intellectually as well as politically and with the sort of personal manner that will reach a broad range of voters on the block and on the stump, now and in November.
Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8: No Endorsement
This race features incumbent Charles Holcomb, who is too old (by law) to complete another term, and local GOP House firebrand Terry Keel, a brilliant but often ruthless legislator who may one day make a really fine judge if in fact there is a judicial temperament hidden somewhere beneath his reflexively prosecutorial exterior. We could perhaps bring ourselves to endorse Keel on the strength of his intelligence and energy, if he didn't so often use both to excoriate those who disagree with him. Most recently, his attempts to make it easier for the state to fast-track executions bespeak a man more interested in convictions than justice not the best qualification for an appeals judge. Consider wisely.
State Board of Education, District 5: Dan Montgomery
Incumbent Montgomery passes as a "moderate" on the SBOE, meaning he hasn't advocated eliminating outright the theory of evolution from biology textbooks and, as a retired teacher, keeps an open mind on most policy matters. For these crimes, the GOP's hard right wants to replace him with former San Antonio Rep. Ken Mercer, who says he wants to return to the days of the SBOE rewriting textbooks and use the position to promote private-school vouchers which, in a sane state, should be a conflict of interest.
Travis County voters may vote at any early voting location. Early voting continues through Fri., April 7, 7am-7pm for all locations, except malls and mobile voting sites.
Randalls, 1500 W. 35th
Fiesta Mart, 3909 N. I-35
Undergraduate Library Lobby, West Mall, UT campus
Travis Co. Airport Boulevard Offices, 5501 Airport
Travis Co. Courthouse, 1000 Guadalupe
HEB, 2701 E. Seventh*
Northeast Health Center, 7112 Ed Bluestein (Springdale Shopping Center)
Northcross Mall, 2525 W. Anderson (9am-8pm)
Highland Mall, 6001 Airport (9am-8pm)
Albertsons, 11331 N. Lamar*
County Tax Office Pflugerville, 15822 Foothill Farms Loop (just off Pecan Street), Pflugerville
Randalls, 10900-D Research
HEB, 7301 FM 620 N. @ RR 2222*
Randalls, 2025 W. Ben White
HEB, 2400 S. Congress @ Oltorf*
Albertsons, 1819 S. Pleasant Valley*
Albertsons, 5510 S. I-35
Randalls, 6600 S. MoPac
Randalls, 9911 Brodie Ln.
Randalls, 2303 RR 620 S.
Randalls, 3300 Bee Caves Rd.
* Temporary building in parking lot
Thursday, April 6Winters Building, 701 W. 51st, 8am-6pm
Central Services Building, 1711 San Jacinto, 8am-6pm
South Rural Comm. Ctr, 3518 FM 973 S., Del Valle, 9am-6pm
Volente Vol. Fire Dept., 15406 FM 2769, 10am-6pm
Manor ISD Admin. Bldg, 312 Murray, Manor, 9am-6pm
Friday, April 7
Sam Houston Building, 201 E. 14th, 8am-6pm
The Park at Beckett Meadows, 7709 Beckett, 9am-noon
Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Rd., 10am-6pm
Summit at Westlake Hills, 1034 Liberty Park, 2-5pm