Cleburne Times-Review Column for 5 March, 2006
“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, ‘Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,’ be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses.”
Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 7, so it therefore behooves us to review some of the major races.
Governor: It is no secret to long-time readers of this column that I consider Rick Perry the single greatest waste of oxygen ever to occupy the Governor’s Mansion. Carol Strayhorn, who changes parties, philosophies and positions (and last names) as often as most of us change our socks, seems to have as her only major guiding principal her own self-promotion. Judge Bob Gammage is, I believe, the Democrats’ best chance to win in November. Chris Bell, despite voting for the Bankruptcy “Reform” Bill, seems a nice guy, but I don’t think he has the chops to handle a brutal general election campaign.
Lieutenant Governor: Another Dirty Thirty Alumnus, Ben Z. Grant, should be the Democrats’ standard-bearer in this race. I am all for newcomers like Maria Luisa Alvarado getting involved in politics, but they should start a little further down the ballot.
Congress: Two Republicans are competing to become the person Chet Edwards beats in November. Van Taylor wins the Sheer Brass Monkeys Award for running television ads highlighting his concern over the budget deficit, considering that every single penny of the deficit is there because of a Republican President and a Republican Congress. Electing another Republican to reduce the deficit is akin to asking Mike Tyson to teach an anger-management class. I’m also curious as to how Taylor, the only Iraq War Veteran running for Congress as a Republican this year (the other dozen are Democrats), justifies supporting an Administration with such an abysmal record on veterans’ issues. As for Tucker Anderson, a word of free advice: if you want to run against a senior member of Congress, it’s probably not a good idea to draw attention to the fact that your “Congressional experience” comes from being an intern. If we need someone to pick up the dry cleaning or make coffee, we’ll call you.
County Judge: On the Democratic side, my money is on retired fire-fighter, long-time local businessman and National Guard veteran Robert Calahan. On the Republican side, I have frequently disagreed with Judge Roger Harmon on a variety of issues. Surely, though, Randy Sheridan has more to recommend him than being Rob Orr’s campaign manager. Given Orr’s track record of reprehensible election tactics and vicious smear campaigns, not to mention his shameless toadying to Tom Craddick and his apparent belief that he actually represents Highland Park, associating with him would not, in my humble opinion, be a plus with Republican voters who have even a short-term memory.
Judge, County Court at Law Number Two: Judge William Anderson, a gentleman lawyer if ever there was one, is retiring. There is no Democrat running and this race will probably affect me directly more than any other. Having said that, I have known all four Republican candidates for years and since any endorsement by me would likely be the proverbial kiss of death, I will chicken out by saying I would be hard-pressed to be disappointed in the results, no matter who wins.
District Clerk: another race with no Democrat running that will affect me personally. Other than to note that attempted character assassination is not a sign of competence, I’ll just keep my opinions to myself on this one.
County Treasurer: I have frequently criticized Barbara Robinson, as well, but a bit of free advice to her opponent, Judy Ward—take a chill pill! You’re running for County Treasurer! If you want to engage in mudslinging and personal insults, run for state representative.
County Commissioner, Precinct 4: Although I don’t live in this district, it’ll be interesting to see who emerges from the high-dollar Republican brawl to lose to Democrat Jackie McCaslin or Janet Thomas in November.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1: Doesn’t really matter to me who wins the Republican slug-fest on this one. Businessman Ray Torres is the Democratic candidate and he will make a fine Judge.
If you haven’t voted early, please take the time to vote on Tuesday. In several of these elections, the winner of the primary determines who gets the office, so it’s important. And don’t take my word on who to vote for. The Johnson County Elections Office web-site has info on all the candidates and links to their web-pages. These are the people who want to govern your lives and spend your money: you should get informed as to who they are and what they intend to do.