The Eyes of Texas on Congress

Texas has the first of the congressional primaries taking place this Tuesday, and there are a few interesting races to keep your radar screen.  The first race is the District 4 race.  The incumbant, Ralph Hall, is a former Democrat who became a Republican and has served the district for many years.  One of the issues he has been facing is a constituency that wonders whether he has been there for too long.  As the expression goes “he brings home the bacon for his district, but its not clear that voters are looking for more pork whether its their district or someone else’s.  There is also a question about Hall’s position on illegal immigration.  He says all the right things but he not exactly a hard liner on no amnesty.  He does, however, have a positive rating from ontheissues.com and is rated Hard Core Conservative.  He has many primary opponents but one seems to have put together a serious campaign, Steve Clark, a business executive from the area.  Clark has either raised $300,000 or put that amount into his campaign.  Either way, he a serious conservative who believes in his chances of taking the nomination away from incumbant Ralph Hall, in this strong republican district.  There is another candidate named Jerry Ray (Tea) Hall who seems to think he’s a serious candidate but doesn’t really appeal to voters.  Maybe its the pandering name?  Anyway, here are the web sites.  www.ralphhall.com and www.votesteveclark.com 

Another race to watch is the District 17 race.  Incumbant is democrat, Chet Edwards, who has several republican challengers vying for the right to face him in the general election.  The largest campaign account against the incumbant is Bill Flores, a retired businessman from Bryan,TX.  Others who have raised a significant amount are businessman Rob Curnock, College Station educator Dave McIntyre, and realtor Chuck Wilson.  Unfortunately, for each of them the will be going up against the 1.5 million that incumbant Edwards has raised.  In their favor is the makeup of the district that went for McCain 2 to 1 in 2008.  Also, in this year of congressional disgust even though this district is rated slightly democrat by cqpolitics, the incumbent is ranked as a moderate liberal populist.  That could be a problem in the season of the tea party, smaller government backlash.

The last race to keep your eye on is District 23.   Quite frankly, I don’t know how this guy has survived in this district that is rated slightly democrat, 51 to 48.  I don’t know how those numbers can be correct when considering independant voters.  Plus, congressman Ciro Rodriguez, is rated a hard core liberal.  That can’t be good in 2010.  Francisco Canseco has raise a respectable amount in his primary challenge.  This district has a strong hispanic demographic which may explain Ciro Rodriguez’s success.  Another challenger could be Will Hurd of Helotes, TX, who has also raise significant money.

The primary is on Tuesday March 2nd, with a possible runoff on April 13th.  Keep your eyes on these races and if your from Texas let us know what you think.