Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Early musings on the Texas Governor election

Of the 4 candidates for governor of Texas --Rick Perry of the GOP, Chris Bell of the Democrats, and the two possible independent candidates Carol Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman, I can already say that Bell is likely to not get my vote.

In a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article back before the recent primaries, the Democratic candidates looking to get nominated as the Democratic representative for governor were actually fighting over who was more pro-choice than whom! This tells me where the focus is for the Democratic party: abortion. That counts Bell out for me, and not just because I oppose legalized abortion. A party that wants to stay so fanatically focused on legalized abortion shows where it's priorities are, and if legalized abortion is what they feel is most important to concentrate on for their campaign --despite issues more deserving of their attention-- then my vote is going elsewhere. I'll still listen to what Bell has to say, but such a start to the campaign already puts him in a hole for me.

Kinky Friedman is also likely not to get my vote. Don't get me wrong, I think he brings an interesting perspective to what would otherwise be a boring campaign, but I'm just not certain that he is the man for the job. While his slogan of "Kinky Friedman: why the hell not?" is appealing, it's not enough to make me want to vote for him. It makes me say: "What the hell for?" Basically, I need to hear more from him; and he has to be able to inspire the kind of confidence that will lead me to believe that he will indeed be the rugged independent that he's promoting himself to be. We get enough candidates that say that they will make a difference; Friedman has to show that he is true to those words and that it's not just another empty campaign promise. BUT, just as quickly, let me say that I DO want him on the ballot so that we have more alternatives to pick from!

That leaves Rick Perry and Carole Keeton Strayhorn. One of these two is likely to get my vote --I just haven't decided which one yet. Each says things that politicians are expected to say to their likely voters, but it's not easy to know who is more likely to back up their words. As the incumbent, Perry has the track record and experience to refer to; but his track record has "potholes" that aren't pretty. That is what Strayhorn is likely to concentrate on during her campaigns. It's a matter of trying to decide if what Strayhorn offers as a solution is workable, and whether her apparent ego won't get in the way too many times. As with Friedman, though, I do want her on the ballot so that we have more alternatives to pick from.

I also hope that they have and televise debates among these four. It should make for a very interesting and entertaining campaign. It's still early folks --there's still more to come!

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