This year Texas Democrats hope to break the barrier and elect a Democratic candidate to a statewide office and elect more Democrats to judicial offices.
Texas Democrats are also positioned to take back control of The Board of Education.
At a recent meeting of Texas Democrats, the State Party representative let everyone know that there will a push to elect Democrats to Judicial Offices.
The main thrust will be to push the campaign of Keith Hampton in his race to defeat Sharon "Killer" Keller and become the next Presiding Judge of Texas' Criminal Court of Appeals.
Keller earned her nickname, "Killer Keller", when she had the offices of the Court of Criminal Appeals locked down when they knew an appeal was being prepared for a Death Row inmate who was executed that same night.
Keller won re-election to her post in 2006 with 56% of the vote, which was 7% less than Kay Bailey Hutchison received that year, without a Libertarian on the ticket. 2006 was a terrible year for Democratic judicial candidates where they only won a single Court of Appeals race out of twelve contested races. 2008 was a great year by recent Texas standards for judicial candidates. With Obama on the ticket and nationally a highly contested Presidential race, judicial candidates in Texas showed an 8 percent bump on average and won five of the thirteen contested Court of Appeals races.
This year the dynamics appear even better since Texas Republicans are upset with Romney and the Republican Party over many things, especially the treatment of Ron Paul. With a Libertarian in this years race against Keller we can expect him to pull the usual 2.5% Libertarian vote plus another 4 to 5% from rejected Ron Paul voters.
With the disgust over Mitt Romney which appears to be at about 5% of the electorate currently, another 5% which could easily go Libertarian in Texas, and the 8% Texas' Democratic judicial received from Obama in 2008 it is very possible that Texas Democrats will have a banner year this year and break the hold that Republicans have held on statewide offices in Texas.
In the fourteen Courts of Appeals, Democrats have only won six contested races in the last six years and only held thirteen of the eighty positions in the State.
After seeing the 2008 results, where Democrats won five of the twelve challenged seats, the Democratic Party apparently saw that this year had the potential for huge gain on the Courts of Appeals and we have challenged thirty-one seats.
Democrats have a great chance of winning twenty-five of those seats because they are districts which have a clear Democratic advantage. Those seats could result in Democratic majorities on five of the fourteen Courts.
The Fifth Court of Appeals, which runs from South of Dallas to the Oklahoma border, is a toss-up where a heavy Democratic turnout or a drop in Republican down ballot voting of only five percent can put Democrats in five of the thirteen seats on the panel.
The Sixth Court of appeals, which covers nineteen Counties in Northeast Texas, is the toughest seat being challenged but Frank Supercinski hopes to create another majority Democratic District. He has added to the natural subliminal advantage his name gives him by putting $5000 into print and cable advertising in order to increase his name recognition.
Democrats are also challenging for eleven seats on the Board of Education where they need eight seats to gain control. Six of the those seats look great due to the district makeup. One of the remaining five challenged seats has a Libertarian challenger which will give the Democrat a distinct advantage this year. The Democrats can win the two additional seats needed to gain control of the Board if we can gain three to five percent due to a split and demoralized Republican Party.
I worked up these numbers since I am working with Frank Supercinski on his race to win a seat on Texas' Sixth Court of Appeals. Frank's prospects aren't quite as good as Hampton but Frank has put some money into print and cable advertising in order to get his name recognition up, and with a name like Supercinski the psychological impact of low key campaign advertising might be enough to get him the 3 to 4 points he needs to win the race.
Here is an example of the ad which is being placed in 1.2 million papers during in the five weeks until leading up to election day in a district with a population of 750,000.
Mixed Color/B&W Supercinski ad
These "Marketplace Channel" ads are in color on over 25,000 televisions in Northeast Texas. Those are supplemented with a "Weather Channel Crawl" on another 32,000 televisions in the Texarkana area. Frank is also running print ads during the last month prior to election day. Those ads are in black and white in all but one widely distributed advertisement weekly where he received a free upgrade. There will be a total of over 1,200,000 papers printed with the ad over a 5 week period. I have set up a thrust to ask supporters to help us give Becky's cheeks some color where I hope to raise the $2500 necessary to upgrade all of the print ads to color.
I was able to get all those existing ads placed with Frank's investment of $4600.
Frank may also get some help from his opponent's actions and some cases which are expected to go to the Sixth Court of Appeals.
There is a widely publicized Capitol Murder case playing out right now. The case resolves around Cynthia Hudson who has already been convicted once on Capitol Murder charges in the death of her 13-year-old son Samuel. Cynthia tied up Samuel and locked him in his room without food or water hoping to prevent herself from lusting after him. The boy died of malnutrition in 2008. While the Court of Appeals actualy overturned the jury verdict based on a finding that Hudson was entitled to a jury question on manslaughter, Frank's opponent dissented and believed that "the evidence is legally insufficient to prove that Hudson committed the murder during a kidnapping, the requisite element here of capital murder". If a Justice cannot see that the boy was tied and locked up to prevent his escape, he doesn't deserve to be on an appeals court.
There is also a big push right now in the area of imminent domain surrounding the NAFTA Super-highway and the Keystone Pipeline. Many rural Texans, including Conservatives, are upset about the court decisions in the recent cases and are in a mood to throw out the current judiciary.
Disclaimer: Tomtech is the media manager for the Supercinski Campaign.
We need a GOTV push in the following Districts.
The following candidates can use all the help they can get.
Tonya J. Holt, Fifth Court of Appeals
Lawrence J. Praeger, Fifth Court of Appeals
Dan Wood, Fifth Court of Appeals
Penny Robe Phillips, Fifth Court of Appeals
David Hanschen, Fifth Court of Appeals
Frank Supercinski, Sixth Court of Appeals
Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Board of Education Place 5
Dexter Smith, Board of Education Place 8
Judy Jennings, Board of Education Place 10
Lois Parrott, Board of Education Place 12
Steven D. Schafersman, Board of Education Place 15
If you can't get to help those candidates the most effective area to help would be the other Board of Education candidates.
Ruben Cortez, Jr., Board of Education Place 2
Marisa B. Perez, Board of Education Place 3
Lawrence Allen Jr., Board of Education Place 4
Traci Jensen, Board of Education Place 6
Mavis Best Knight, Board of Education Place 13