Texas Democratic Establishment, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News All Endorse Biggest Loser
The five Republicans vying for the position drew a total of 1,186,000 votes versus the three Democratic candidates who totaled 490,000. Former state representative Sid Miller, who authored the mandatory sonogram portion of Governor Perry's divisive abortion law that brought on the meteoric rise of Wendy Davis, is in a runoff with East Texan Tommy Merritt.
The numbers make it obvious that any Democrat will have a tough battle to win the Ag Commissioner seat in the November general election. Hogan has mounted no campaign so far -- almost an anti-campaign -- and didn't even bother to reply to the Dallas Morning News candidate questionnaire during their endorsement vetting process. All he's really said so far is that he "isn't going to make any big promises." Pitting Hogan against Miller (the likely winner of the Republican runoff) will almost certainly end in the usual debacle for Democrats barring some smoking gun about Miller surfacing.
So why not endorse Friedman in the primary runoff? The Commissioner's office is almost certainly going Republican if Hogan is the Democratic candidate, so what's the harm in endorsing Friedman and his pro-legalization campaign? The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune polls show that a majority of the state reckons some form of decriminalization is on the horizon, and national trends indicate that many states will fully legalize marijuana in the next few years after the financial success of legalization in Washington and Colorado.
Friedman may not win, but he will force people to think through an important social, legal, and financial issue better dealt with sooner than later. For those who take the time to connect the dots in Friedman's plan from a financial standpoint, it's a no-brainer.
So Democrats have a tough choice in May: go with Hogan, who appears to be another good old boy who'll almost certainly go down in flames in November; or go with Friedman, who has more appeal across party lines and will certainly energize a portion of the electorate that isn't excited about the offerings of either party. With his plan to move toward legalization of marijuana and reintroduce hemp as an agricultural mainstay, Friedman has the potential to galvanize voters and potentially reshape world opinion about Texas, and that's what Democrats will need if they hope to end 20 years of Republican domination.