Is Jim Hogan a Trojan Horse in Democratic Runoff?
Just as we predicted in our cover story on the Texas Agriculture Commissioner race last November, it has turned into one of the best political circuses since Claytie Williams went on his dove hunt, opened his arrogant, chauvinistic pie-hole, and handed Ann Richards the last statewide Democratic victory.
www.whoisjimhogan.com Making a move for Ag Commish.
Since the March 4 primary, Democrats have had to face some rather unpleasant realities. Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III, the party's regal-sounding Anointed One, was embarrassed by maverick Richard "Kinky" Friedman and unknown Jimmie Ray Hogan, a Cleburne insurance salesman.
Candidates such as lieutenant governor hopeful Leticia Van de Putte who closed ranks behind Fitzsimons didn't even bother to address Hogan's candidacy, but she not only trashed Friedman in the press, she also hired a phone bank to bad-mouth him just prior to the election.
Yet, in spite of zero recognition by the state Democratic apparatus or any active campaign -- according to Hogan his cell phone and the Internet are all the campaign he needs, "just Google Jim Hogan," -- the small-time Cleburne rancher received 38.8 percent of the Democratic vote. Friedman, who has massive name recognition, ran a close second with 37.7 percent. Fitzsimons could only muster a measly 23.5 percent.
That result presented stunned state party honchos and up-ballot candidates a conundrum: They are hesitant to endorse Friedman, who is not part of the party establishment and whose campaign to legalize pot scares the bejesus out of them. But they in no way want to endorse Hogan, who is viewed as a Republican in sheep's clothing.
How so? According to Hogan's own statements, he only ran as a Democrat because the Republican field was crowded with five candidates in the primary. Hogan told the Texas Observer on the day after the primary, "I can't whup all five of 'em but I might whup one of 'em."
Hogan has enunciated no platform, no well-elaborated positions on issues, and hasn't engaged in any of the traditional campaigning or travel. He didn't even bother to fill out the candidate questionnaire used by the Dallas Morning News to vet candidates for their endorsement.