Democrats haven’t won a statewide election in Texas since 1994. In 2020, led by MJ Hegar’s trailblazing US Senate campaign and with one of the deepest and most talented judicial slates in state history, Texas Democrats are looking to break the streak.
While Joe Biden’s ability to keep Texas locked in the toss-up column in his race to beat Donald Trump, down-ballot Republicans have started to get nervous. Career politician and senior US Senator John Cornyn remains little known in the state, despite decades in elected office, and has been running television ads heavily targeted to suburban white women.
Standing in Cornyn’s way is the epically game MJ Hegar, a retired Air Force pilot who has been steadily closing the gap against Cornyn. Hegar has a long track record of taking on big fights and winning, and with the Senate race trending toward tossup territory, she’s found a new stride and gained national praise for her willingness to take on Donald Trump for his insidious comments calling American soldiers losers and suckers.
Hegar is Cornyn’s worst general election nightmare. A combat veteran and suburban mother, Hegar can speak with authority on what it means to sacrifice for your country while also being able to discuss the kitchen table economic issues Texas families continue to grapple with in the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hegar doesn’t stand alone atop our statewide ticket. She’s running alongside Chrysta Castañeda, who is mounting an incredibly strong campaign for Texas Railroad Commissioner.
If you’re wondering what a Railroad Commissioner does, you’re not alone. Despite carrying a name that conjures images of trains and railways, this office doesn’t have anything to do with railroads. Instead, it serves as the regulatory body for energy policy in the state, governing the ways companies central to the Texas economy operate and protect our citizens.
While she’s an incredible candidate in her own right, the attorney finds herself facing off with a man who has run afoul of the very body he seeks to serve on. Republican Jim Wright has been cited for more than 250 violations, including 50 for the unlawful disposal of oil and gas waste at his company’s DeWitt County facility.
It isn’t just voters who don’t think this guy should regulate the oil and gas industry. Castañeda has received a slew of endorsements from members of the oil and gas industry who know she won’t play favorites for her own benefit.
Opportunity doesn’t end there for Texas Democrats. This year, they’ve launched one of the strongest slates of judicial candidates in memory, and with the current Texas Supreme Court continuing a long tradition of politicized decisions.
The Democratic candidates are Amy Clark Meachum for Chief Justice, Kathy Cheng for Place 6, Staci Williams for Place 7, and Gisela Triana for Place 8.
For the Criminal Court of Appeals, the highest criminal court in the state, the candidates are Elizabeth Davis Frizell for Place 3, Tina Yoo Clinton for Place 4, and Brandon Birmingham for Place 9.
Any one of these candidates would be a notable improvement on the bench. All of them together would give Texans a powerful force for Justice on their highest benches.
Joe brings over a decade of experience as a political operative and creative strategist to Texas Signal, where he serves as our Senior Advisor and does everything from writing a regular column, Musings, to mentoring our staff and freelancers. Joe was campaign manager for Lina Hidalgo's historic 2018 victory for Harris County Judge and is a passionate sneakerhead.