The Candidates of Texas CD-10

The Austin Chronicle gives a review of the Democratic field in Texas CD-10 and also makes mention of the Badnarik campaign.

The Democrats are already doing better in the race for CD 10 than they were two years ago - this time, they’ll actually have a candidate on the ballot. Whether that will make a real difference, however, remains doubtful.

In 2004, the Tom DeLay-designed CD 10 was so overwhelmingly tilted toward the GOP that no Dem from North Austin to the suburbs of Houston even bothered to file in the primary. For the general election, Democrat and UT math Prof. Lorenzo Sadun made a valiant write-in effort to get the donkeys back in the game, but the result was brutal - he took only 6% of the vote, finishing even behind the (listed) Libertarian candidate. Austinite Michael McCaul, the least reactionary of a nine-way GOP primary field, joined Congress in a 79% landslide.

The prospect of unseating McCaul, even tainted with the stench of Tom DeLay, is dim. All four of the Dem hopefuls are political novices, and none has the kind of campaign machine needed for this race. The biggest fundraisers, as of Dec. 31, were retired NASA official Ted Ankrum of Cypress, who reported collecting $6,181, mostly from himself, followed by retired nurse Pat Mynatt of Spring with $5,982, again mostly from her own checkbook. Austinites Paul Foreman and 95-year-old Sid Smith have yet to file a finance report. In interviews, the first three admitted they would be relying more on face-to-face campaigning and word-of-mouth than advertising.

By contrast, McCaul has nearly half a million raised, with $151,165 still in the bank. And as he’s son-in-law to Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays’ broadcasting fortune, one suspects landing advertising won’t be an obstacle. Heck, the Dems could even run behind the Libertarian again: This time, the third party will be represented by Michael Badnarik, the Austinite who ran for president in 2004. Badnarik has raised $85,598, although he only has $8,090 on hand.

But it’s all about the issues, right? If so, the Dems are roughly similar - hatred of Tom DeLay tops their list, followed by an inability to name one thing McCaul has done for their district (or in Smith’s case, to even name McCaul). After that, Ankrum, Mynatt, and Foreman are all appalled by the war, and propose following Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha’s proposal that we set a deadline for withdrawal from Iraq (the Chronicle has yet to interview Smith, but the war wasn’t mentioned in an interview with the Statesman’s John Kelso last month). At this point, their main differences appear to be age (Ankrum and Foreman are 63 and 62, respectively; Mynatt and Smith are older, Mynatt at 68, and Smith a grand old 95), and Ankrum is the only military vet of the bunch, having served in Vietnam and belonging to the Band of Brothers, the group of vets who defended John Kerry from the scurrilous Swift Boat Veterans attacks in 2004.

4 Responses to “The Candidates of Texas CD-10”

  1. undercover_ararchist Says:

    What the hell is Bandarik dropping all that coin on? He’s spent in excess of $70k already? I know candidates who have run valiant campaigns; entire campaigns, with a little more or less than that.

  2. Trevor Southerland Says:


    Did they win a Congressional seat?

  3. Chris Says:

    Here is what it has been spent on:

    Trevor makes a pretty good point, though. If you want a professional candidate with a professional staff running a serious race for a winnable (though longshot) race, then it takes “coin.”

  4. Joey Dauben Says:

    At least half of that, if it were my race, would go towards TV ads and billboard-sized yard signs.

    Of course, that’s pocket change compared to what Badnarik spent on the presidential race.

    But then again, you’re going up against Clear Channel, and I doubt Michael McCaul will have a problem getting ad space with them.

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