It has become axiomatic that the Democrats–despite winning the popular vote for President in every general election since 1992 (except 2004)–are faring poorly in State and local elections. Statistics tend to bear this out, with most governorships and state legislatures across the country being controlled by Republicans.
Texas is Red
Texas, for example, is considered a deeply red State. Our Senators are the lamentable Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Queries to either either Senator for progressive causes are responded to with what amounts to an “aw, isn’t that cute” hair tousle and a “now, run along, bless your heart.” Our Congressional Districts are gerrymandered to unacceptable degrees to ensure protection for, primarily, Republican candidates.
(It’s true–they’re unacceptable. Just ask the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals about Districts 23, 27, and 35. And look at the map below. Do those look like rational districts?)
Texas Has Opportunity
That does not mean, however, that Democrats must be resigned to constantly being in the minority in even deep-red States. Over this past weekend, three progressive candidates in Pearland municipal elections either won outright or forced runoffs.
Mike Floyd, who is the 18 year-old son of John T. Floyd, won his election outright for a position on the Pearland School Board, beating Rusty Deborde. Quentin Wiltz, running for Mayor, and Dalia Kasseb, running for City Council, forced run-offs in their races. Both stand excellent chances to win the runoffs in June.
No Small Roles
These victories, which garnered national attention, may seem small when writ against the backdrop of the vast amount of work which must still be done to even the playing field. However, they show what doing the hard work of knocking on doors, waving signs on the highway, and having a clear progressive message can do.