May 4, 2019

THE BLUE STATES ARE GONE; CAN dONALD KEEP THE RED?:

Five well-known 2020 Democrats descend on Texas, signaling the state's growing influence in the primaries (PATRICK SVITEK, MAY 3, 2019, Texas Tribune)

The dueling events helped kick off a weekend in which Texas was set to be close to the center of the national political universe, with five declared and potential presidential candidates swinging through in a sign of the state's growing influence in the nominating process. In addition to O'Rourke and Buttigieg, the state received a visit Friday from Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial nominee who has kept the door open to a White House bid. And later in the weekend, two other declared candidates were scheduled to make stops: O'Rourke's fellow Texan, Julián Castro, as well as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

For some of the Democrats, the weekend was first and foremost an opportunity to raise money in Texas, long an ATM for presidential contenders. But the addition of some less private events signaled that they are at least seeing the benefit of starting to build goodwill -- or in the Texans' case, shore up goodwill -- with the party faithful here 10 months before the state's primary.

O'Rourke's Fort Worth rally was particularly wrought with political significance. It was his first visit as a presidential candidate to Tarrant County, the state's biggest reliably red county, which he flipped last year in his closer-than-expected loss to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Before launching into his 2020 stump speech, O'Rourke addressed a more urgent matter: the mayoral election Saturday in Fort Worth. Deborah Peoples, the chairwoman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, is challenging incumbent Betsy Price, one of the few remaining GOP big-city mayors. She is vying for an unprecedented fifth term. [...]

The presidential contest was not the only 2020 election that factored into Friday's events. Abrams helped rally Annie's List supporters to flip the Texas House -- where Democrats are nine seats away from the majority -- as the group made a push to raise $50,000 for the cause at the luncheon.

Posted by at May 4, 2019 7:30 AM

  

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