Young Democrats are changing the face of Texas

Young Democrats are changing the face of Texas

Editor’s note: This story was revised for accuracy at 6 p.m. Nov. 11.

I hope that around this time next year, most of us will be going to the polls to vote in the 2010 midterm elections. One of the most important elections on that ballot will be the Texas governor’s race. After nine years of the Rick Perry administration, the governor is running for an unprecedented third consecutive term.

Re-election may not be as easy as it was in 2002 and 2006 for Perry. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has stepped into the race and has succeeded in challenging the governor. Hutchison’s trump card could be her appeal to moderates and conservatives who are dissatisfied with Perry’s nine-year administration.

But don’t count the Democrats out. Four candidates are competing for Democratic nomination. Thomas Schieffer is a former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Australia and friend of former President George W. Bush. Thomas Schieffer’s brother is TCU alumnus Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’ “Face the Nation.” East Texas rancher and 2006 Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner Hank Gilbert has entered the race along with Felix Alvarado, a Dallas teacher, and 2006 independent candidate Kinky Friedman.

Why does this matter? It matters because TCU has an early voice in this election.

According to Gallup polling, Texas is officially “competitive” in 2010 because of changing demographics that favor Democrats. Texas is getting younger, urbanized and more diverse. While Texas did vote for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, Perry’s approval rating in 2009 is somewhere between 41 and 48 percent, according to Public Policy Polling. This election could prove to be a difficult battle for Perry.

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the TCU College Democrats and the Tarrant County Young Democrats will hold the first forum of the campaign for the Democratic candidates, where candidates will get to speak about their campaign issues. This is an amazing, cant-miss opportunity for students, faculty and staff to come out and learn more about the people that will be running for governor. A brief on the Young Democrats’ Web site says most of the Democratic candidates have already committed, but doesn’t list which ones.

So come out to the Brown-Lupton University Union ballroom on Nov. 18, and learn more about the Democrats that could be our next governor.

Patrick Yoxall is a freshman history major from Auburn, Ala.