Hell is going to have to freeze over if Greg Abbott is going to lose his bid for re-election next year as Texas governor.
This is not a statement of preference, mind you. I’m merely stating what I believe is a stark reality facing any challenger who might square off against him.
A Texas Tribune analysis points out that eight Democrats are lining up to run in the state’s primary next spring. Ross Ramsey believes the early Democratic favorite is likely Lupe Valdez, the recently resigned Dallas County sheriff. Another key Democratic challenger could be Andrew White, son of the late Gov. Mark White.
Read Ramsey’s article here.
Valdez has won election and re-election several times in the state’s second-most populous county, Ramsey points out.
But if she wins the Democratic primary — which is a huge first test — get a load of the hurdle she faces. She is going to seek to become the first governor on a couple of important levels … and Texas has not been known in recent years as a place prone to establish significant political precedent.
First, Valdez is a Latina. She wants to become the first Latina ever elected governor. Indeed, the state never has elected anyone of Latin American descent. That’s one hurdle.
Here’s the big one: Valdez is openly gay.
She wants, therefore, to become the first openly gay, Latina candidate ever elected governor.
I feel the need to point out that Texas voters a few years ago approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution that outlawed same-sex marriage, even though there already was a statute on the books that prohibited it. That didn’t matter. The state’s voters said not just “no,” but “hell no!” to gay marriage.
Do you believe Valdez can win the governor’s race in a state that has enacted a double-whammy prohibition against same-sex marriage?
As the Tribune piece illustrates, whoever wins the Democratic primary is going to face an enormous task as he or she seeks to topple a Republican incumbent governor.
As Ramsey describes Abbott: He’s a well-financed, popular figurehead for a political party that hasn’t lost a statewide election in Texas in almost three decades.
But … you never know. Hell could get mighty cold.