Ryan Guillen no longer is a Democrat, having switched party affiliation to Republican.
That’s a big deal? You betcha. Especially when the party-switcher is a longtime Democratic legislator from South Texas who told his former party leaders that the Democratic Party has abandoned him; so he is becoming a Republican.
This is grim news for Texas Democratic Party officials who keep telling the world about how the tide in Texas is turning from Republican Red to Democratic Blue. But … is it?
RealClearPolitics reports: While Guillen is a state lawmaker whose switch won’t impact which party holds power in Washington, there’s one sign that this may not be an isolated example: At least nine congressional House Democrats have announced they are not seeking reelection next year. More are expected to follow.
As for the impact on the state’s political fortunes, Guillen’s switcheroo seems to portend something ominous for a party that contends the changing Texas demography suggests that Democrats are on the rise and Republicans are sinking.
I am not so sure about that. Just yet anyway.
Guillen is a Texas Latino who believes the Democratic Party has taken him for granted along with those who share his ethnicity.
I used to call the Golden Triangle home. The Triangle is in deep Southeast Texas, where Democrats until the early 1990s continued to occupy virtually every county elected office in sight. That began changing about the time I moved from Beaumont to the other corner of the state, in Republican-heavy Amarillo.
Republicans now occupy every statewide office in Texas and a heavy majority of the local offices as well. Dallas County, next door to us in our new home in Collin County, remains a heavily Democratic bastion.
So, if Democrats intend to regain any semblance of influence in Texas, they need to heed the admonition of one of its veteran former legislative representatives: stop taking your core constituency for granted.