We were a little nervous as the filing deadline approached and the only announced Democratic candidate was former Henderson County Justice of the Peace Bill Burton. While Republican incumbent Jerry Patterson is one of the only tolerable, albeit eccentric, Republicans in elected statewide office, voters deserved a legitimate choice on the November ballot. Luckily, voters will have a real choice, one that is a vast improvement over Burton as well as the 2006 Democratic nominee VaLinda Hathcox.
We endorse and encourage Democrats to support Hector Uribe for Texas Land Commissioner.
While Uribe has had a light hearted entry into the race, befitting of the banter often expressed by Patterson, there are serious points of contention with which we side with Uribe on. Commissioner Patterson's General Land Office has repeatedly attempted to sell Texas' public lands to private interests, something which Uribe opposes.
Patterson's insistence on selling the 9,269-acre tract follows other controversial attempts by the state to sell public land to private interests. Last year the General Land Office presided over the proposed sale of 400 acres at Eagle Mountain Lake in Fort Worth, and in 2005 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department tried to sell 46,300 acres at Big Bend Ranch State Park to a wealthy developer.
Patterson's relentlessly pro-gun-in-every-situation-possible views give us pause, as does his expression of pro-Confederate ideals.
Hector Uribe promises to run a real campaign, something his primary opponent Bill Burton can't hope to do. And given the added importance of the office of the Land Commissioner (it is one of the 5 seats on the Legislative Redistricting Board) we believe Democrats will be best served by nominating, and then hopefully electing Hector Uribe as the next Land Commissioner of Texas.