| Adan Ballesteros is the only real Democrat in the runoff, and is our only chance to hold this seat come November. We endorse him in the runoff for Travis County Constable Precinct 2.
Ballesteros is not without his flaws, but opponent Michael Cargill is so totally, wholly unacceptable that we cannot sit by and let voters accidentally vote for a DINO gun nut here in Travis County.
Make no mistake: Michael Cargill is one of the most unacceptable people to seek nomination on the Democratic ballot in Travis County in a long time. He lobbied on behalf of the NRA in favor of the Guns on Campus bill in the last legislative session. He supports repealing Federal Gun Free School Zones and the Brady Bill, which provides background checks for gun purchases. His entire campaign has at times seemed like a promotional stunt for his concealed handgun licensing business (and no, a solar-powered electric sign outside of your business does not you a Democrat make). Cargill admitted he voted in the 2010 Republican primary for Debra Medina, when many good Democrats in Travis County were running on our primary ballot.
In light of last week's tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Cargill's active support for repealing basic gun control laws is all the more troubling. We do not need peace officers who simply want to arm the citizenry and let everyone shoot it out. Cargill's statements on concealed handguns in college classrooms echo the justifications Republicans are now using in light of the Aurora tragedy -- namely, that if everyone had a gun, we could all just "shoot back." That's a bad policy in a crowded movie theater in the dark, and in a college classroom as innocent people try to flee for their lives. How much collateral damage is Michael Cargill willing to risk so that every gun nut can purchase the automatic weapon of their choice?
Cargill likely only qualified for the run-off thanks to significant outside spending by a Ron Paul-aligned SuperPAC, which flooded the district with misspelled, ugly mailers about Ballesteros in the week leading up to the May 29 primary. Michael Cargill has no business holding elected office as a Democrat, especially not in Travis County, where our constables are often shining examples of progressive law enforcement practices.
It is rumored that Cargill is only running at the behest of Republican JP Glenn Bass, owing to partisan rancor between Bass and Ballesteros. The feud seemingly stems from Ballesteros' work during Travis County redistricting to draw districts that will help us elect Democrats to every JP and Constable district in the county -- and unelect Glenn Bass. Ballesteros walks the walk and works to elect Democrats in northwest Travis County. And last we checked, he never lobbied for policies that make your children more likely to get shot.
Democrats cannot in good conscience vote for Cargill, a candidate for a peace officer position that espouses views on gun control that put him to the right of many moderate Republicans, and would actually make us less safe.
Burnt Orange Report endorses Adan Ballesteros in the Travis County Constable Precinct 2 runoff.
Early Voting in the primary run-off is Monday July 23 through Friday July 27. Election Day is Tuesday, July 31.
Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff employed by campaigns abstain from voting on those races.