State Representative Craig Eiland is in a tough race for reelection after redistricting moved his seat closer to the “toss up” category. He faces Wayne Faircloth a Dickinson Republican with some experience in local elected government. Eiland's campaign is relying on his 18 year record of crossing party lines on behalf of his Gulf Coast district. He has served as Speaker Pro-tem under the current Republican Speaker and currently sits on the Appropriations and Insurance Committee (Vice-Chair). Having such leadership roles in the legislature can bring some under-appreciated benefits to constituents of those members, but in Eiland's case Vice-Chairing the Insurance Committee means making sure Galveston and Chambers Counties get the attention they deserve from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) as Tier 1 hurricane-prone coastal counties.
His Campaign Manager said they are targeting Democrats but also Independents and moderate Republicans. They have crossed paths with the similarly moderate Nick Lampson campaign for Congress but federal election laws prevent them from coordinating too closely. Both campaigns are focusing heavily on how they have worked to bring the Partys together in the past. Lampson first TV ad begins, “We can get so much more done when we work together”, Craig Eiland's campaign theme is, “Its not about Party, its about leadership.” This message must be resinating judging by the response from the national Partys in Lampson's race (Eiland's 23rd House Districts in encompassed in 14th Congressional).
Eiland's campaign says most people in the community are familiar with his work after Hurricane Ike hit the area hard. Eiland's not the only one who crosses party lines, when disaster strikes a community it doesn't choose victims by political persuasion. In 2009, Eiland fought for what was ultimately $1.2 billion ($460 from the state) in relief in the midst of a Republican budget cutting frenzy. That frenzy shows no end in sight and its why we need thoughtful leadership in the legislature. We need more members in the House who will stand up when its hard and not cop-out to a pledge – especially when that pledge is to someone other than their own constituents.