Mystery Houston-Area Democrat Starts Building Statewide Team

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Late last night, the following job listing appeared on Texas Blue Pages, a website designed to “connect professionals in the fields of progressive politics and advocacy to career opportunities and resources.”

Democrat seeks a fundraising assistant/scheduler/travel aide for statewide exploratory effort. Based in Houston area. Pay based on experience. Must have reliable transportation. Full-time job starts Aug. 15. Email resume and cover letter to No phone calls.

Christine's List is also a website designed to place professionals in careers of public policy as it relates to politics, communications, non-profits, and more and is not specifically limited by any political ideology. Christine's List is a professional site to go to for finding a job on campaigns, not far away from the existing establishment sources such as the state party, Annie's List, and unions where a staffer could have been quietly recruited and transferred rather than publicly recruited. Further, this persons is hiring a regional fundraiser, which implies they understand how a campaign should be structured, implying that they are likely a professional and will be taking this campaign seriously.

The one other clue we have is that the job is Houston based. Because this is a statewide offer, this may be a head fake or the offer may be for this person to work in a satellite office. However, because it is this early, and there are no other known regional fundraisers being hired, it is likely this is a Houston based candidate who is looking to hire in their main office.

So, who is it? Click below the jump to take a look at some brief profiles of potential Houston based candidates.Who could it be?

Sen. Rodney Ellis: Sen. Ellis was first elected to the Texas Senate in 1990 and has been building an impressive cash hoard; he currently has over $2 million in the bank. Sen. Ellis has racked up a solid, progressive record; this included working to block the campus carry legislation during this past regular session. He also started and has maintained the Texas Legislative Internship Program in the state capitol. Charles Kuffner brought up the idea of a statewide bid by Sen. Ellis earlier this year.

2010 Gubernatorial Nominee Bill White: Houston Mayor White ran a competent campaign for governor in 2010. He outperformed other democrats on the statewide ticket by about seven percent, showing he better understood the mechanics of running a campaign. His campaign also showed that him to be an aggressive fundraiser. If Mayor White is considering another bid for office, he is definitely worth considering.

2008 Senate Candidate Rick Noriega: Former Representative Noriega ran against Sen. John Cornyn in 2008 and put up a pretty good fight, even though he was badly out raised. He has not been involved in elected politics much since 2008, but that may be because he is not the politician in his family right now.

Councilwoman Melissa Noriega: Councilwoman Noriega served in the Texas legislature in place of her husband when he had to serve a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She was later elected to serve on Houston City Council and is not seeking re-election this fall due to term limits. There are two regional Houston City Council Members who are also term limited, but are unlikely to consider statewide bids.

Fmr. Rep. Scott Hochberg: 2011's redistricting, at times, left it unclear if Rep. Hochberg's district would still be intact. After all the court cases, a Democratic district remained, but Rep. Hochberg opted not to seek re-election. He built up a reputation during his time in the state legislature as the single most qualified person to speak on school finance issues. Perhaps Rep. Hochberg may be looking at a bid for Comptroller.

2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Bell: Why not? The former councilman and congressman has been a great team player, whether it was his lawsuit against Tom DeLay or when he ran for the Texas Senate in the 2008 special election, where he likely would have been elected to serve had a Republican not filed to run as a Democrat and split the Party's vote in the jungle special election.

Of course, it could be none of these candidates. It could be an unknown who is ready to break in to politics, or a super lawyer, or a professional athlete. The last option, as previously stated, is Houston could just be a regional office for someone from elsewhere in the state, such as Wendy Davis or Joaquin Castro. Either way, it appears that all will be revealed in the middle of August. Stay tuned.


About Author

Joseph Vogas

Joseph was raised in Friendswood, Texas in North Galveston County. He went on to graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After working for multiple campaigns, Joseph was able to work in the 83rd legislature in Austin in 2013. While retired from professional campaign work, Joseph enjoys sharing his knowledge of campaign data how to win elections in naturally unfriendly turf with others. Joseph is an avid archer and enjoys all things geek including Star Wars and DC Comics.

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