| Burnt Orange Report cannot advocate a vote for Joe Pickett owing to his repeated failures to uphold basic Democratic principles. Challenger Chuck Peartree also does not merit our support.
Here at BOR we are loathe to offer "no endorsement," but in the case of Joe Pickett we feel we have no alternative. Pickett was particularly unhelpful to core Democratic causes in the last session, and as such does not earn our support.
As chair of the Public Safety committee, Pickett had the procedural ability to prevent the "guns on campus" legislation from coming to a vote and proceeding to the floor. Rather than hold the bill in committee, he let it up for a vote, then voted against it. Opposing guns in college campus buildings is a plank of the Democratic party, public safety organizations are against the bill, and it's basic common sense that we should avoid mixing guns with sleep-deprived, stressed-out, often-intoxicated youth.
But wait, there's more, and it's arguably worse!
Pickett also voted FOR HB-2, the draconian back-door abortion ban that riled Texans and progressives nationwide during the special sessions this summer. If Joe Pickett is willing to stand with those who seek to punish poor, rural, and disadvantaged women as opposed to standing up for the rights of the women in his district, then we cannot encourage anyone to vote for him.
Unfortunately we can find little information on Pickett's challenger, Chuck Peartree, and cannot advocate a vote for him either.
Voters in HD-79, a Democratic district, deserve a representative who will stand by core principles and platform planks of our party. We see no reason to endorse a vote for Pickett if he is going to use his seat in the Legislature to allow guns into college classrooms while sending Texas women to back alleys.
Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
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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 with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.