| As Kirk Watson said today, "we're not done yet."
Senate District 17 still needs our help; the Texas Senate needs one more Democrat. Kyle Janek vacated his seat before his term expired to anoint Republican Austen Furse. Because of Republican infighting, Furse lost and only received 10% of the vote. The winner on the Republican side was uber-conservative Joan Huffman, who squeaked in to a runoff with only 26.13% of the vote.
Democrats should have won this race on November 4, but
Craddick D's Ron Wilson and Al Edwards meddled in SD-17 and endorsed and supported the stalking horse candidate.
Simmons did what she was supposed to do: she forced a runoff. Simmons received 13.8% of the total vote in the high turnout election, and pushed it to a low turnout runoff. To add insult to injury, if you combine this percentage with Chris Bell's numbers, the Democratic Party received 52.2% of the total vote.
Because Edwards and Wilson decided to support the TLR candidate and force a runoff, taxpayers will be required to spend more money on another election during an economic downturn. On the other hand, Democrats need to step and help Congressman Bell overcome these political games by donating today.
Democrats can be cautiously optimistic going into the run-off. Bell was the top vote getter in every county except Brazoria. In Brazoria, the Republican runoff candidate Joan Huffman won with only 2,101 votes. On the other hand, Bell was the top getter in Democrat friendly Jefferson County with 6,335 votes (which is 3,433 more than Stephanie Simmons received).
The other high note is Bell's resounding victory in Harris County. Bell won 37.6% of the vote in Harris and the Democratic Party received 52.8% of the vote. Harris County also represents 36.4% of the total vote.
While the numbers favor Bell, the district is drawn to be Republican. While Democrats have done well in special elections recently, they are harder to win and money and a good ground game mean more.
Chris Bell can win, but what Dan Barrett and Donna Howard have proven is it takes statewide focus for us to win in a special election.
Kirk Watson wrote today:
Many of you have already given generously of your time and resources during this election cycle, and I wouldn't be asking you again if the stakes for Democrats weren't so high.
With the election of Wendy Davis on November 4th, Democrats will hold 12 of 31 seats in the State Senate. With Chris as our lucky number 13, Senate Democrats will be able to make a real difference for Texas families by fighting for high-quality public schools, affordable utility rates, and accessible health insurance.
Having 12 Democrats in the Senate makes a difference. Having 13 means more. 13 can be our lucky number in the Senate. Having Chris Bell and Wendy Davis in the Senate requires a bipartisan approach to legislating.
Texans for Lawsuit Reform gave Simmons $201,745 just to force a runoff. Ron Wilson gave her another $30,000 and loaned her $7,000 more.
This has to be a people powered campaign. Help Chris today by donating your time or money.