Their just isn't a whole lot of room for offense left in North Texas. A “defense wins championships” mentality is one that Democrats in Dallas and Tarrant counties are adopting in the hopes we can retain what we've picked up the last two election cycles, which would be our best contribution that we can make toward our ultimate goal of winning back the Texas House in 2010. However, when you look at the remaining House District seats left that are currently held by Republicans in this region, House District 105, based mostly in Irving, offers the most obvious potential for Democrats to go on offense heading into 2010.
In 2008 Democrat Bob Romano fell 19 votes shy of defeating Republican Linda Harper-Brown, in a race that, because of the razor thin margin of votes, went through a recount and lawsuit. The eight term Republican went on to be declared the winner of this majority-minority seat. Democrats smell blood in the water on this one and have at least one strong, credible candidate in Loretta Haldenwang fielded. Republicans apparently smell the same blood too, because rumors have floated that Harper-Brown may have to fend off a primary challenge from a far-right extremist Irving City Council member in order to make it to the 2010 general election.
Although Haldenwang is not the lone Democrat in this race, she clearly offers our Party the best shot at winning this seat. She has served as a district director and legislative aide to Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio and is currently the External Affairs Director for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. On her June 30th financial report Haldenwang reported having raised a little over $61,000 with $52,000 cash on hand. Her largest contributor, and biggest source of support thus far, comes from Annie's List. The presumptive Republican, Harper-Brown, raised barely $2,000 with cash on hand of almost $90,000—the bulk of which is made up of loans.
In a gubernatorial election year, any legislative campaign is going to have to rely heavily on voter identification, communication, and turnout. You'll win it in the field talking about the issues of the day. Local or statewide issues register more with voters in off election cycles, but you have to have the money to communicate and to execute a solid field strategy. Loretta Haldenwang appears to be on the right path toward meeting those expectations.
Although Democrats will be playing a lot of defense in 2010 here in North Texas , House District 105 clearly allows us to play just enough offense that could very well tilt the balance of power in the state house to favor Democrats.