In the days since Jack McDonald announced that he would not be running for the 10th Congressional District, speculation grew that foreign policy consultant and former candidate for the district Dan Grant would enter the race.
Grant–an Austin native–was widely viewed as one of the strongest contenders to make a late entry: he still has solid support from his previous campaign, and is extensively well-regarded by local activists. He has extensive foreign policy experience from his civil service work in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Today, Grant released a statement making clear that he would not be entering the race. From his press release:
“Like others, my wife and I were surprised by our friend Jack McDonald's announcement this week that he will not run for Congress after all, and I am deeply grateful for the strong encouragement I have received in the past two days to get into the race.
Because time is short, I have visited quickly with friends, Democratic Party officials, and community leaders in the district. After giving the decision due consideration, I am today announcing that I will not be a candidate for this or any other office during the current election cycle.
As many of you know, my wife and I are expecting our first child in less than a month. In other words, the standard excuse that I want to spend more time with my family is, by a happy coincidence, actually true in this case.
Moreover, my work training civilian workers and soldiers for the international mission in Afghanistan will continue to require my professional focus for the foreseeable future.
Again, my wife and I appreciate the many expressions of support we have received in the past two days. We look forward to helping Democratic candidates in this race and up and down the ballot get their positive message out in the months ahead.”
Dan Grant remains a great candidate for this district, as he was in 2008. A loyal, committed Democrat, Grant has remained highly active within the party since his unfortunate loss in the 2008 primary. He continues to participate extensively in our local grassroots organizations, and has been involved in fundraising efforts for Democratic candidates.
Grant has also expanded his work on foreign policy issues by joining up with Operation Free, an organization that focuses on clean energy from a national security perspective. In an ironic bit of timing, the Austin Chronicle ran an article this week in which Grant evaluates President Obama's Afghanistan strategy.
Grant's decision not to enter the race at this late stage in the game is completely respectable. With less than two weeks in the filing period, it will be challenging for anyone to assemble a team capable of challenging McCaul. However, I sincerely hope that Grant continues to consider the race in the future. He would be a strong voice for the people of the 10th District.
Meanwhile, best wishes to Dan and his wife as they await the arrival of their first child.