| First, congratulations to Democrat Dan Barrett. He had the right message that resonated well with voters throughout House District 97. Some wondered if Dan would even make the runoff, others thought if he did that he would come in second place. Those of us who were on the ground and working hard for Dan knew otherwise and let me tell you why.
Reason one: The campaign had a great message that resonated well with voters. The fact of the matter is yesterday's election results were an indictment of Tom Craddick and his leadership of the statehouse in Austin. Voters are tired of status quo politics, cronyism, and corruption, while neglecting the real needs of Texans. When we were block walking throughout this campaign folks listened intently to Dan's message of reigning in big utility companies, anti-eminent domain specifically related to the Trans-Texas Corridor, and restoration of children to S-CHIPS. Only one candidate could deliver a message of change centered on the issues above and that was Dan Barrett. This element must remain to be successful in the special election with Mark Shelton.
|Reason two: Dan Barrett is a great messenger. He is very charismatic, handsome, articulate, and thinks well on his feet. In the many forums throughout this race Dan surprised everyone by the spontaneous applause and attention he would receive from voters on his answers. They were beyond sound bytes that his opponents were delivering; they were thoughtful solutions to critical problems facing all of Texas, not just HD 97. This element will remain in the special election with Mark Shelton and serves as a huge advantage to Barrett.
Reason three: Adequate fundraising. Dan Barrett raised enough money to remain competitive throughout the entire race. He may not have been the top fundraiser, but despite the odds many folks said were against him, he still brought in a good chunk of change. Yes, his opponents split their money six ways, but the top fundraiser was Craig Goldman, who finished fourth. What did all that big money and big endorsements do for him? It showed him to be another status quo, bought, establishment candidate. Money isn't everything; you just need enough to make the wheels on the campaign bus go round and round until election night. This element must ratchet up a tick or two, so those folks who promised money if Dan makes the runoff it's time to cash in.
Reason four: A serviceable political machine. One reason that Republicans often beat Democrats is because they have perfected the art of building a political machine that often dominates their opponent. Dan's campaign was able to rely on resources throughout Tarrant County, and some folks outside of the county, to do the grunt work on the ground. This element now has to broaden beyond Tarrant County to encompass all of North Texas. Dallas, Denton, Collin, Johnson, Ellis, Wise, Parker, and all other surrounding county party's should commit to volunteers every weekend up until the end of the election. Most of the political clubs in Tarrant County did a great job of helping to fundraise and supply volunteers to Dan's political machine. It's not a lot to ask when firing a loud and clear message across the bow of Craddick's sinking ship for all resources to descend on this race. Tarrant County, like many others across the state, is changing politically. The message we can send by picking up this seat would be very loud.
Barrett has a great deal of momentum working in his favor having beat the odds. His message resonated well with voters in 97 and they get to hear more of it as we move forward. Consider doing what you can to help deliver change by dropping some money into his register.