Here is some old commentary on the outcome of the 2008 statewide elections in Texas. I find it interesting because now two of the three elected officials discussed are now contemplating a run for another statewide office. Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright is “strongly considering” a run for the Texas Attorney General. Texas Railroad Commissioner Micheal Williams is one of many declared candidates for Senator Hutchinson’s Senate seat if and when she resigns to focus solely on running for Governor of Texas.
One would think that a “progressive” state like Massachusetts or California would be electing and appointing minorities to statewide office by all of the noise you hear from them about being the “party of diversity.” But actions speak louder than words and Texas, not California or Massachusetts is the only state that currently has three African Americans serving in elected statewide office. The Texas Republican Party is truly the party of diversity in Texas and sets the standard for the rest of the country.
On Tuesday November 4th, 2008 the people of Texas reelected three African-Americans to statewide public office, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright, and Railroad Chairman Michael Williams.
These outstanding public servants were first elected to statewide office in 2002 and gained brief national attention when conservative columnist George F. Will noted their accomplishment. Chief Justice Jefferson has the honor of being the first African-American Supreme Court Justice and then he became the first African American Chief Justice (Jefferson was first appointed to office by Republican Governor Rick Perry in 2001, winning reelection in 2002 and 2008).
Justice Dale Wainwright has the honor of being the first African American Justice to be elected to the Supreme Court with out being appointed first. He was first elected in 2002 and he was reelected in 2008. Currently Justice Wainwright is “strongly considering” a run for the Texas Attorney General when the current AG gives up his seat to run for higher office.
Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams was the first African American in Texas history to hold an executive statewide elected office, first elected to the Railroad Commission in 2000 and reelected in 2002 and 2008.
How did the Texas Democratic Party respond to these gentlemen’s historic election in 2002? They ran three White Anglo Saxons against them in 2008, how is that for being progressive? The Texas Democratic Party even went so far as to recruit a candidate with no judicial experience to run against Wainwright solely on his last name, “Houston.” Very “progressive” indeed.
The depressing thing is that Mr. Houston received a respectable amount of votes based solely on his last name, which could of cost Wainwright the election in a closer race. More on this later.
One last note for you skeptics out there, for about 122 years, from the reconstruction through 1994 when Democrats controlled Texas they elected only four minorities to statewide office. Since 1994 when the Republicans gained control they have elected eight minorities to statewide office.
Full Disclosure, I was the Field Director for Justice Wainwright’s successful 2008 reelection campaign.
For more information visit
Justice Wainwright- http://www.reelectdalewainwright.com
Commissioner Williams- http://www.williamsfortexas.com
Chief Justice Jefferson- http://wallacejefferson.com/about