The prospects for a Democratic candidate seriously challenging the Republican incumbent for governor in 2018 are dismal here in the Lone Star State. From PBS Newshour:
“Democratic leaders haven’t yet lined up a substantial name to represent the party and its message despite months of trying. Any continued faith in a Democratic turnaround in Texas is now colliding with pessimism that it will happen anytime soon.”
Gov. Abbott has $41 million in his re-election fund already, and he has no significant Republican challengers, which makes his July re-election campaign launch focus all the more worrying. From a July AP report run in U.S. News:
“Abbott formally announced his run for re-election Friday and is reviving anti-abortion measures, school finance reforms and a ‘bathroom bill’ targeting transgender people in a special legislative session that begins Tuesday.”
Moderate Republicans in the Texas House helped defeat the 2017 attempts at passing the “bathroom bill,” given pressure from business and testimony from Texans who would face discrimination should the bill have passed. But Gov. Abbott hasn’t given up on the idea. And he’s recently proven his opposition to reproductive rights, signing two bills in the special legislative session that hinder access to abortion in the state.
According to Houston Public Media (again, back in July), “The state Democratic Party says it’s talking to several possible candidates, and, ‘an announcement will come at the appropriate time.'” We’re waiting.