DALLAS – Texas Democrats converged on the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas over the weekend touting unity and momentum and boasting about a lineup of candidates ready to do something no Democrat has done since 1994; win a statewide office. They left Dallas without even adopting a platform because they didn't have enough delegates for a quorum Sunday.
According to reports and social media posts from candidates and activists, Democrats are eager to flip the governor's seat and believe they can do that with Robert Francis O'Rourke's momentum – he raised a record $27.6 million in the latest reporting period, $2.7 million more than incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott. Many acknowledge it’s an uphill battle though — one that can only be successful if Texas Republicans cross over to the Democratic side this midterm election.
Following the convention, statewide Democratic candidates posted upbeat messages on social media that lacked substance or strength. Lt. Gov. Candidate Mike Collier touted the same tired lines, "We tamed the west, put a man on the moon, and we are the energy capital of the world. But thanks to Dan Patrick’s corruption, we can’t even keep the lights on.
“Texans froze, Texans died, and still Dan Patrick, put profits over people—this ain’t just corruption, folks. It’s deadly corruption. And it’s time we throw some scoundrels out.
“He had his chance, and he blew it. And when I’m Lt. Governor, I promise you this—I will fix the damn grid.” Collier's comments came at a time when it was over 100 degrees outside across most of Texas and the power was still on, especially in the cavernous Hutchison Center where the A/C hummed without interruption cooling the Democrats meeting place. The Republican led Texas Legislature passed laws to fix the grid, Gov. Abbott signed them, and to date, the grid has held despite Collier's rhetoric.
O'Rourke posted the same attacks against Abbott with literally no new material.
“Think about this: the inability to keep the lights on, or the heat running, or the water flowing when the temperature dropped last February, and hundreds of our fellow Texans died – and he allowed pipeline CEOs and energy traders to make billions of dollars while our fellow Texans were suffering and freezing.
“And then had the audacity to pass the bill on to each and every single one of us with higher utility rates in the form of that Abbott tax that you pay each and every single month.
“Greg Abbott is chaos. He is corruption. He is cruelty. And he is incompetence. But he is not Texas and he is not us."
What was missing from the Texas Democratic Convention was the expected fervent support for a Democrat in the Whitehouse. Biden was hardly mentioned and even challenged by some in attendance.
According to KUT out of Austin, one of the biggest speeches at the convention was given by Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock.
The lawmaker took to the main stage and said the party was “the only thing standing between this country and fascism.”
Talarico then proceeded to slam the National Democratic Party for not spending money in Texas.
“Those national Democrats are comfortable on the coasts and comfortable with the status quo,” Talarico said. “But there's something about living in a red state that makes you scrappy, because Texas Democrats know how to fight.”
Talarico also called on President Joe Biden to protect the freedoms of Americans.
“Be a little less Washington and a little more Texas,” Talarico said. “Meet this moment before it's too late.”
The Texas Democrat Party has indicated a 2022 Democrat Party Platform will be approved and made public in the coming days and the party and its candidates are ready for the November 2022 general elections.