One of the reprehensible tactics used by the Texas Republican Party as they clawed their way from somnambulant minority party status to a majority by 2002 was having people run in the Democratic Party primary.
In the 70’s and 80’s, that basically meant you would win in the general election because of the Democratic dominance of the state at the time if you won your contested Democratic Party primary race.
That GOP ringer person would after capturing the nomination, either wait until after they had won the November general election, then switch parties and declare they were ‘now a Republican’ after using Democratic Party resources and funds to get the office, or after winning the Democratic nomination, wait until it was too late to take their name off the ballot or for the Texas Democratic Party to replace them to cite some reason to withdraw from the race, allowing the Republican candidate in that race to basically run unopposed.
When I sawthis FB message from James Patrick Presley announcing that he was ending his campaign for the Pearland area HD 29 seat south of Houston, it not only sent deja vu vibes of back in the day Republican meddling in our Democratic primaries, but pissed me off on multiple levels.
Friends, Family, Voters, and fellow Candidates,
With my deepest apologies, I regret to inform you that I will no longer be pursuing the position of State Representative, HD 29, as it is no longer within my best interests. I have made this decision within the last two weeks. I am not being threatened or coerced to do this. I know this will come as a shock to many, and that many will be upset with this decision, but please allow me to explain:
When I decided to run for this office, I had the complete belief and motivation that if I gained the full support of the Democratic Party in this area, I could win this office with moderate stances and a voice of reason/unity. Freshly coming from the Libertarian Party, and even after winning my primary, this is not what has happened. I have been talked about behind my back, lied about, misrepresented, misunderstood, and unsupported. I have tried to explain multiple times that my former beliefs from my time in the LP were no longer my beliefs, as they quickly changed the more I researched specific areas of psychology pertaining to political viewpoints. My current political standings label me as a centrist, moderate, independent, and left-of-center. None of this mattered in the mind of the Democratic Party. As a Republican friend of mine told me, “When you won your primary, we were worried. When we saw how the Democrats reacted, we were relieved.”
I no longer feel the need to explain myself. I no longer feel the desire to talk about moderate viewpoints to a group who only wishes to hear progressive stances. I will no longer feel the stress of having to spend my own money against a $500,000 tank. I simply do not have the influence and support within my own party to win this race. I would rather spend my time, money, and resources on myself, my education, my friends, my family, and possibly some wonderful candidates we have within the Democratic Party. I am particularly excited about Beto, Mike Collier, Kim Olson, Sri Kulkarni, Eliz Markowitz, FJ Jones, and Robin Burgess. (This is not a complete list of who I will vote for, but Criminal Justice Reform (Judge Reform) and Education Reform are my top priorities).
I would like to specifically apologize to Dylan Forbis for taking this opportunity away from you. You have been nothing but helpful and kind to me this entire time. I messaged Dylan one day with absolute excitement and motivation that I could raise $100,000. He told me I was being too ambitious. I didn’t believe him, but he was correct. I still believe need YOUNG REPRESENTATION in our government. I hope the next candidate the Democratic Party chooses is young (Below 40), influential, and a community leader. Preferably a veteran and a business owner.
From here I will continue to go to school on my GI Bill. I hope to go to Physical Therapy school in the next couple years. I need a high GPA, and I may be required to move to find a school that is right for me. This is another reason it is not best for me to pursue this office. I will continue to preach Criminal Justice Reform and Education reform.
However, I will not be pursing any type of office in the near future. I do hope to sit down with Ed Thompson to discuss my concerns within the state of Texas. Hopefully we can come to agreements. He has been very kind to me and already told me he would vote to repeal section 22.06 of the penal code (Deemed unconstitutional: Outlawing Homosexuality). This would be progress, but understand that this is not a reason I am not pursuing this position. We need Criminal Justice Reform, Education Reform, Father’s Rights, and Healthcare Reform.
I wish to not be harassed. If you feel a certain way about this decision, you are free to discuss it. Do not tag me, do not message me, and if you so choose, delete me from social media. However, I hope that we can understand and remain friends/acquaintances.
Yeah Patrick. I do wish to discuss it.
Presley beat Dylan Forbis back in March to get the nomination, and this situation has the unpleasant stench of Presley being a ringer for several reasons.
Presley was a Libertarian, I’m highly skeptical until they have spent at least five years in the Democratic Party that your change of party affiliation is genuine.
Because we have been burned by GOP fake Dem ringers in the past. I and other Texas Democrats are justifiably skeptical of people from the right who join the party until we feel comfortable that your claim of seeing the political light is genuine and you have paid your dues in this party.
Just donating money to the Kentucky Republican Party combined with his conservative stances was enough to sink Andrew White’s bid to get the Democratic nomination for Texas governor
If Presley wasn’t sure he was committed to campaigning all the way until November, he should have never jumped into the race in the first place.
Another thing that is pissing me off about this late drop out and fueling my suspicion that he was a ringer is that under the Texas Election code, a political party may replace its candidate after a withdrawal if that candidate:
*Falls “critically ill” and would not be able to execute his or her duties if elected
*If no other party has a nominee for the position that is being contested,
*If the candidate withdraws because he or she was elected or appointed to another office.
Since Presley’s withdrawal from the HD 29 race doesn’t fall under any of thoseparameters, it looks like for the second time since 2014, unless Democratic Party attorneys find a way out of this mess, Ed Thompson is going to go unopposed in a general election for his HD 29 seat.
That’s disappointing and disrespectful to the 4056 Democratic residents of the district who voted for you over Dylan Forbis to be the Democratic nominee to take on Thompson.
As you acknowledged in your comment, you not only took away an opportunity for Dylan to possibly serve HD 29 as its elected state rep, more importantly, you took away a historic opportunity for the Texas trans community, a community demonized in the last session by Potty Dan Patrick and Locker Room Lois Kolkhorst, to possibly place for the first time ever a trans representative in the Texas Lege.
So yeah, that reason more than anything else besides wanting to see more Democrats in the Texas legislature in the 2019 session is why I’m definitely pissed about what you have done.