Democrats really don’t want authentic conservatives in office. In fact, they wanted to stop conservatives from winning so badly that the party leadership in one county has actively plotted to promote crossover voting in the Republican primary.
Democrats in Hood County have only one locally competitive race on the ballot this cycle – the Hood County Democrat Party Chairmanship.
Two days before the filing deadline, sensing his party’s lack of competitiveness and influence locally, current HCDP Chairman Robert Vick asked his challenger Norman Fott to withdraw from the race in order to free up Democrats to vote in the Republican Primary.
“Normally we don’t have any contested local races so Democrats feel free to cross-over and vote republican. With a contested race they will feel obligated to vote Democrat. That will deprive moderate candidates hundreds of votes. [sic]”
Vick even went so far as to attach a Certificate of Withdrawal to his email to Fott, reminding him that the party expects “300 to 600 Democrats to vote republican” in a presidential primary:
“And just like you [Fott] in 2012, they crossed over because they care about the local races and they want to have some input into who governs them… Several hundred votes could make a big difference in the republican primary…[sic] I’m just letting you know that I will not put in an effort. Keeping [Matt] Mills, [Jean] Cochran and [Mike] Lang out is fare more important than putting Robert in! If, however, you agree that having moderates in office is far better that having tea party extremist running our lives, perhaps you will consider withdrawing. [sic]”
Mills and Cochran are running for County Attorney and County Commissioner Pct. 1, respectively. Mike Lang is running for state representative in House District 60 – an open seat formerly held by Jim Keffer, one of Speaker Joe Straus’ most loyal cronies. Lang’s establishment-backed opponent Kevin Downing is closely associated with Keffer and would have benefited by Democrat crossover vote.
Ultimately, Vick’s plea to his challenger fell on deaf ears. He and Fott will face off for the HCDP Chairmanship on March 1st. How it will affect crossover vote in the Hood County is yet to be seen.
One thing is for certain though: Democrats would much rather have Kevin Downing in office than Mike Lang. That non-endorsement should make the choice for Republican primary voters all the more clear.