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Texas Democrats Remain Silent About Who Will Lead Their 2018 Ticket

U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro
Ryan Poppe
Texas Public Radio
U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro

The start of the 2018 election cycle is just around the corner and Democrats remain silent on who will be at the top of their ticket.  Political experts believe the party may now be frantic to find a candidate for the job.

Although there have been a number of names floated out as possible candidates in the 2018 gubernatorial election, none have been confirmed.  One of those the Texas Democratic Party has sought out to run is San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro.

In late August, Castro said he’s always been running a campaign against Greg Abbott but then told reporters during a press conference at the state capitol that he actually will be seeking re-election to Congress.

“I’m going to run for re-election but if I change my mind I’ll reach out," Castro said.

The State Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa says he could not comment on every potential candidate they’ve approached but remained optimistic in the party’s chances of defeating Abbott in 2018.

“We will have a formable candidate to run against Greg Abbott and we believe he is vulnerable," Hinojosa said.  

Prof. Mark Jones with Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy has a different take on why no one from the Democratic Party has announced their candidacy.

“There’s a real deficit of Democratic candidates who want to be a sacrificial lamb in 2018.  Right now Gov. Abbott is the most popular politician in Texas, he has $50-million in the bank and the ability to raise much more," Jones explained.

Jones says if Castro were to run, he’d be giving up a safe seat as an influential member of Congress for an almost certain defeat and possibly a defeat that could end his overall political career.

“Much as it has Wendy Davis, today she is effectively persona non grata," Jones said.

Jones says in order to just compete with Abbott’s campaign fundraising efforts, a Democratic candidate would’ve had to start campaigning in January of this year.  

The filing deadline for the 2018 election is Dec. 11.

Copyright 2020 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.