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Thinking Of Running For Office? Run For The State Legislature
#NoRepublicanUnopposed: Overcoming losses, energizing activism, and shifting the narrative.
Despite the reoccurring losses and bad narratives, Texas is still a battleground state. Our losses in the last several elections have hurt morale. We all know it. Our outlook isn’t as bleak as some political news outlets in New York would put it.
People following Texas politics for a long time, especially within the Texas Lege, noticed something during the legislative session this year that we’ve never seen before. In every single committee hearing, liberals, progressives, and Democrats were showing up. Not the state party but other activists and non-profit organizations. We showed up in numbers, especially on the culture war issues, that overshadowed the paid Republican activists. For example, on the DEI ban, hundreds of people against the bill showed up to testify against it, while only six Republicans testified for it. We outnumbered them on every bill.
What that tells us is we outnumber them. But, as we know, 9.5 million people didn’t vote in the last election. If we show up to the polls in numbers high enough, we can take back our state.
While some consultants and data people say that Texas will flip in 2030, if not beforehand, I think we can still have a considerable impact in the Texas legislature, even with Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick in office.
Winning the Texas House would kill Abbott’s far-right agenda and crush Dan Patrick’s authoritarian dreams.
Think about this, over the last decade, the Republican majority has shrunk, YET during that time, they racially gerrymandered the shit out of our electorate maps. Why is that?
Republicans have had two opportunities to draw the maps in their favor, AFTER Shelby vs. Holder, and their majority shrunk.
We’ve seen these graphs before, but I’m sharing them again.
In 2022, Anglo people only made up 38% of the population, but they made up 62% of the vote.
Furthermore, Beto won the Black, Latino, and Asian votes. In a state where Anglos are a minority, but since it was mostly only white people that voted, Abbott won.
We lost because 9.5 million people didn’t vote. We aren’t going to delve into that now, but if we show up, we win.
So, we need people to run for the State House (the Senate, too, but the House is more pressing). We can win the House, even if we don’t flip it in 2024. We will beat them and win the House by 2030 based on the sheer demographic changes. But it will never happen if we don’t show up.
How do we get voters to show up? We have candidates for them to vote for.
Why not run for Congress?
Sure, we need people in Congress, but most Congresspeople and Senators have previous experience as elected officials. Not to say that Joe Blow mechanic can’t just decide to run for office and win. Sure, this is America; anything could happen. But not only does running for the State legislature give you a stepping stone, you can make a more meaningful impact.
State legislators directly influence policies that affect their constituents at the local level. Your decisions could have a more immediate and tangible impact on your community, addressing issues directly relevant to the people you represent. All of the terrible, awful things that Republicans have been doing over the last several years have come from the state legislature.
Abortion bans, guns for everyone, attacks on the LGBTQ community, attacks on immigrants, and attacks on communities of color have all come from the State Legislature. We need good solid Democrats in Austin fighting against them.
And while our current slate of Democrats is fantastic and has managed to block some viscous and harmful legislation, they’re still outnumbered and need help.
State office will allow you to build a grassroots movement and push the state further blue.
Serving in the state legislature allows you to build strong grassroots connections and mobilize local support for important initiatives, leading to meaningful change. This strengthens your local Democratic parties, gets more people involved in the political process, and gives you more opportunities for direct interaction with constituents. You can engage in town halls, community events, and local meetings, fostering a deeper understanding of your constituents’ needs.
The thing about Texas Democrats is: what came first, the chicken or the egg?
Someone has to get out there and build momentum because momentum builds more momentum, and it’s an ever-growing tumbling weed that catches every blade of grass as it rolls by. In the last election, 46 House Republicans ran opposed. Yeah, 46.
This election, I will be pushing #NoRepublicanUnopposed, and I will urge grassroots groups and Democratic Parties to adopt the same. There are 30 million people in the Lone Star State, and we couldn’t find just 46 more Democrats?
Running for office isn’t for me. How can I help get those seats filled?
You can contribute to grassroots efforts, support local Democratic parties, and encourage individuals within your network who share your values to consider running for the State Legislature. You can assist with campaign organization, fundraising, voter outreach, and awareness-building for Democratic candidates.
There are a million ways you can get involved. I’ll share new ways or groups as I learn them leading up to the election.
House Republicans ran unopposed in the previous election, underscoring the need for Democratic candidates to step up. Even if it’s not something you can do, encouraging more individuals to run for the State Legislature can help ensure there are Democratic contenders in every race, countering the dominance of Republicans.
But what if we lose?
So fucking what. When Beto ran the third time, he probably thought, “What if I lose,” but he did it anyway because he knew what Texas needed and wanted to be part of the greater good. A solid Democratic presence in traditionally Republican-held districts sends a powerful message. It signals that there is opposition, that values are shifting, and that change is possible.
A loss doesn't mean the end of the road. In fact, it can be a stepping stone to future success. Regardless of the outcome, every campaign contributes to the broader momentum of the party and progressive causes. Sometimes, running in a district that may not yet be fully ready to flip can lay the groundwork for future victories. And by running, you encourage more people to get involved and consider taking on leadership roles. This growth of engaged individuals can lead to stronger grassroots movements and broader community involvement.
Ultimately, running for the state legislature is more than winning a single election. It's about contributing to a broader movement, changing the conversation, and pushing for change at the local level. The process can be transformative, and your efforts can leave a lasting imprint on your community and the political landscape. So, even if victory isn't immediate, your impact can have a ripple effect that leads to future successes.
Are you considering stepping up, or do you know someone who should?
Right now, here are all the open seats.
If you want to get more involved, reach out to the groups in your county, there’s always a way you can help.