In 2004, when I challenged Tom Delay at the height of his power, it was seen as a fool’s errand. The Majority Leader of the House was considered unassailable.
I and my campaign team assailed him nonetheless, because it was a job that needed doing. When we held him to 55%, it was clear that Fortress Delay had more than a few cracks.
In 2008, we have another job that needs doing. Time to replace John Cornyn in the Senate. And Cornyn’s numbers show him to be vulnerable to a strong, people-powered candidate from the Democratic side.
Is there such a candidate? I believe there is. I’m asking you to help me draft him into the service of his state and his country once again.
Who is this people powered candidate? He is a veteran. He completed his undergraduate education with the help of an ROTC scholarship and was commissioned in the United States Army. His Army career includes airborne school and service as commander in the infantry. Now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard, he served most recently as deputy garrison commander of the KMTC training facility in Kabul, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and as the Laredo Border Sector Commander, Operation Jump Start.
Who is this people powered candidate? He is Hispanic. While at Harvard getting his Master’s in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was an editor of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. His involvement with the community is not limited to the academic. He and his wife are active in neighborhood and community affairs. He has both past and present membership on boards including Catholic Charities, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the Houston Holocaust Museum, and Talento Bilinguë de Houston. In appreciation for his public service to the community, he was voted Hispanic of the Year 2001 by the Houston Fiestas Patrias, which also honored him as Grand Marshal of their 2005 parade.
This people powered candidate is also a dedicated and proven legislator. Significant legislative accomplishments include an historic bill making Texas the first state in the country to provide in-state tuition rates and financial assistance for certain immigrant children. Today, thousands of them are attending college. To date eight other states, have passed or proposed similar eligibility programs and, in Congress; first, Senator Orrin Hatch ( Utah) and currently others have brought forward The DREAM Act, to accomplish the same purpose at the federal level.
For his courage and his leadership in shepherding the bill through the legislative process, the candidate received awards from the Texas Association of Bilingual Educators, Texas LULAC, and was selected by the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) and Hispanic Journal as 2001 Legislator of the Year.” National awards included the Legislative Leaders in Education Award from the National College Board (2002) and the Hispanic Caucus of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) for Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues In Higher Education (2003); The government of Mexico also honored him with the Ohtli Award, presented to U.S. citizens of Mexican descent who have distinguished themselves in public service in 2002.
This people powered candidate is from a major metropolitan area. As a legislator he authored or sponsored legislation relating to economic development, emergency repairs for schools, tougher penalties for selling inhalants to minors, regulating automobile title services in Harris County to reduce fraud, financial aid for custodial grandparents, and tuition assistance for some Texas Army National Guard members.
In the fall of 2005, he was the Incident Commandeer for the City Of Houston's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center. His leadership with the military, as well as his record in community service, was crucial as the GRB was transformed into a virtual city that processed close to 30,000 evacuees, and was then dismantled in the course of less than a month. At the center, he coordinated medical, employment, travel, housing and food services for more than 2,000 evacuees living on-site.
He’s proud to now represent these new Houstonians as they join the life of a great and vibrant American city.
If you don’t already know who I’m talking about, allow me to introduce you.
The people powered candidate for Texas is Rep. Rick Noriega. He has served his country, his community, and his family with dedication and distinction. He is my friend, my Democratic colleague, and I would be proud to call him my Senator.
Help me draft him.
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It’s going to take money for whoever challenges John Cornyn in 2008. We ask for your help in building a nest egg for the eventual nominee, thanks to our good friends at ActBlue.