Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ron E. Reynolds To Announce Run for Texas State Rep. HD 27

I just received a press release dated August 29th that revealed that local Fort Bend County attorney and community activist Ron. E Reynolds will announce his candidacy as the Democratic Party’s nominee for Texas state house in House District 27.

He will make the formal announcement at a press conference to be held at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007, at the City Hall of Missouri City, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City.

Of his candidacy, Reynolds had the following to say:

“I believe that I am fulfilling the plan that God has prepared for me. Commensurate with that is my belief, to whom much is given, much is required. Much has indeed been given to me, and as a result, I have devoted my life to public service. As State Representative of District 27, I will serve the residents and business owners in Fort Bend County by advocating for high-quality education, affordable healthcare and economic empowerment for our community.”
District 27 has been represented by state Rep. Dora Olivo (D – Rosenberg) for the past 6 legislative terms. District 27 includes most of southern Fort Bend County including Rosenberg and Missouri City, but not Sugar Land. It is widely viewed as a safe Democratic district as in 2006 she trounced her Republican opponent, Fort Bend ISD Trustee Ken Bryant by a whopping 61% to 39%.

While there has been no public statement from Olivo as to whether she will run for re-election, it is widely held that there is no question that she will.

Her primary opponent in 2006 was Stephen Brown, a Missouri City health care lobbyist. Brown lost to Olivo by nearly exactly the same percentages (60% to 40%) as Bryant did in November. Brown was a relative unknown whose campaign did not garner the endorsements of Olivo’s fellow state representatives, state reps for whom Brown had worked in various capacities, as it would prove to be, shall we say, awkward. Those who knew him couldn't endorse him.

That cannot be said of Ron Reynolds. Reynolds is the current president of the Missouri City & Vicinity NAACP, a local community leader, and is widely viewed by those who know him as a progressive Democrat and is well-known in the area.

A primary contest between these two well-known progressive Democrats will play a little differently than in 2006, I think.

My question is, then, why is Ron Reynolds going to run? In other postings I have decried the primary opposition of established Democrats based on limited availability of resources, resources that could be better spent opposing Republicans. What I am thinking is that this could just be a “changing of the guard” attempt. Ron Reynolds is a relatively young man with strong political and ideological assets. He’s a young Turk with young ideas and the youthful energy to see them through to completion.

It could also be about Dora Olivo’s questionable and non-progressive voting record vis-à-vis her position on embryonic stem cell research, which she opposes to the extent that she was a joint author of HB 225, a bill that would have, had it passed, prohibited the use of state funds for embryonic stem cell research.

Her position on a woman’s right to choose to have, or not have, an abortion is also problematic. She scores higher on Texas Right to Live Committee’s index of legislative support (76%) than she does support the interests of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas (50%).

And then there is the issue of Dora’s vote on HJR 6 in the 79th session. Olivo voted with the Republican majority to pass the 2005 constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Dora Olivo is a practicing Roman Catholic, which goes a long way toward explaining her votes in two of these three key areas, as both embryonic stem cell research and abortion are opposed by the Catholic Church. The question then becomes whether voters are comfortable with their state representative voting on issues based on her own (and the pope’s) personal religious viewpoints over the wishes of the voters on these issues. On the third issue, opposition to gay rights, I am a little nonplussed, as The Church has been a haven for gay men and women for centuries.

Doubtless, whoever wins the Democratic Primary for this seat will not only be the nominee, but also the winner in November. This definitely spices up what is already becoming a very interesting Texas primary.

One thing’s for sure, we will probably be seeing an impressive voter turnout next March.


Susan said...

My disillusionment with Dora was a long process where I saw her, election after election, even when she didn't have an opponent, refuse to help any other Democrats get elected.

It came to a fuming head when she refused to put a John Kerry yard sign at her office or her home because Kerry was pro-choice.

The chickens have come home to roost and a Democrat with long community involvement who is liberal, anti-Craddick, pro-choice and pro- stem cell research is running.

Sarah said...

Im new to your blog as of today, when I found it searching for info on the Fort Bend Primary. I wanted to say that I found this article absolutely invaluable. I havent lived in Fort Bend co. long and dont know either of the nominees for State Rep Dist 27 well, so your breakdown of Olivo and Reynolds' stand points on the issues mentioned has been very helpful indeed. Thank you!