Thursday, March 08, 2018

Meet Mary Street Wilson-- The Surprise Winner In TX-21 This Week


Before TX-21 Republican Lamar Smith announced his retirement, there were at least 9 candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the district. One, Tom Wakely, decided to run for governor. Another, Chris Perri, decided to run in an adjacent district-- TX-25, which also has a chunk of Austin, and he came in first of 5 candidates and now faces a primary runoff with Julle Oliver May 22. The winner will face ethically-challenged right-wing multimillionaire Roger Williams in a district that Trump won 55.1% to 40.2% and that still has an R+11 PVI. The others who dropped out of the TX-21 race included Ryan Allen, Rixi Melton and Scott Sturm. In the end there were just 4 candidates, 3 men and a woman. In order of how much they spent on the primary:
Joseph Kopser- $614,514
Derrick Crowe- $131,108
Elliott McFadden- $82,716
Mary Wilson- $37,088
Another way to look at the field is that 3 of the candidates-- Crowe, McFadden and Wilson are progressives and Kopser is an "ex"-Republican, a corporate Democrat GOP-lite conservative. But ultimately the way to look at it was who won and who lost Tuesday.
Mary Wilson- 15,669 (30.9%)
Joseph Kopser- 14,684 (29%)
Derrick Crowe- 11,686 (23.1%)
Elliott McFadden- 8,625 (17%)
No one expected Mary, a Baptist minister and former math teacher, to win. So why did she? And what happens next? Well, the one woman/3 guys sure worked in her favor. And she ran a bare-bones volunteer-based grassroots campaign-- as Rick Trevino did, also successfully, south of TX-21 in TX-23 (another total shocker). As for what happens next... McFadden and Crowe don't like what Kopser stands for and I expect they will both put some effort into helping Wilson. In fact, just hours after the votes were counted, Crowe issued this statement to his supporters and the media:
For almost a year now, I have watched Mary Street Wilson run a tough, tenacious campaign that defied all establishment expectations. She fought for every last vote in every corner of this district and led with her progressive values. She faced with grit both a deep fundraising disadvantage and a dismissive attitude from the establishment. Last night, the Democratic voters in Texas’ 21st Congressional District responded by giving her more votes than any other candidate in the race.

Goal ThermometerThough I am disappointed to not make the runoff, it’s impossible not to be inspired by Mary’s campaign. Last night’s result gives me deep hope that this year, our elections can’t be bought. She will make an excellent representative for the people of the 21st District of Texas. I am proud to endorse her.
And Blue America is proud to add her to our Take Back Texas ActBlue page. Please consider contributing to her runoff campaign against the corporate Democrat (and then her general election campaign against the corporate Republican)-- by clicking on the thermometer on the right.

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