In my story last week on Dallas County government, I talked about how LGBT advocates are looking forward to the opportunity to replace Republicans on the Commissioners Court with Democrats in 2010. What I didn’t mention is that openly gay Couny Judge Jim Foster, a Democrat who chairs the Commisssioners Court, faces an uphill battle for re-election if he decides to run. Foster is not well known, and he’s had more than his share of criticism during his first 18 months in office. Unfair Park, the Dallas Observer’s blog, reports today that as many as three potential Democratic challengers to Foster have already emerged, including openly gay former Dallas City Councilman John Loza. To me, this means that if Foster plans to seek re-election and he wants the support of the LGBT community, he’ll need to help bring the county into the 21st century on gay-rights issues in the next two years. Foster says there aren’t enough votes on the Commissioners Court to get a nondiscrimination policy or domestic partner benefits passed, but I don’t think the general public will accept that as an excuse. Part of being an effective politician is doing the wheeling and dealing necessary to get things done.
UPDATE: According to Southest Dallas Dem’s comment below, it might be easier to compile a list of people who AREN’T considering running for county judge two years from now. But here’s just one more name for the rumor mill: openly gay former Dallas City Councilman Chris Luna. And if Luna, Loza and Foster all decide to run, I’ve already got our headline written: “GAY THREE-WAY FOR COUNTY JUDGE!”
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