Taking a primary punch at Perry

Posted on 25 Feb 2010 at 3:25pm
By David Webb | THE RARE REPORTER

Online Exclusive

For the first time ever, I voted in a political primary this week during early voting.

I’ve never voted in a primary because, as a journalist and an Independent, I didn’t want to become involved in any political party’s activities.

But this year I made an exception because of the circumstances.
First, a relative of mine is running for elected office in the Republican Primary, and I wanted to support her.

Second, I wanted to take a punch at incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, whose politics I have come to abhor during his seemingly endless reign in office as Texas’ longest-serving governor.

Third, as a semi-retired journalist, I’m making up my own rules this year.
Based on the premise that large numbers of other voters feel the same way I do, it occurs to me that the Texas Republican Primary presents a unique opportunity to at least give Perry a little grief in his march to a third term.

The three-way race featuring Perry, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and newcomer Debra Medina gives progressive voters a chance to derail — at least temporarily — the campaign of one of the most virulently anti-gay politicians who has ever led Texas government. Perfect-haired Perry has gone out of his way to insult and harm the LGBT community since he was sworn into office in 2000.

Although Hutchison’s campaign is lackluster and she trails Perry significantly in the polls, Medina’s supporters could prevent Perry from getting more than 50 percent of the vote and force a runoff on April 13.

This not only makes for good political theater, but it’s a chance to rein in Perry a little. If he’s forced to spend more time and money fighting for the top of the Republican ticket, that could give the Democratic Party’s nominee more of a fighting chance.

Those who vote in the Republican Primary can still vote for whomever they want in the Nov. 2 general election.

That way, even though Perry probably will get re-elected in the end, maybe he will at least feel a little less empowered and dictatorial. Well, probably not, but at least to me it’s worth a shot.

If you think you might want to follow my plan, my only advice would be to practice saying the word “Republican.” Then when you get to the polling site and the nice election worker asks, “Democrat or Republican,” you won’t get tounge-tied like I did.

I almost never got the word out.

David Webb is a longtime reporter who formerly worked for Dallas Voice and now is semi-retired and living on Cedar Creek Lake.

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