Democratic Senate candidate Sean Hubbard speaks at a Jan. 27 rally outside Dallas City Hall calling for Mayor Mike Rawlings to sign a pledge in support of same-sex marriage. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

Sean Hubbard, one of four Democrats vying for the nomination to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate, said he’s picked up strong support for his campaign in Bexar County while traveling across the state. We caught up by phone late last week while Hubbard was at home in Dallas between campaign trips.

Former State Rep. Paul Sadler is the best known of the Democratic Senate candidates. Daniel Boone, a retired Air Force colonel, is campaigning little but expects to pick up a number of votes because of his name. In 2000, Gene Kelly got the Democratic nomination because of his famous name, but was trounced in the general election. A fourth candidate is Addie Dainell Allen.

Jason Gibson withdrew from the race on Feb. 3 and endorsed Sadler. Gibson said he’s a strong union supporter and didn’t want to run without AFL-CIO support. Hubbard said that Gibson’s arrest record had become public, forcing him from the race. Previously, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez withdrew from the race.

Hubbard rushed back to Dallas on Jan. 27, missing an endorsement meeting to attend the demonstration in front of Dallas City Hall calling on Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ to sign a pledge in support of same-sex marriage.

“Standing up for folks being discriminated against is more important than campaigning,” he said.

Although Rawlings is also a Democrat, Hubbard said he stands for true Democratic values.

“If you don’t want more Mayor Rawlings, then you need to support a candidate like me,” he said.

Hubbard acknowledged that winning a statewide race in Texas will be tough for a Democrat but believes this is the year to do it.

“I think Obama is going to have a strong election and give Democrats an opportunity to win down-ballot,” he said.

He said that with the populism of the Occupy movement, flawed Republican candidates, and moms and dads across the state with children in underfunded public schools, Democrats have a chance of taking the seat.

Jobs and the economy are the major issues of the campaign, Hubbard said. But he believes things in Washington will never change unless campaign finance reform is enacted, so he’s making that a focus of his campaign.

Since the date of the primary has not been set, Hubbard said he’s campaigning as if it will still be April 3.

Since we spoke to him last July, Hubbard has crisscrossed the state. He said some of his best turnout has been in places like Lubbock thanks to the Texas Tech College Democrats. Before the April date, he plans to get to Galveston, McAllen and Bryan and is planning a trip to El Paso.

He said his fundraising has picked up recently.

On the personal side, Hubbard is a new father. His daughter was born on Dec. 21.

“Being a father is more exhausting than campaigning,” he said. “At least I can sleep an entire night on the campaign trail.”