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It’s Election Time in Texas Again

An Unapologetically Trans rundown on the primary ballot.

The month of March is upon us, and because this is an election year, it’s primary election time!

The March 3 Super Tuesday primary election falls on my mother’s birthday, so happy anniversary of your 39th birthday, Mom! (And yes, I’ve already bought your presents.)

But back to the column.  

You may have heard, thanks to the ad nauseum avalanche of TV commercials, that we’re having a big election on November 3 to determine if we’re even going to have a country left when 2021 rolls around. Because you OutSmart readers are intelligent people, I’m presuming you know the trouble our beloved country is in. 

I’m also hopeful that on that glorious November 3 evening, we’ll hear that the people have spoken and our great American Political Horror Story will be over. I pray that Orange Foolius will be a one-term president and we will be cruising toward an orange prison jumpsuit to go with his orange spray-tan as we chant, “You’re Fired! Lock Him Up!”  

But before we can get to that glorious evening, we first need to handle some preliminary business. We hold these March 3 primary elections to whittle down the number of candidates vying for the Democratic and Republican Party nominations.

The already-way-too-damn-long Democratic primary resulted in none of my preferred candidates being on the ballot. I supported Kamala Harris until she was forced to drop out. 

So who did I vote for during Super Tuesday early voting? It definitely wasn’t Bernie Sanders, to give you a hint. 

Then there’s the race for U.S. Senate. Republican John Cornyn has to face the voters this year, so which Democrat will survive to challenge him? And there are various U.S. House races on the ballot, as well as the contests for Texas House and Senate seats in Austin. 

In our area, Districts 4 and 6 are the two critical seats on the Texas State Board of Education that we must flip blue to end the conservamadness that has gripped that body over the last decade. This board also has influence in setting education curricula and the content that appears in our textbooks.

That’s why completing the mission of flipping the Board of Education blue is vital if you don’t want GOP “alternative facts” in your child’s textbooks. Because Texas buys a massive amount of textbooks for our 1,000-plus school districts in our bigger-than-France-sized state, it also has influence over what appears in school textbooks nationwide.

In District 4, Lawrence Allen stepped down to run for the Texas Lege, so that is a Democratic seat we need to keep that way. District 6 is the one I reside in, and it stretches from southwest Houston to Jersey Village, Cypress, and Spring. Because all of those areas are getting more diverse, we have a chance to flip District 6.  

Michelle Palmer wants to be the Democrat who flips that District 6 seat, and Larry McKinzie is running to fill the remainder of Lawrence Allen’s term. They are not only good people, but I’m always down with putting actual educators on the Texas State Board of (Mis)Education.

We also have judicial seats on the ballot, from the Texas Supreme Court all the way down to our local district courts. There are Harris County positions up for grabs such as the Harris County sheriff, county attorney, district attorney, Harris County constable, tax assessor and collector, and Harris County commissioners in Precincts 1 and 3.

Steve Radack, the Republican who has held that Precinct 3 seat since I was a UH Cougar back in the Phi Slama Jama days, has finally retired. He even conceded that his district is getting more ethnic and blue, and he wasn’t having any fun being in the minority since we flipped the Commissioners Court to Democratic control back in 2018.

And nope, conservafools, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is not on the ballot this year.  Damn, I love saying that!

Radack’s retirement meant that a lot of people have jumped in on both sides to capture this critical seat. If the Democrats flip it, it would expand their majority to 4-1, with Jack Cagle being the lone Republican remaining on the Commissioners Court (for now). 

There’s also the Justice of the Peace position, the Harris County Civil Court 4 seat, and Harris County Department of Education seats on the long-azz March 3 ballot. 

And no thanks to the Texas Republicans, we no longer have the ability to vote “straight ticket,” so you’ll have to vote in every race down the entire ballot, from POTUS to dog catcher.

If you aren’t registered to vote, you still have time to handle your business before the May runoff elections and the November general election. You must be registered by April 2 to participate in your party’s runoff elections, and by October 5 for the general election. 

Since I did early voting last month, I’m just waiting to see who wins or makes the runoffs so I can do my part to pick our best candidates for that history-altering election this November.

Please vote, because the democracy you save may be your own.

This article appears in the March 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.


Monica Roberts

Monica Roberts, a native Houstonian, is the founding editor of the GLAAD award-winning blog TransGriot. Her ongoing mission is to educate people on the lives of transgender people and fight for everyone’s human rights.
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