There has been lots of reporting on Democratic energy focused voter enthusiasm, engaged donors, and the volunteer armies that knocked their way to victory across Virginia and in Alabama. But what has been most notable to us as we've done our research into next years' legislative races is just how many comfortable Republican lawmakers have not only drawn serious challengers, but in many occasions, more than one.
Two years ago, Rep. Brian Babin of Texas' 36th district was cruising to 88% of the vote against a Green Party candidate. Before that, he won his seat with 77% against a hopelessly over-matched Democrat. But in keeping with our findings in state and federal races across the Lone Star State, Babin faces not one, but two Democrats who have already demonstrated the organization, policy chops, and fundraising required to test him in 2018.
While both of these candidates would easily fit our primary criteria as an improvement over Babin's regressive voting record on firearms legislation, we believe Democrats should nominate and support scientist and dedicated public servant Jon Powell.
Powell is a geologist and chemist who's worked around the world with energy companies to improve environmental safety. He's also served his community as a Councilmember and Mayor in his home of Taylor Lake Village. His wife, a NASA scientist, was Police Commissioner.
Powell felt called to public service once again after the elections of 2016, and has mounted a congressional campaign around the idea that Democratic party principles - access to healthcare, well-funded public education, infrastructure, environmental protection, and caring for the vulnerable - strengthen our democracy. In speaking with him a few weeks ago, he spoke at length about the importance of sensible gun laws - including keeping local control over firearm regulation. He's well versed not only in the politics of the current push to legalize silencers, but also in the science of it, and would be a much-needed voice in that debate. Most importantly, he knows where guns are appropriate, and where they are not.
In short, we believe Mr. Powell would be a more genuine advocate of his diverse, forward-looking district's interests than its' current representative, and are happy to endorse his candidacy.