The 2008 election is going to potentially be the most interesting one since the fabled "Republican Sweep" of the 1980s. Democrats across this county are giddy over the possibility that Harris County will become a Democratic stronghold just like Dallas did in the 2006 election.
The presidential election (which normally is a boost to the Republican Party, at least in Harris County) is controversial within the party as the more conservative Republicans feel somewhat tepid about a moderate like John McCain. The Democrats will have one of two Presidential candidates who literally have "rock star status" with the general electorate, and the potential for straight ticket voting for the Dems is running extremely high.
So call me crazy, but I think the best thing that could happen for the Republican Party right now is Kelly Siegler.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm biased. I recognize Kelly as the best prosecutor in the history of Harris County, Texas, and I'm an admitted fan and admirer of her work.
But my bias doesn't mean I'm wrong.
The highest profile race locally in November will undoubtedly be the race for District Attorney. And ironically, the weakest candidate that the Democrats will put forth in any race is Clarence Bradford, running for that exact spot.
Bradford is unqualified and utterly incompetent for the position.
On the polar opposite end of that spectrum is Kelly Siegler. Whether you have found all the stories that the Chronicle loves churning out against her to be damning or not, there can be no doubt that Kelly Siegler knows what she is doing and can run the office.
More importantly to the Republican Party, Kelly in a head-to-head competition against Bradford will show all those voters who may be "on the fence" that the Republicans have fielded a candidate that the Democrats can't come close to matching. My prediction is that Bradford will probably not even agree to a debate against her because of the incredible mismatch on knowledge of the law, debate skills, and just general charisma.
My point is that although the "Republican Leadership" may think that Pat Lykos would be a lovely candidate, she won't hold a candle compared to Candidate Siegler when the fight for November begins.
If Pat Lykos is the Republican candidate come November, the Democrats will actually have an opposing candidate on similar footing as their own: one who has never been a prosecutor; one who has a lot of ideas that sound great on paper; and one who has no substance to back her style.
I don't think that this wild theory of mine is all that original.
If you've been reading this blog regularly, you probably are well aware of the fact that Alan Bernstein has been burying a story about Pat Lykos forbidding a Jewish witness from wearing his yarmulke in court while testifying.
Now, consider that.
When was the last time you knew of a media outlet passing up the opportunity to do a little muck-raking? Aren't you kind of curious as to why? It occurred to me today that Bernstein isn't "burying" this story.
He's waiting on it.
The Chronicle has endorsed Pat Lykos, and they are sitting there with their fingers crossed, praying that she wins the Republican primary. If things go according to plan, Lykos wins the primary and then faces Bradford.
My prediction: Alan Bernstein will then suddenly decide the yarmulke story is newsworthy.
Why? So that it can counter-balance against the scandals that Bradford accumulated during his disgraceful reign as police chief.
Can you count them all? The DNA Lab Scandal? The K-Mart Scandal? The perjury scandal? The Exit Pay Raise Scandal?
The Dems are salivating over the idea of Lykos as the Republican nominee.
The Chronicle may endorse her now, but by November, they will gladly point out that she got the lowest ratings as a Judge when on the bench. She made an anti-Semitic decision against a witness that she never apoligized for. And, just like Clarence Bradford, she's never prosecuted a criminal case.
Why else would they have changed their mind from 2000 when Jim Leitner was their endorsement? Because Jim is more qualified than Lykos, and thus infinitely more qualified than Bradford.
Lykos is the Chronicle's choice right now, but by November, she will be their Anti-Christ.
Republicans, you guys are getting played like a fiddle right now. The Chronicle is run by an editor who has an anti-death penalty agenda that makes Bradford their ideal candidate.
If you want a candidate in November who will absolutely expose Bradford for the incompetent candidate that he is, you need Kelly.
Her campaign is picking up steam exponentially. She is working from dawn till dusk to meet the voters, and the people she's talking to are loving her. The local Republican Party leadership may be looking at her with a wary eye, but she is doing more for the Party than any other local candidate in the race right now.
She is vastly more qualified than anyone else in the race, and she has the charisma to translate to the voters. Instead of looking at her with a wary eye, Republicans should be rallying around her.
She may just be the best thing going for you in November.