I have just been to an election watch party—the only one I’ve ever been to with the candidate present. I think the only other time I attended such an event was when Clinton and Gore triumphed on the 1993 Democratic ticket, and they sure weren’t in Fort Worth that evening.
Tonight I went to the watch party for Lon Burnam, a good friend who’s running as a Democrat for Texas Railroad (read Energy) Commissioner. The office has precious little to do with railroads—the title is a hangover from old days—and everything to do with oil and gas. Lon is one of the most principled, honest people I know, a man who truly puts the good of people, his state and his country first. He served in the Texas legislature for many years, but this is his first statewide race. I was convinced he’d win the primary, though I realized the odds for a Democrat in Texas aren’t good in the November election.
Tonight he greeted us with the news that he’s almost certainly in for a run-off with a candidate bearing the Yarborough name, one that is old and respected in Texas politics. I know nothing about this particular Yarborough, though it led one friend to say he had the name but not the stuff and another, “It shows you how old the Democratic base is.”
The watch part was everything I don’t like—noisy and crowded. I talked, as best I could, with a few people I know, introduced myself to one on the fringe of politics that I don’t think I’ve met, and tried my best to schmooze. But I was bored, and Jacob who was with me, was bored out of his gourd. I was glad to give Lon and his wife, my good friend Carol, hugs and head for home.
I’m too tired to make much sense of the returns tonight, as scattered as they come in. Seems to me everyone won something, except maybe Rubio, Carson and Kasich. I’ll wait for the morning paper to make sense of it all for me.
But, hey, Texans! If there’s a runoff for railroad commissioner, please vote for Lon. He’s the man!