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Texas Democratic Chair Boyd Richie photo courtesy Texas Democratic Party FE TIME Unconventional Wisdom Texas Democrats endure another round of caucus chaos, and it may actually help the party. By THE TEXAS OBSERVER STAFF 111. he man who is perhaps best positioned to appreci ate the ironies piled up around the ongoing Texas Democratic prima-caucus is state party Chair Boyd Richie. When Richie was elected in 2006, nobody could have predicted the wild primary season to come. In fact, during the 2007 legislative session Richie led the charge to move up the date of the Texas primary in a bid to increase the state’s influence in the nominating process. It was a Republican, Lubbock state Sen. Robert Duncan, who blocked that move, and now, as Richie puts it, the state GOP is “sitting on the sidelines watching the parade go by.” With record-breaking Democratic turnout have come unprecedented headaches. The struggle to manage that surge was once again on display on March 29 at 279 county and senatorial district conventions. It was the second step in Texas’ three-part caucus to determine how 67 delegates will be apportioned between Democratic presidential aspirants Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Driven by excitement about the candidates and disgust with almost eight years of incompetent and corrupt administrations in Texas and Washington, about 100,000 Lone Star Democrats participated in the conventions. For the larger senatorial districts, the event took a minimum of 15 hours to complete. Some went until dawn. It was up to each county party organization to find a locale and raise the money to pay for the process. The diverse venues included a warehouse, a parking lot, and a dirt-covered rodeo arena. Almost all the conventions 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER APRIL 18, 2008