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Thibaut has become a self-described “ferocious” fundraiser. She has been endorsed by an influential group of Democratic donors called Third Thursday, for the day of the month they meet. She also won a financial commitment from Annie’s List, a group that donates to pro-choice, female candidates. \(Several Observer Thibaut anticipates tapping the wave of enthusiasm building around the presidential election. Younger voters and African Americans came out in record numbers in her district to support Sen. Barack Obama in the primary. Thibaut vows to reach out to those Democratic voters, many of whom are new to the process. Two years ago, her advisers encouraged a massive outreach to potential voters in apartments, which populate the district. That effort was largely wasted on unlikely voters. This time, Thibaut vows to microtarget apartments for likely voters and concentrate more on homeowners. The campaign will not be without challenges. Thibaut’s opponent, state Rep. Jim Murphy, has a reputation for providing solid constituent services and an easygoing demeanor, according to those who know him. \(Murphy didn’t respond Thibaut will also be in the midst of a life-changing event as she campaigns. The 44-year-old professional fundraiser is pregnant with her first child, a boy, due in June. She realizes that campaigning with an infant won’t always be easy, but says her husband, Mark, an oil and gas professional, is behind her 100 percent. If anything, she says, the pregnancy has made her more passionate about changing the direction of the state, and sharpened her interest in issues like public education and crime prevention. “Things come into focus when you are a first-time parent:’ she says. Jake Bernstein SON OF A PREACHER MAN DISTRICT 144 Democratic candidate Joel Redmond likes to preach J7the gospel, whether he’s selling salvation in the Baptist prison ministry he founded, or proselytizing the joys of home ownership as a mortgage broker in Pasadena. “I’ve worked in District 144 for the past 14 years in the mortgage lending business with more than 2,000 families as they’ve purchased homes:’ Redmond says. “They are solid, working-class people who want to make sure their interests are looked out for, and not the interests of Austin:’ When Rep. Robert Talton abandoned District 144 to pursue his failed bid for Congress, Democrats saw their chance to win this historically Republican seat. Redmonda conservative Democrat in a conservative district whose father is a longtime pastor at Pasadena’s First Baptist Churchmay be the first viable Democratic candidate in the district in decades. As in a much-noted recent midterm special election in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, where a conservative Democrat triumphed in a previously Republican stronghold, political prognosticators think Redmond has the pedigree to win and that 2008 may be the year to do it. Redmond says he’ll conduct a grassroots campaign this summer, collecting contributions from residents and putting shoe leather to sidewalks. “I spent five years walking door to IY#6* fil ,A16,24 6 Go online at or detach and mail form below and any additional names to: The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Extend my subscription for just $27 Check enclosed Charge to my D VISA MasterCard AmEx Exp date Number: Name on card: Street address: City/ST/ZIP: *Phone: * Phone number required for credit card processing. Friend’s name: Street address: City/ST/ZIP: Friend’s name: Street address: City/ST/ZIP: , .8.0~,i+101P. SWPIA PolivA , VA` We