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Joe Jaworski photo courtesy Jaworski campaign Senator Mike Jackson photo courtesy Jackson campaign MAY 30, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25 Jaworski is confident he can win the historically Republican district that incorporates refinery row in parts of Brazoria, Harris, and Galveston counties. In an election year in which incumbents, particularly Republican incumbents, are on the defensive, Jaworski hopes to ride the wave of change into the Texas Senate. “More than being Republican or Democrat, voters are interested in what a candidate brings to the table he says. “Voters want change.” An energized Democratic presidential race won’t hurt, either. And for the first time in more than a decade, George W. Bush won’t be on the ballot as president or governor in Texas. “There’s a real disappointment with the one-party political system in Texas:’ Jaworski says. It takes more than pocket change to win a Senate race. They now average $1 to $2 million dollars per candidate. Jaworski’s fundraising prowess has made naysayers take notice. He raised a quarter-million dollars for the Democratic primary. And he is on target to raise a million for the general election, he says. A two-term Galveston City Council member, Jaworski believes he’s ready for the big league. As for Jackson, he says in an email that he is taking Jaworski’s challenge very seriously. As of January, Jackson had already raised nearly $1 million. \(Jackson has received a contribution from a board member of Observer A good deal of Jackson’s money is linked to chemical and energy corporations like Dow Chemical Co. and CenterPoint Energy Inc. Jackson says he doesn’t see a problem with taking the contributions because they represent thousands of individuals who live and work in his district. “A portion of the money donated to my campaign comes from political action committees to which individual employees voluntarily contribute he says. “He’s got a million dollar head start,” says Jaworski. “But money won’t be the deciding factor in this race’ Jaworski plans on reaching out to Senate District 11 residents in a grassroots campaign. To learn more about what’s on voters’ minds, he’s mailed out 80,000 questionnaires. He reads some voter concerns over the phone: the Trans-Texas Corridor, the rising cost of health insurance, and decreasing air quality. “This campaign will be about us getting out into the community and really listening. Once they realize we are there to listen, I think they will respond,” he says. Melissa del Bosque HONORABLE MENTIONS Houston’s state Sen. Kyle Janek has announced he will resign from his District 17 seat in early June \(as the Observer candidates from both parties are interested in run ning in a special election later this year to serve out the remaining two years of Janek’s term. Perhaps the most intriguing of those names is Chris Bell, the former Democratic congressman and failed gubernatorial candidate. Bell, who has returned to private law practice, told the Austin American -Statesman that he’s eyeing the race, but won’t yet commit to run.