UPDATE: A handful of candidates have been added to the list.
It wasn’t a bad thing to be a Berniecrat candidate in the Texas Democratic primaries this year. Not that it was a great thing — but it definitely wasn’t bad. The Observer compiled a list of 25 congressional and state legislative candidates — consisting of some endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution Texas, others endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America and a couple who met the criteria but weren’t endorsed by those groups. Of those, four candidates won outright, nine made it to runoffs, and twelve lost. That’s a success rate of a little over 50, pending the runoffs in May.
The highlight may have been Laura Moser, a progressive candidate who was attacked by the Democratic Congressional Coordinating Committee this month and beat out a million-dollar candidate to make it to a runoff in Houston’s 7th Congressional District. José “Chito” Vela, an Austin immigration attorney, ended up the top vote-getter in the race to replace state Representative Dawnna Dukes, and he’ll be heading to a runoff with former Austin City Council member Sheryl Cole. Steven Kling won a tight race outright for the nomination in state Senate District 25, earning him the right to challenge New Braunfels tea partier Dr. Donna Campbell.
A letdown for Austin progressives was the failure of environmental activist Derrick Crowe to make a runoff in CD 21 — a consequence of Cedar Park pastor Mary Street Wilson’s dark horse victory. Arturo Alonzo, a fiery candidate in Brownsville, placed third in his three-way primary, and Tom Wakely, the “Berniecrat with the Panama Hat” who loves La Quinta Inns, performed abysmally in the gubernatorial race.
What to make of a success rate just over 50? Well, no one can say the Sanders approach can’t work in the Lone Star State, at least in terms of making it through a Democratic primary. Here’s the list: