Well, he’s taken the first step towards running for something, anyway.
Democrat Ronnie Earle today filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for office in 2010 but did not specify which office he will seek.
The former Travis County district attorney has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor.
He filled out a one-page, hand-written form designating a campaign treasurer, which is required for candidates to start serious fundrasing. He listed himself as treasurer.
As Gardner Selby notes, there’s already some activity around Earle’s potential bid.
Earle’s action also comes after separate online efforts to draft State Sen. Kirk Watson and/or Earle to run for governor next year. Both Facebook pages surfaced recently; neither prospect spoke up for or against the pitches, though Watson has said he’s going to mull his political options probably until the end of the summer.
In some Democratic circles, there’s just that much unease at possibly ending up with former Fort Worth Rep. Tom Schieffer as the likely nominee; some are uncomfortable that his career has been entwined with the successes of George W. Bush. Another hopeful is Mark Thompson, the party’s nominee for the Texas Railroad Commission last year, while Kinky Friedman, who ran as an Independent in 2006, is considering a try as a Democrat.
The pro-Earle site, hatched this week by pro-Democratic blogger Vince Leibowitz of Tyler, lists 45 members including Democratic consultant Jason Stanford, who managed Democrat Chris Bell’s 2006 campaign.
The pro-Watson site, which surfaced about 10 days ago, was created by Katie Naranjo, an Austin Democratic activist. The site lists 448 members including Democratic super-bloggers Karl-Thomas Musselman and Matt Glazer, who also are site administrators, Philip Martin and Charles Kuffner.
I haven’t joined the Draft Ronnie Facebook group mostly out of laziness. I’d be perfectly happy to have Earle as the nominee, and I’ll certainly support him in the primary if Watson goes elsewhere. Who knows, maybe I’ll even change my mind if the two square off. A ticket with Earle for Gov and Watson for Lite Gov would be exciting, if it came to that. That’s rather Austin-centric, though, which is why I’m still kind of hoping Earle gives the Attorney General race a good long look. A Watson/Royce West/Earle teamup would be pretty cool.
In the end, as long as all the races get covered by respectable candidates, I’m perfectly happy for there to be some contested primaries. As I’ve said before, I think the fact that there’s this much interest among Democratic candidates for statewide runs next year suggests to me that there’s a real belief that we can win some of these things, a quality that was in distinctly short supply in 2006. Let there be multiple candidates up and down the ballot – maybe we can capture some of the leftover energy from last year, and put a few of those new-to-the-process folks to work. Every little bit is going to help, and if we show enough signs of life at the local and grassroots level, maybe that will convince the national folks that Texas needs to be part of the plan for 2012.
Anyway. Here’s Vince’s post that announced the Draft Ronnie website. It’s drawn support so far from Faith Chatham, McBlogger, and Eye on Williamson, which can credibly claim to have been on the bandwagon before it was cool.