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How Dave Wilson snuck into the race against Eversole

Right wing hatemonger Dave Wilson’s last minute filing in the Democratic Party against County Commissioner Jerry Eversole caused a lot of confusion yesterday as people tried to figure out just who it was that filed. Wilson himself didn’t show his face at HCDP headquarters, as people there would have recognized him. Instead, he sent his campaign treasurer there, and once he felt certain that no Republican was going to file against Eversole, he had his treasurer file the papers. All that is discussed in this Chron story about his filing.

Wilson — who once hosted a fund-raiser for Republican incumbent Jerry Eversole — believes Eversole will resign his seat as a result of a corruption investigation by the FBI, and he wants voters, not the county Republican Party or county judge, to pick his successor.

County election records indicate that Wilson, 63, has voted in eight GOP primary and runoff elections since 1995, but never in a Democratic election.

Harris County Democratic Party Gerry Birnberg accused Wilson and the Republican Party of fraud. Not only is Wilson not a Democrat, Birnberg said, but the candidate sent a representative who signed in as Wilson and allowed himself to be introduced as Wilson to a roomful of applauding Democrats.

Birnberg said he did not realize when Wilson’s representative filed his candidacy papers that it was the same Wilson who sent out 35,000 fliers in November opposing Annise Parker for mayor, in part, because of her sexual orientation.

“We would have recruited a placeholder so we could keep this charlatan out of the race,” Birnberg said.

He said local Republicans should be ashamed to “stoop to such fraudulent chicanery.”

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill said, “We had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

I actually believe Woodfill on this. Other than a few giggles, the HCRP doesn’t really gain anything by Wilson’s candidacy. Of course, as Coby points out, if the Republican establishment had ever bothered to lean on Eversole to ride off into the sunset and let someone a little less corrupt than him run instead, this never would have happened. But once Eversole decided he was in the clear with the FBI, potential contenders for his seat melted away. Instead, what we have is a “choice” between two unacceptable candidates.

I feel terrible for the people who live in Eversole’s precinct and are thus faced with this stinker on their ballot. Unless a Libertarian or other third-party alternative gets in (memo to the Libs and the Greens: this is a Golden Opportunity for you), the only sensible thing to do is to skip this race. You can still vote a straight party ticket if you’d like. Just be sure to de-select the candidate of your party in this race after you hit the “straight party” button. I did this in 2008 for a Democratic candidate I didn’t want to support, and it worked exactly as I expected it to. Vote straight party, review your choices, uncheck the candidate from this race (if a third party candidate has entered, you can then choose that person if you want to), and cast your vote. It’s easy, and it’s the right thing to do, regardless of which party you otherwise support.

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5 Comments

  1. Greg Wythe says:

    The real travesty isn’t that Wilson filed or that Gerry couldn’t recruit a last-minute “placeholder.” It’s that no other Dem saw fit to file for this race. That’s a Lost Opportunity.

  2. Gee Li says:

    I thought county parties generally know who’s looking to run for positions well ahead of time? Such a bizarre occurrence. More so when you consider that “Wilson” was introduced in front of the entire crowd.

  3. I know that Gerry had tried to find a real candidate for this race – I also know that at least one flaky but otherwise inoffensive person had considered it, but apparently lost interest somewhere along the line – but you can’t make anyone run if they don’t want to, and apparently no one else wanted to. Can’t say I blame anyone – this is at best a 60/40 GOP precinct, and for all of Eversole’s sins he does have a ton of campaign money and is in good stead with the Republican Party.

    The real travesty (at the local level, anyway – how the hell did no one want to run for Comptroller?) is the absence of candidates in SDs 7 and 17. Someone needed to challenge Joan Huffman before she became entrenched, and someone needed to run against Dan Patrick to get him off the air till November. Neither of them happened.

  4. Mainstream says:

    I have it on good authority that those close to Eversole were angry about this development. Wilson may be on to something: perhaps there was a backroom deal in the works which he foiled.

  5. […] other thing that came out of that Chron story on Dave Wilson was this nugget about a different Democratic primary. [Harris County Democratic Party Chair Gerry] […]