That’s the question for Democratic Part chairs in SD22.
According to several Democratic consultants and officials knowledgeable about strategic discussions, a number of factors are being considered.
These include the political makeup of the district, the cost of running a viable campaign and the impact a race could have on Democratic U. S. Rep. Chet Edwards’ re-election efforts.
Several Democrats noted there was a chance a state Senate contest could boost turnout in the conservative northern pocket of Edwards’ district, where Birdwell lives. That potentially could hurt Edwards in what’s predicted to be a close race against Bill Flores, R-Bryan.
However Jeff Rotkoff, an Austin-based Democratic consultant who has worked on a number of Central Texas campaigns, said he thought that argument was sometimes overstated.
“I understand why that’s a calculation people make, but when there have been particularly strong or weak candidates up and down the ballot, it’s never prevented Chet from being re-elected,” said Rotkoff, who works on Democratic state House races.
I’m with Jeff Rotkoff on this. Open Senate seats don’t come along every day. This one may be a longshot, but when you add in the possibility of Birdwell being knocked off the ballot for failing to meet residency requirements, the odds improve considerably. First, though, you need a Democratic challenger, then you file the lawsuit, and you see what happens. I see the risk of stirring up people who wouldn’t have otherwise voted by challenging Birdwell, on the ballot and in the courtroom, as being marginal. Go for it, y’all.