An awful candidate against an awful incumbent.
Two months after stirring national controversy by condemning homosexuality, Councilwoman Elisa Chan has decided to leave the council to run for the Texas Senate in 2014, challenging District 25 state Sen. Donna Campbell in the March GOP primary.
Chan, 47, is taking on a first-term incumbent from New Braunfels who has strong backing among tea party members and some Republicans. Without attacking Campbell, Chan contends her council service prepares her well for the Legislature, and she hopes to survive the withering criticism generated by her opposition to the city’s new nondiscrimination ordinance.
“I know a lot of people in this community agree with me; so I don’t foresee any problem, but I would never know until I go out there,” Chan said Friday.
“With my qualifications, my experience, my conservative views, what can I do to make the biggest positive impact to the community? I think this is a good opportunity for me,” she said.
Speculation about a Chan candidacy wafted across Central Texas since summer, with some pundits saying she was seeking a graceful exit from her embattled city role. Chan drew national attention in August when the Express-News reported her secretly recorded, anti-gay comments. Yet, the controversy also flushed out Chan supporters who backed her free speech rights and opposition to the ordinance.
Chan has represented District 9 on the North Side since 2009, winning in repeated landslides. The businesswoman was eligible to run for one more term in District 9 in 2015.
Also running for the GOP nomination in District 25 is San Antonio businessman Mike Novak. Democrat Dan Boone of Canyon Lake, plans to run for his party’s nomination. The final showdown would be in November 2014.
Campbell captured the seat in 2012 after upsetting former Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, in the 2012 primary. She won the general election with 66 percent of the vote.
See here, here, and here for a bit of background on the non-discrimination ordinance and Chan’s shameful role in it. Campbell is awful, but she did vote for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay bill that Rick Perry vetoed, so there’s that. I have no idea if there’s anything one can say about Chan that would mitigate a bit of her awfulness. I know nothing about Mike Novak, so I don’t know if he might present a somewhat less awful alternative. Sadly, after redistricting this district is sufficiently red that the only paths to less awfulness are Campbell becoming a better person or the GOP primary voters in SD25 accidentally electing a better person. The one positive thing is that San Antonio City Council has a chance to become a better place once Chan officially resigns. It’s not much, but it’ll have to do. BOR has more.