Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Two Dems file in SD10

May the best candidate win.

Libby Willis

After months of speculation, two Democratic candidates have emerged to campaign for the contested Senate District 10 seat that Sen. Wendy Davis has vacated to run for governor.

Fort Worth community leader Libby Willis and businessman Mike Martinez officially entered the race on Saturday. They will compete to keep the seat under Democratic control in a swing district that tends to lean Republican. Four Republicans have already entered the race and have been campaigning for months.

Willis, the daughter-in-law of former state lawmaker Doyle Willis, is running on a platform focused on public education, job creation and government transparency.

Willis said she wants to bring “neighborhood-level common sense to the Legislature.”

“I have worked with people of all political stripes and economic backgrounds to come up with practical solutions for local problems,” Willis said in a press release announcing her candidacy.

Willis is the former president of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods. She is also the former executive director of the Historic Fort Worth nonprofit, which helps preserve historical landmarks in the city.

Martinez is a founder of Edge Resources, an oil and gas operator in Fort Worth. He filed his candidacy Saturday at the Tarrant County Democratic Party headquarters.

The Star Telegram mentioned these two as possible candidates a few days ago. Here’s what they said about them at the time:

Mike Martinez: The energy executive said he received calls from people who have encouraged him to run. The Democrat last sought public office in 1998, when he ran for the Tarrant County Commissioners Court but dropped out after being arrested twice on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He said he was twice convicted of DWI. “I started thinking about it, looking at the numbers, and looking at my true and sincere desire to serve my community,” he said. “I know my past will come up. It’s not about that. That is not who I am, that is not what I am about. I finally grew up and became the man I am today.”

Libby Willis: The Democrat and former president of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods — who has been active in historic preservation, community revitalization and city issues for years — is weighing a possible bid. She is the daughter-in-law of the late Doyle Willis, who represented Fort Worth in the House and Senate for decades. “People have definitely been talking to me,” she said. “The phone keeps ringing. I am really, really seriously considering it. … I’ve been looking for a place to serve for a while.”

Martinez clearly has a bit of baggage, but candidates have survived worse than that. This is what competitive primaries are for, to sort all that out. Quorum Report points us to Martinez’s company for more about him. The fact that he is a founder of a company that “has extensive leasing experience in the Barnett Shale” may be a bigger negative for him in a D primary than a couple of Clinton-era DWI arrests. QR has a copy of Willis’ press release here. Other Dems may jump in, and there are multiple Republicans fighting it out as well. It will be a tough job to hold this seat, but it would be very nice if we could.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.