"Candidate is an Issue in Democratic Primary Race" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
HOUSTON — Both candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the congressional seat famously held for two decades by Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, are unusual.
K.P. George’s background makes him an improbable candidate — he was born in a village in India that still has no electricity or running water. For Kesha Rogers, it is her political positions that stand out — she is best known for demanding President Obama’s impeachment.
In light of Rogers’ candidacy, the Fort Bend County Democratic Party’s executive committee has issued a rare primary endorsement, backing George.
“If I can figure out what that silver bullet is to make sure that she is not on my slate after May, then I’ll definitely do that,” said Steve Brown, chairman of the Fort Bend Democratic Party. “I don’t think the endorsement alone is going to do it. It’s going to take work.”
Party officials worry that if Rogers prevails, Democrats will not be able to encourage voters to cast straight-ticket ballots in the general election — already an uphill battle in the affluent Houston suburbs. But Rogers, a devotee of the controversial activist Lyndon LaRouche, says she is in the race “to restore the principles of Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy to the Democratic Party.”
In addition to seeking the impeachment of Obama “for gross violations of the Constitution in the service of Wall Street imperialism,” Rogers is calling for significant investment in manned space exploration to avoid “mass extinction of the human species” and for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prohibited commercial banks from conducting investment business.
There is a precedent for Brown's concern about Rogers' candidacy. In 2010, Rogers won the Democratic nomination for the same Congressional District 22 seat with 52 percent of the vote in a three-way primary. In retrospect, party leaders claim voters were inadequately informed of her positions.
She was soundly defeated in the general election by Pete Olson, the Republican incumbent of Sugar Land, and she received no support from the Democrats. The state party’s executive committee approved a resolution releasing party officers from having to back a LaRouche-affiliated candidate. That resolution remains in effect.
“It’s my burden now to make sure voters in Fort Bend County know clear and well that Kesha is no Democrat,” Brown said.
But Rogers said, “If the only policy of my opponent is the ‘Stop Kesha’ campaign, I don’t see that as something that’s really going to inspire the population.” George, who is running on a more establishment-friendly platform of investing in education and protecting Medicare and Social Security, said he is not taking Rogers lightly. He even agrees that financing needs to be put back into manned space exploration, saying it is the one issue on which he strongly differs from Obama.
It is a safe stance to take in the district that, until recent redistricting, included NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Still, he said, “I’d rather worry about how I can get a job for you before I go and try to colonize Mars.”
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