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Democratic Ag Commish Candidate Voted as Republican

While the Texas Democratic Party has lambasted Kinky Friedman in the race for agriculture commissioner, suggesting he isn't a real Democrat, it appears his opponent, Jim Hogan, has voted mostly in Republican primaries.

By Neena Satija, The Texas Tribune and Reveal
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Who's the real Democrat in the runoff for agriculture commissioner between Kinky Friedman and Jim Hogan?

No one, perhaps. While Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte robo-called against Friedman before the March primaries, calling then-candidate Hugh Fitzsimons III (who came in a distant third) "the only real Democrat in this race," it appears that Hogan, a Cleburne insurance agent, has voted mostly in Republican primaries for the past 15 years. 

Hogan voted in the 1998 primary and subsequent primary runoff as a Republican, according to Johnson County voting records. In the 2006 primary runoff, he also voted as a Republican. The same was true in 2012. 

"I'm really not Republican or Democrat," Hogan said Wednesday. "I really don't consider myself either." Hogan said he voted as a Republican because there were no Democrats running for positions in the Johnson County primaries. In fact, he did vote in the Democratic primary in 2008, according to county records, but he does not remember doing so. 

Back in late 2013, Hogan told the Tribune that he only decided to run as a Democrat because he thought it would be easier to win. 

"When you run against five Republicans who have a lot of money, that's been in the Legislature, who've been lobbying, you see what I mean? There's no chance to win!" he said. "If I was running as a Republican, I'd still be me. ... I'm running for the people of the state."

Hogan said he has had very little contact with the state Democratic Party since the primary and is not seeking its support. "I'm going to pray for those people," he said of the state party leaders.

Manny Garcia, a spokesman for Texas Democrats and the Van de Putte campaign, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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