Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.  Political Note #355 Angie Craig MN 02, Political Note #356 Susie Lee NV 03, Political Note #357 Haley Stevens MI 11, Political Note #362 Vicente Gonzalez TX 15, Political Note #363 Tom Malinowski NJ 07

Political Note #364      Jana Lynne Sanchez TX 06

2021                                 Special Election, Bipartisan Primary

Here’s a chance to flip a Republican Congressional seat.  Do you want to help with that?  Consider chipping in now and later.  Now we need to be sure that a Democrat makes the run off.  Once the top two are established, we’ll need to support the Democratic candidate – if there is one.

In 2018, the DCCC mastered a strategy – the early endorsement.  It was particularly important in California where all elections began with a non-partisan primary.  The purpose of the early endorsement was to make certain that, in a crowded field, at least one Democrat was one of the top two finishers, one of the two who made it into the run off.

It would be hard to find a more crowded field than the special election for TX 06. This district begins in Irving and Arlington, in between Dallas and Fort Worth, including some of eastern Fort Worth.  It continues southeast and includes a large rectangle extending along the Trinity River.

This almost 50% non-Hispanic white, 20+% Hispanic, 20% Black district has been growing less Republican. From 2004 to 2020 the Republican Presidential vote has declined from 66% to 57% to 58% (so that’s an increase) to 54% to 51%.  Joe Barton, who preceded Ron Wright representing TX 06 never dropped below 58% of the vote.  His successor, Ron Wright, won 53.1 – 45.4 in 2018, 52.8 – 44 in 2020.

Ron Wright died on February 7, 2021. Texas’s governor Greg Abbott moved quickly to set a date for the special.  On February 23, when he might have been preoccupied with the snow storm and power and water crisis that began on February 19, Abbott set May 1 as the date for the non-partisan primary election for TX 06.  He may have believed that Republicans would be better prepared to work fast to fill the seat.

The filing deadline was March 3. Eleven Republicans filed; ten Democrats filed, 1 Libertarian filed, and 1 independent filed.  Quite a list.  All on one ballot.  The top two vote getters will be in a run-off on a date not yet set.  Look at this list.

  • Attorney Tammy Allison (D)
  • Organizer Michael Ballantine (R )
  • Sociologist Lydia Bean (D),
  • 2020 US Senate Candidate John Anthony Castro (R )
  • Veteran and Business Owner Daryl Eddings (D)
  • Veteran and Techy Michael Egan (R )
  • State Rep Jake Ellzey (R )
  • Property Manager Phil Gray (Lib)
  • Ex Staff Chief to the US Secretary of Health & Human Services Brian Harrison (R )
  • Developer Matthew Hinterlong (D)
  • Attorney and ex SBA Official Srey Kim (R )
  • Educator and non-profit official, Shawn Lassiter (D)
  • Banker Adrian Mizher (Ind)
  • Pastor, retired police officer, and Homeland Security official, Patrick Moses (D)
  • Police Officer Patrick Roderman (R )
  • Ex Professional Wrestler and nominee for NV 03 Dan Rodimer (R )
  • Realtor Manual Salazar III (D)
  • Publicist and 2018 TX 06 nominee Jana Lynne Sanchez (D)
  • Systems Engineer Brian Stephenson (D)
  • Paramedic Christopher Suprun (D)
  • Businessman and Chamber of Commerce Official Michael Wood (R )
  • Activist and Widow of the Congressman Susan Wright (R )

If the DCCC is going to take a cue from its success in 2018 and endorse early, I haven’t heard.  I’ll do it if they won’t. I don’t have the sway of the DCCC, but I’ll try. I suggest you donate money to Jana Lynne Sanchez  Announce your support for her wherever you reasonably can.

Jana Lynne Sanchez started fast.  She was the first Democrat to file for the election. She’s got a website. She’s been raising money and getting endorsements.  She was the Democratic nominee in 2018, when TX 06 was an open Republican seat and lost by less than 20,000 votes.  She has already raised $100,000. She has a record as a strong fundraiser; she raised more than $700,000 in 2018. This race has the potential to attract national attention.  If it does, she’ll need to raise a lot more than she raised three years ago.

Jana Lynne Sanchez has an ethnically and geographically diverse group of individual endorsements – school board members from Crowley, a City Council member from Arlington, police from Arlington and South Lake, College Young Democratic Presidents from UT Arlington and Texas Christian, and a union leader. In 2018, she was endorsed by environmental organizations and will, undoubtedly, be endorsed by them again.

Jana Lynne Sanchez has a story to tell.  Her grandparents were migrant workers.  Her father was a sixth-grade school dropout, a Marine veteran who worked in a cement factory and drove a truck.  Her mother, who worked at whatever jobs she could get, urged her children to succeed in education.  Jana Lynn Sanchez took her mother’s encouragement to heart. She succeeded in the local schools and went to Rice University – the first in her family to attend and graduate from college.

From college she made her way into politics.  Jana Lynne Sanchez raised money for Democratic candidates in California —  for Lt. Governor Leo McCarthy’s campaign and then as head of her own agency.  From politics she moved to media – the Baltimore Sun, ventures in London, and eventually was a correspondent for Reuters working in Amsterdam.  After three years at Reuters, she created her own businesses – initially, Jana Sanchez Communications, then, with partners, CitySavvy.  She worked for CitySavvy in Europe and at home in Waxahachie until the firm was sold in 2019.  While at home, she worked as a communication coach and ran for Congress.  After her 2018 loss, she founded Blue Texas Strategy and worked as a Senior Advisor to New York-based Articulate Communications, Inc.

Is it conceivable that the Republicans have so many candidates who are appealing to Republicans they will divide the vote so much that two Democrats could make the run off?  That’s not going to happen. There is a favorite — Susan Wright, Congressman Ron Wright’s widow.  Many Republicans welcome her extreme right wing views and believe that she should succeed her husband.

There are other Republicans capable of competing for a spot.  Representative Jake Ellzey lost to Ron Wright by 4 points in the Republican primary run off in 2018.  He’s got a following.  Brian Harrison was actually in the Trump administration as chief of staff to Alex Azar at DHH.  He could be someone local Republicans would be proud of, though in Washington his scientific knowledge was mocked.  He was characterized as the dog breeder.  Dan Rodimer came close to flipping a Democratic seat in his run in Nevada 03 – losing to Susie Lee by 3 points.  Can he bring his swagger to a whole new state (a state he says he is returning to)?

Are there things to say about Jana Lynne Sanchez’s personal life that would cause her trouble in the election?  You could read her father, Jerry Lon Sanchez’s, obituary.  Nothing embarrassing, there.  A patriot, and a hard worker, he was the oldest of 17 children with 10 additional half siblings from his father’s previous marriage.

Jana Lynne Sanchez has been married and divorced twice.  There are no reports of children from those marriages.  If there was something problematic, nothing surfaced in the 2018 election.  She’s a bit of a musician.  She plays the guitar and sings. Inspired by former TX 06 Congressman Joe Barton telling a constituent to shut up, she co-authored a song with a Nashville songwriter — “(Don’t Tell Us To) Shut up.” She sang it frequently during the 2018 campaign.

There are other strong Democrats in the race. Are they strong enough to divide the vote and prevent Jana Lynne Sanchez from being #1 or #2?  That is a danger.  Among the possibilities are Shawn Lassiter, former basketball coach and current equity advocate, Lydia Bean, who lost a race for the Texas House, and former Homeland Security official Patrick Moses.   The route to Democratic success in TX 06 is to focus on ensuring that Jana Lynne Sanchez makes it through to the runoff.  Two Democrats will not make it to the run off.   If Jana Lynne Sanchez does not make it to the run off, two Republicans will.

May 1 arrives in a few weeks.  The sooner Democrats can coalesce around one candidate, the greater the likelihood that candidate will be in the runoff, the greater likelihood that Democrats can flip TX 06.   Jana Lynne Sanchez is the candidate who has the greatest chance to flip that seat.   A Democratic win, flipping a Republican seat in a special election in 2021 would be a signal to Congress and to the country as a whole.  Democrats can expand their majority in the House of Representatives in 2022 and can gain more than 50% of the Senate.  Help move the country in that direction.

There are four more special elections for Congress coming up:

 LA 02  Democratic Congressman Cedric Richardson resigned from this seat to become Joe Biden’s Director of Public Engagement.  This is a safe Democratic seat.  He will be replaced by a Democrat.

 LA 05 Republican Congressman-elect Luke Letlow died from Covid-19 before he could take office.  This is a safe Republican seat.  He will be replaced by a Republican, probably by his widow, Julia Letlow.

 NM 02. Democratic Congresswoman Deb Haaland has been nominated to be Secretary of the Interior.  When she is confirmed, she will resign.  This is a safe Democratic seat.  The Democratic nominee will replace her.

 OH 11  Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has been nominated to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  When she is confirmed she will resign.  This is a safe Democratic seat.  The Democratic nominee will replace her.