You heard it here first: Former Dallas City Council member Linda Koop next month will waltz to victory in her Texas House race. We know this not because Koop is running as a Republican in a North Dallas district that, aside from an anomalous Democratic victory in the pre-Tea Party days of 2008, has been reliably red for more than two decades. Nor is it that Koop has a reputation as an intelligent, pragmatic policymaker, which in Texas political races is akin to running with leg irons.
Such considerations will be irrelevant come November 4 because her opponent is Democrat George Clayton.
Sane Texans will remember Clayton fondly as the refreshingly mild-mannered, climate-change-and-evolution-believing Dallas ISD educator who improbably toppled conservative State Board of Education member Geraldine "Tincy" Miller in 2010 only to lose his seat two years later. Perhaps his relative sanity on the SBOE blinded us to his shortcomings, since his campaign for state House has been amusingly pathetic.
Here's a quick, non-exhaustive breakdown of Clayton's missteps:
1) He doesn't know how to run a campaign:
Personally, I concluded that waiting around to vote in election is no longer enough. Writing my missives on Facebook -- even with as many compliments as I receive about them -- is not enough. We have to get active.
So I joined the Far North Dallas Richardson Democrats. I became a precinct chair. I joined Battleground Texas and am learning how to conduct a political campaign.-- George Clayton Democrat for Texas House District 102 Facebook page, January 24
2) Seriously, this man doesn't know how to run a campaign:
My campaign will always focus on the issues and never on personal attacks. To the winner, I say if you plan to attack me on a personal level, get on with it. However, keep in mind that you will always be alone. I won't have any part of it. The voters of this district, Republican, Democrat and Independent deserve better than what you have demonstrated up to now. Perhaps you will want to consider an apology to the good citizens of our district.-- George Clayton Democrat for Texas House District 102 Facebook page, May 19
3) His fundraising pleas are incredibly sad:
I have just completed a review of our campaign finances and find that we are about to fail before we can actually begin our fall campaign...This seat can be won, but not without adequate funding. If you can send the campaign a couple of dollars, I will continue the struggle forward to victory this November.-- George Clayton Democrat for Texas House District 102 Facebook page, June 11
The campaign treasury is suffering. We are in a dangerous position ... The "other" person on whom we all rely, has not donated in your place. It's up to you. Thanks to everyone who has. This is not easy, but essential.-- George Clayton Democrat for Texas House District 102 Facebook page, July 11
The campaign is sinking fast. It seems Wendy Davis is really soaking in all the big dollars. Good for her, but that does not help this campaign very much.-- George Clayton Democrat for Texas House District 102 Facebook page, July 2
4) Describes himself as a "life long Republican" and his time as a Democrat as a "dark experience."
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Several months ago I responded to an invitation of the Democratic Party to run for the legislature as a democrat. The Dallas County Democratic Party Chairman and several other officials were among those who visited my home for over two hours in an effort to persuade me to run as a candidate of their party. Being a life long Republican this decision was not easy to make. However, I agreed to run as a democrat and was soon off to Austin to meet with another committee of Democratic Party officials who assured me that my candidacy was unique and that I would never lack support, financial and otherwise. That support never developed even though assurances were many. My campaign was to centeralize around education issues. That also never developed. I felt lied to and betrayed. In fact, I was. My brief association with the Democratic Party has been a dark experience.-- George Clayton, comment on Dallas Morning News editorial endorsing Linda Koop, September 10
5) Has actually endorsed his opponent:
Warmest congratulations to Linda Koop upon receiving the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News ... .Although I will continue with my campaign schedule, I have to agree with the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board, Linda Koop is on her way to Austin and I congratulate her thereon.-- George Clayton, comment on Dallas Morning News editorial endorsing Linda Koop, September 10
H/T Mark Steger