Earlier this week, state Sen. Royce West sent to Dallas County Democratic Party precinct chairs a missive beneath the subject heading "From One Democrat to Another." It has become, during the last 48 hours, a subject of much conversation among those who received it. (Well, that's not entirely true. Some of the precinct chairs to whom I spoke this afternoon don't recall getting it or went ahead and deleted it upon receipt. Nothing personal, Royce, swear.)
It was sent by Daniel Clayton, who works in West's campaign office, and was typed beneath West's official "Senate of the State of Texas" letterhead. It reads, in full:
As we approach the 2010 election cycle, we should take pride in the resurgence of the Democratic Party as the dominate party in Dallas County. Citizens have put their faith, hope, and trust in democratic elected officials to provide the concerted leadership necessary to maintain our county government, judiciary, and criminal justice systems.
We know that the best is yet to come if we continue to work as a team! The team approach requires cooperation between elected officials.
I assert and hope you agree with me, that the best interest of the citizens in Dallas County and the Democratic Party are far more important than the self interests of any one elected official.
Know this, that no elected official is indispensable! If you agree with this assertion, I ask that you email me an acknowledgement.
From one Democrat to Another,
State Senator Royce West
Several precinct chairs to whom I spoke this afternoon say they wondered who West is referring to toward the end of the letter. It's been a conversation-starter in Democratic circles in recent days: "Nobody I've talked to has any idea what he means," says one chair. A couple mentioned Dallas County Judge Jim Foster -- because, after all, West serves on the steering committee of Clay Jenkins, who's running for Dallas County judge. Other names have come up as well, as has the theory that "he's trying to reconstitute an e-mail list."
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West's spokesman, Kelvin Bass, refuses to comment on the letter, as it's "a campaign matter." Clayton, we were told, is out of town. Messages have been left for the senator, as well as Dallas County Democratic Party chair Darlene Ewing. Maybe she knows what he's talking about.