By Jeremy Bird, Battleground Texas Founder
This week, Alabamians elected the state’s first Democratic Senator in 25 years. Some said it would never happen, but we know that anything is possible if we are willing to fight for what’s right. That’s true in Texas just as it was in Alabama.
Here’s what we can learn from Doug Jones’s race:
- We need to run candidates in every single election, and this is happening in Texas now for the first time. Doug Jones was on the ballot and running hard before Roy Moore won the primary and his reprehensible behavior was exposed. After the deadline this week, Texas Democrats had filed to contest all 36 U.S. House seats in 2018, 133 out of 150 state House seats, and 14 out of 15 state Senate seats. These are some historic numbers.
- Candidates matter. We need good, strong, decent people to run, like Jones, a civil rights lawyer who prosecuted members of the KKK. Battleground Texas and our progressive partners know this and work hard to recruit and train candidates to run for office through our Texas Future Leadership Program, for Texans of color, and our Women Leaders of San Antonio program.
- Democrats need to invest in young, African American, and Hispanic voters. Black voters (along with women and millennials) carried the election for Moore, despite systematic voter suppression. We need your help to continue working to fight voter suppression, registering voters in underrepresented communities, registering young voters, and supporting people of color who want to run for office.
- We can’t give up on or fail to invest in anyone. Jones performed better in Alabama’s suburban and rural districts than any Democrat in 25 years. Texans from all corners of the state — from Nacogdoches, to La Grange, to Harlingen — contact us every day wanting to learn what they can do to elect Democrats in their communities, and we need to continue to invest in and engage these Texans so we can get our message to these voters as well.
- Organizing wins elections. The Jones campaign, the Democratic Party, and independent groups all focused on having real conversations with voters — online and offline — to engage them in the political process. It’s not enough to put up TV ads at the last second or rely on paid canvassing and mailers. We have to keep investing in organizing, which is what Battleground Texas has always been about.