TX-Sen: Field Clears For Noriega
by Todd Beeton, Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 02:30:12 PM EDT
Texas Senate candidate Mikal Watts (D) has decided to end his exploratory campaign for the seat of Sen. John Cornyn (R).
Watts's exit leaves state Rep. Rick Noriega as the only top Democratic contender in the field.
In a statement, Watts cited concerns for his family as the primary reason for his dropping out and pledged to help elect whoever the Democratic nominee is.
The reasons for creating my exploratory committee still exist. As I have criss-crossed the state and met and talked with tens of thousands of good Texans, it is evident how much the people of Texas want and need a Senator who will fight every day for their interests and not the special interests. We need to elect a new Senator in Texas and I will personally do everything possible to support the Democratic nominee.
Thanks to Watts's decision, it looks like we can look forward to State Senator Rick Noriega's unimpeded nomination. Glad to see Watts will be actively involved in helping Noriega send John Cornyn packing. From Noriega's statement:
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, the credit goes to the man in the arena. And Mikal Watts will always have my utmost respect for standing in the arena and highlighting how John Cornyn has let Texas down, placing political extremists and his financial contributors ahead of the people of Texas. [...]
Today, Mikal made a very difficult and personal decision to put his family first. That's a reflection of a strong character and a truly grounded leader.
Mikal and I made plans to sit down together in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'll continue the campaign that we started together and fight for the vision for a better Texas that we continue to share.
Looking at Kos's Research 2000 poll from September, which found Noriega starting off with a 35%-51% deficit against Cornyn, this will be an uphill climb to be sure. But as Jonathan and Markos reminded us yesterday, we've done it before and we can do it again.