Hank Gilbert, the candidate I was ready to endorse, vote for and volunteer for, has decided to leave the crowded Democratic field and return to his run for Agriculture Commissioner.
To say, I'm disappointed would be an understatement. I liked how this guy talked, how he acted and now he's bowed to the pressure of a crowded race and gone and endorsed Farouk Shami.
Farouk Shami has two hits against him in Texas. One is his name. He will never win the rural areas of Texas. Ever. Two is the fact that he's a multimillionaire who needs no help in raising money (he's said he'll use $10 million of his own) and is unlikely to draw Hank's supporters to his cause.
This endorsement is confusing. Gilbert states that Houston Mayor Bill White had twice promised him he was not running for governor and now that White has changed his mind, he's peeved. So he's endorsing Shami? Who's big claim to fame is that he immigrated from Palestine with $71 in his pocket and founded a multi-million dollar business? He sounds more Republican than Democrat.
It confusing and a bit petty from a candidate that, on paper at least, looked better than that. Will I vote for him for AG Commissioner? Probably. That's a big position in Texas and it would be nice to have someone who seems to have a decent head on their shoulders, current actions notwithstanding, in our state government. Will I continue to volunteer and possibly donate? Not likely. I was fired up about his statements on LGBT rights and that's not something he can really influence as Ag Commissioner.
Neither White or Shami have a word about LBGT issues on their websites. So, there goes that hope. Still, White is a candidate that many Democratic pundits in Texas have been wanting to see run for Governor. They think he stands the best chance at defeating Perry. And God knows just about anyone would be better than Perry the Fruitcake.