Notes & Noticias: A Great Start to 2014

Dear Friends,

2014 is already a great year for Democrats!

On Tuesday, my friend Celia Israel won a run-off for House District 50 by an overwhelming margin. I am excited to welcome her to the Legislature, where we will work together to advance our shared priorities.

The news that Celia won came during the Travis County Democratic Party’s Johnson-Bentsen-Richards dinner, the biennial fundraiser that supports our party’s coordinated campaign. I was proud to sponsor, and amazed by the energy in the room.

Read on for more about why it’s clear that Democrats are already so excited about 2014.

Victory for Celia Israel!

When the early voting numbers came in, it was clear on Tuesday that Celia Israel had carried the run-off special election to fill HD-50. Her commanding 18-point lead early voting and mail-in ballots was more than the Republican candidate could overcome.

In the end, Celia prevailed with 59.4% of the vote, nearly matching Barack Obama’s share of the vote in the district in 2008! Democrats are clearly fired up and ready to go, even in a legislative run-off held during an ice storm.

Celia brings decades of experience working to make individuals’ lives better through her extensive community service. Her time working in Ann Richards’ administration continues to inspire her today, and I’m confident that she will bring the spirit of the former governor with her to work each day.

Celia’s campaign team did an outstanding job of mobilizing voters in inclement weather, and fostered higher turnout in this run-off than we saw in the entire Democratic Primary in HD-50 in the last two cycles.

Additional credit is due to the folks at Battleground Texas, who mobilized volunteers to make over 29,000 voter contacts, and the Travis County Democratic Party for never letting us take this race for granted.

Felicidades, Celia!

Democrats are Excited for 2014

The energy at this week’s Johnson-Bentsen-Richards dinner was tremendous. The biennial Travis County Democratic Party fundraiser is always an exciting event, and this year Chairwoman Jan Soifer and her staff really set a high bar.

The event sold out weeks in advance, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a ballroom that packed for a fundraising banquet.

The crowds were there to see our roster of Democratic stars — my friend Senator Kirk Watson emcee’d, and Senator Leticia Van de Putte spoke as well. The highlight of the event was a keynote address by Senator Wendy Davis, who set the record straight on the offensive and malicious attacks on her family. Her speech was live-streamed and is available online here.

Democrats are excited to support our excellent candidates and do the work necessary to make our state competitive. I’m sure many of the folks dressed in their fancy attire on Tuesday will be lacing up their sneakers and heading out to go door-to-door very soon. 

Thanks to everyone who is stepping up to support the coordinated campaign. As I have no primary opponent and face only a Libertarian in November, I too am excited to focus my full energy on turnout out every Democrat that we can find in Travis County!

Run in the Mud for Flood Relief!

Efforts continue to raise funds to repair damage caused by the Halloween floods last year.

Sign up for the Austin Mud Run taking place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 to benefit the Austin-Travis County Flood Relief Fund! This is a fun way to help the residents of Austin and Travis County affected by the October flooding. This is a fun, family-friendly mudder. Register and find more information at this link.

If you can’t attend the mudder then please consider donating to the rebuilding fund.

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