Runoff Voters Sought Better Priorities for Texas

Texas voters spoke clearly and in bipartisan fashion for progress in Tuesday’s runoff elections, endorsing an agenda in which public education and the larger concerns of working people take priority over wedge issues, Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said today.

“From the nomination of Lupe Valdez for the governorship to the choice of strong congressional and legislative candidates, Democrats sent a message that they want lawmakers who will consider their livelihoods and hopes for the future rather than calculate political advantage,” Levy said. “They sent a message that public schools need attention, that Texans need to know they can face illness or injury without going bankrupt, that immigrants and LGBTQ Texans should not face discrimination for political gain and rigging the rules against working families is not going to fly in Texas.”

“On the Republican side of the ledger, voters used their leverage to support candidates who will fix our broken public school finance system and invest in our children. They rejected billionaire manipulators who want to undermine our public school system by enacting private school vouchers. GOP voters chose their neighborhood schools over the ideology of privatization.”

Most COPE-endorsed candidates won. In addition to Valdez, that list includes Jana Lynne Sanchez in CD 6, Mike Siegel in CD 10, Joseph Kopser in CD 21, Sri Preston Kulkarni in CD 22, Gina Ortiz Jones in CD 23, Eric Holguin in CD 27, MJ Hegar in CD 31, Colin Allred in CD 32, Rita Lucido in SD 17, Sheryl Cole in HD 46 and Carl Sherman in HD 109.  

“We congratulate the nominees and look forward to their opportunities to build a better Texas,” Levy said. “While we are disappointed that some COPE-backed candidates didn’t prevail, we thank all of them for advocating for working people. As we turn toward the general election, the Texas AFL-CIO COPE Committee will continue to evaluate candidates on the basis of their records and their commitment to fighting for our families.”

“Make no mistake,” Levy said. “Texas needs major changes at the top. Without apology we are committed to building political power for working families in our communities. We believe union voters, their families and our allies will tilt heavily in November toward candidates who demonstrate a genuine commitment to working families.”

The Texas AFL-CIO COPE is the political arm of the Texas AFL-CIO, a state labor federation consisting of 235,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.