Today, Kansans are voting in an unexpectedly close race to replace now Trump CIA director Mike Pompeo in KS-04, which ‘is’ a R+30 district. [Update: The Republican won by 7% in what should have been a sleeper, blow-away vote … e.g., a massive swing toward Ds that suggests >100 GOP seats could be in play in 2018.]
Next week, Georgians are voting in the 6th district to replace now Secretary of (anti)Health and Human Services Tom Price. In the pent up passion of the (anti-)Trump era, the Democratic candidate John Ossoff might just pull off the shocker of getting a majority in this first round primary and be the first ‘@Flippable‘ step toward a Democratic-controlled (and, well, democratically-elected) Congress.
GA-06 is only a small indicator of the passion sweeping through the nation — across the nation, from local and state politics (like Virginia’s 2017 House of Delegates campaigns) to Congressional races, potential candidates are coming out in district after district around the nation giving a clear indication that 2018 might be a greater sweep election than 2010 Koch-funded “Tea Party” or the 1974 post-Nixonian era elections.
Texas’ 21st congressional district, part of horrific GOP gerrymandering to deny Austin-area Texans true Democracy and real opportunities for political choices, is one of those districts. Currently occupied by the rabidly anti-science Lamar Smith, who has either not faced an opponent or else coasted for victory, prospects are that Smith will face a very serious challenger come 2018. In addition to a likely effort by his 2016 challenger Tom Wakely, Army veteran and clean-energy advocate Joseph Kopser is (very openly) toying with throwing his hat in the ring. Kopser is explicitly making Smith’s maniacal anti-climate science crusade core to his messaging:
defeat one of the most anti-science politicians in Congress.
I want to help move this country forward, which means supporting science and business while taking climate change seriously.
While greatly appreciating that Wakely sought to hold #climate zombie Smith accountable and defeat him at the polls, the 2016 result doesn’t necessarily bode well for a 2018 rematch. Kopser, however, could be the sort of top-tier candidate (see after the fold) who would garner both national attention (and resources) and local support to oust Smith. If districts like TX-21 (and not ‘just’ those few traditional swing districts, like the candidates coming out of the woodwork in Virginia’s 10th) are truly competitive in 2018, someone who actually cares about good governance (unlike Jason Chaffetz — who is also likely to face a serious opponent in 2018) will chair the House Oversight Committee come January 2019. And, if it hasn’t already occurred, it will be reasonable to expect that Articles of Impeachment will be voted on by spring 2019.
In 2018, it looks like Democrats in Texas 21st will have a choice to make in the primary. Wakely? Kopser? Some other candidate? The primary will likely feature multiple people chomping at the bit to take on (and, well, take down) Smith.
NOTE: For a less flattering perspective on Kopser, see Down With Tyranny.
Why you should support Joseph Kopser
It’s time for new leadership in Texas. Rep. Lamar Smith has represented Texas since 1986 and built a reputation as Congress’s most persistent climate change denier – a fact that is even more disturbing considering he is the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Smith doesn’t believe in facts, and he doesn’t want them reported. Instead, he believes it’s “better to get your news directly from the President. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.” We can do better.
I am now seriously considering challenging Rep. Lamar Smith as a Democrat in Texas’ 21st Congressional District. Please pledge to donate here. It will only be charged should I decide to run. Your pledge will help send a powerful signal that a people-powered campaign can defeat one of the most anti-science politicians in Congress.
I want to help move this country forward, which means supporting science and business while taking climate change seriously. I have the experience to do it. In 2013, I was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for my efforts in Energy and Transportation.
I served in the U.S. Army for 20 years earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab and Bronze Star. I graduated from West Point with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and received a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002.
I’m currently the President of Grayline, where we work to bring together experts, data and solutions to help companies and public institutions manage disruptive change. Before joining Grayline, I was the Co-Founder and CEO of a Texas-based technology company that enabled seamless multimodal experiences and connected transit commerce to app users worldwide.
In my free time, I work closely with The Bunker Austin, an organization dedicated to supporting veteran entrepreneurs. I co-founded 60x30Works to improve education and workforce training in Texas to build the new economy. In addition, I volunteer as Chairman of NSTXL working to improve U.S. Energy Security policy. I recently joined the Texas Lyceum, the Truman National …