Points By Drew Pritt

Could Texas & Noriega Be The UPSET Of The Year???
June 26, 2008, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


A third poll, independent and Texas-based, finds that U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R) is in a tight reelection fight. His opponent, State Representative Rick Noriega (D), is suddenly starting to emerge on the scene. In the poll, Cornyn edges Noriega, 38% to 36%, but within the poll’s 4.5 point margin of error.

Cornyn, who is so close to the Bush Family that President George W. Bush (R) called him once “my brother from another mother” seemed to be cruising along to another term easily. In 2002, he narrowly defeated Dallas Mayor, and former Texas Secretary of State, Ron Kirk (D). Although there were rumors Kirk or former Congressman Ken Bentsen (D), nephew of former U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen whom Kirk defeated in the ’02 Senate runoff, or even former Governor Mark White (D) were considering challenging Cornyn. Only Noriega stepped up to the challenge. Since then, Noriega has forged a powerful alliance statewide.

On a recent campaign stop in Lubbock, Noriega was introduced by the powerful former Texas Speaker of the House Pete Laney, who credited Noriega, a five-term state representative, as being “a vital part of my leadership team” while the two served in the house. On issues, Noriega is taking Cornyn to task as being an empy suit. Noriega has said the nation needs to find more forms of energy and needs to do more than just conserve fossil fuels such as gasoline. Texas, he has said, has the opportunity to become the leader in renewable fuels such as solar energy and fuels derived from agricultural products. Noriega, who is Hispanic-America, also has targeted the nation’s “broken” immigration system, which he said Cornyn had no interest in fixing. The government must find a way, he has said, to allow hard-working but undocumented immigrants to stay in the country while guarding the border against human and drug traffickers. To strengthen education, Noriega argues that the federal government should “sunset” the No Child Left Behind Act and allow teachers to teach the individual student, not a test.

Noriega recently returned from deployment as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard and served in Afghanistan in 2004.

With this third poll showing a close race, it’s apparent Noriega’s message is resonating with Texas voters.


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