As has been widely reported elsewhere, State Representative Chuck Hopson, formerly a Democrat, switched parties last week. Now, instead of facing a possible challenge to his re-election in next November’s general election, he faces a tough election in hotly-contested Republican primary.
I, for one, will not criticize my old friend Chuck Hopson. His vote was always there when the House Democratic Caucus needed it. I know this must have been a difficult decision for him to have made. Personally I was surprised, because Chuck was a good and loyal Democrat who has always said that he’d rather retire from public office than join with those same East Texas Republicans whose votes he now seeks.
But there’s good news! Chuck says that he will continue to vote just as he has in the past, indicating that he won’t change a bit. This is a vast relief. I really hate it when a politician changes his stripes just to get re-elected. I think it’s a liberal breath of fresh air to see a liberal Democrat like Chuck Hopson liberally and fearlessly defend his liberal positions even in a Republican primary, facing off against a growing crowd of true conservatives who reflect the attitudes of Republican primary voters so well.
I have deep roots in Hopson’s area, and the two of us have a lot in common. Two generations of my family are buried in the cemetery outside of Palestine. My grandfather was even the pharmacist in Palestine, 50 years or more before Chuck himself began selling drugs to people, including children.
I feel a strong connection to Chuck. That’s why when Chuck’s Republican primary election battle heats up next Spring, I plan to personally travel to East Texas to help him campaign to keep his job.
I will visit all the newspapers in the region, starting with Palestine and Jacksonville, where I can tell all the reporters who will listen that as a progressive Democratic Austin insider who supports abortion and equal rights for gay Texans, and opposes prayer in schools, I am so very proud of liberal Chuck Hopson, who has been in Austin for so very very long. I want everybody in his district to know it, and I know Chuck will be pleased.
I will book myself as a guest on some of the conservative radio programs in Chuck’s district, where I can explain how time after time, Chuck bravely stood with the House Democratic Caucus. I might even get a chance to explain my views on abortion, gay rights, and prayer in schools on the radio too. I could also publicly mull over who Chuck may have cast his vote for in the most recent primary election he voted in – Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. I’m sure Chuck will be thrilled to learn of this.
I may even spend money out of my own pocket to send targeted direct mail to likely Republican primary voters all over Chuck’s district, explaining to them that there are a lot of liberal Democrats in Austin who, despite Chuck’s party switch, very much need Chuck to return to the Legislature, so he can continue to vote with the Democrats, just as he has assured everybody he will do.
“I will vote like I have always voted,” he told the Jacksonville Progress newspaper last weekend. “I don’t anticipate anything will change.”
The good people of Chuck Hopson’s district, even Republican primary voters, need to know that there are countless liberals in Austin who, like me, deeply admire Chuck. We need to help Chuck get the word out, so that Republican primary voters can hurry up and send him back to Austin – he clearly loves it here so much better than his native East Texas, and fits in so well with the Austin insiders.
I know Chuck will appreciate me helping him spread the word. But I’m only one voice, so I need your help. Please join the “Up With Chuck” movement today!