Now that the filing deadline has passed, and the initial rush of adrenaline has faded, all across Texas our new candidates are beginning to realize the magnitude of the task before them. Our Blue Horizon Texas team has been in their shoes and is gearing up to help candidates get their campaigns rolling by providing guidance on district strategy, the endorsement process, social media, and numerous other campaign tasks. No one should have to do this alone. Democratic and progressive communities are clear in wanting more diverse candidates to step. Changing the face of leadership means changing the way campaigns are run.
A little more than a month after our public launch, Blue Horizon Texas has some exciting end of year updates to share.
We are currently conducting a pilot of our online candidate community with 10 participants (one statewide candidate, two state senate candidates, several state house candidates, a JP candidate, and a city council candidate).
As the 2022 landscape becomes clearer, other candidates are contacting us to join the community, which will open to all candidates in our target races (district or major county(ies) with a partisan lean R+10 or greater) in January. The candidate pool for our target 2022 races includes upwards of 100 candidates for state office, across 11 statewide races, 10 state senate races, several dozen state house races, and 5 State Board of Education races. Of the 254 counties in Texas, the majority meet our threshold for partisan lean, and we will begin outreach to Democratic candidates for county judge, commissioner, clerk, justice of the peace, and other county-level races in January. Additionally, we will begin identifying progressive candidates for May and November local, nonpartisan races.
We are also building a volunteer community, hosted on the same private social network. Starting in January, a small group of experienced activists, former candidates, and other volunteers will participate in a pilot test. We expect a public launch after the Texas primary in March.
Library of Resources
In our online community, we have begun building our library of online courses, Quick Reference Guides, and Tip Sheets on a range of campaign topics for candidates and volunteers, such as campaign finance reporting, volunteer coordination, fundraising, field organizing, and more.
These resources are tailored for the realities of a low-budget campaign, specific to Texas law and political climate, and are reviewed and vetted by our subject
matter experts as appropriate.
Additionally, we have begun assembling our catalog of third-party resources, focusing on free and low-cost services, organized and tagged for easy browsing or keyword searches.
Former Candidate Conversations
In December, we launched the first of our planned webinar series, Former Candidate Conversations, in-depth interviews with former candidates for state and local offices. These conversations serve to inform and inspire by telling the stories of Democrats and progressives who have run in deep red districts, especially women of color, queer candidates, and working-class candidates, who show the need for different support systems than the current campaign infrastructure provides. By building a foundation of knowledge and support, we will enable more of these candidates to run and to see greater success over time.
Former Candidate Conversations, recorded with FJ Jones and Lisa Seger, December 2021.
Former Candidate Conversations will continue on an ongoing basis throughout 2022.
Policy and Campaign Experts Webinar Series
In January, we will begin another webinar series, with campaign and policy experts. The first is planned for the beginning of January with our legal consultant Andrew Cates, expert in Texas campaign finance law and author of Texas Ethics Annotated, to prepare candidates for the first campaign finance report due following the December filing deadline. Future webinars will be held on policy topics such as climate, abortion rights, and gun safety, as well as nuts and bolts of running a low-budget campaign.
To make our work sustainable, Blue Horizon Texas needs your support. Even a small donation allows us to provide valuable resources for dozens of candidates across the state, as well as the opportunity for candidates, volunteers, and coalition members to easily connect and collaborate.