Aransas County Democratic Clubhouse

The official blog of the Aransas County Democratic Club.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Media Note: Juan Garcia

The San Antonio Express-News had an article titled Garcia Touted as Rising Demo Star in last Tuesday's paper which is now available online.

Juan was modest while speaking to a group in San Antonio:

"This kind of turnout for a guy from out of town is a tribute to your leadership and standing in the community," Garcia said, standing under an elk's head in the lounge of the exclusive Club Giraud.

Garcia — who's challenging state Rep. Gene Seaman, 76, in Texas House District 32 on the Coastal Bend — was referring to his host, lobbyist and Democratic fundraiser Frank Burney.

Also at the meeting was billionaire and HEB CEO Charles Butt:

"I'm just interested in a new person on the political scene," Butt said shortly before meeting Garcia. "He seems to have quite a list of personal achievements."

The article notes that many of the attendees have personal and business ties to Corpus Christi and that Juan was recieved warmly.

"Part of the problem with the Democratic Party is they haven't been able to identify future leaders," Burney said. "Juan fits the mold of that future leader."

(Hat Tip to Joan Bounds)

There is also a very good article on Garcia in the Texas Observer, which is availble online here. The article has good pictures from Juan's event in Taft.

Bob Bezdek, a political science professor notes:

...the district is predominately white, and about 60 percent of the district usually leans Republican...

I personally think that race will be close given all the support from local republicans that we have seen and one of those is mentioned in the article:

When he talks to voters, Garcia offers up some familiar words about not wasting tax dollars and reforming how business is done in Austin. But it wasn’t so much the promises as the sincerity that converted Republican Rockport resident Lynn Lee, a 70-year-old retired member of the U.S. Foreign Service. “He’s honest,” Lee says of Garcia. “We believe he’ll do as he says.”



Blogger Abogado said...

Here is a great Texas Observer article on the race between Juan Garcia and Eugene Seaman.

When Garcia appeared on the South Texas political scene in 2004, no one had heard of him. But it didn’t take long for Corpus Christi’s Democratic political groupies to begin whispering about the man who seems to carry all the credentials for an epic political career. They thought he would appeal to just about everyone–not just the Democrats who dominate Corpus Christi politics, but also to the Republicans in the coastal towns outside Corpus. With Election Day only weeks away, Democrats are still energized, and, anecdotally at least, many Republicans are considering abandoning ... 10-year state Rep. Gene Seaman (R-Corpus Christi) in District 32. In a state where every statewide elected position belongs to the GOP, Garcia seems to embody everything the Democrats need to take some of that power back. He’s a veteran Navy pilot. He has worked at the White House. He surfs. He created programs for at-risk children. He leads a photogenic family of six (eight-year old twins, a five- year-old, and a three-year-old). [Disclosure: One of Garcia’s cousins serves on the nonprofit board that publishes The Texas Observer.] And he has two diplomas from Harvard, a law degree and a master’s from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. ... The man with the dream résumé has stirred up an unusual amount of excitement for a lowly South Texas state representative race. It’s not as much about the boilerplate promises to work toward improving education and broadening health benefits that rally Garcia’s followers. Rather, it’s the desire to get on board the political express elevator at the ground floor. His supporters–who include former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, former presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark, and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama–see a budding political star. And they’re counting on Garcia’s universal appeal to move him quickly through the ranks of politics and government. The leadership of the Democratic Party of Texas also must have seen something; he was tapped to introduce Chris Bell, the party’s choice in the race for governor, at the state convention this past June.


On the stump, Garcia has been calling for more lawmaker accountability, a promise that might lead to some conflict in Austin. The Texas Legislature is one of the holdouts in this Electronic Age to rely mostly on voice votes, and not record votes. Year after year, lawmakers decide to hide in the anonymity of voice votes.... One legislator is all it takes to require a record vote, and Garcia says he’ll be that legislator–every time, for every vote, for every amendment. “Any member–even a freshman member of the out-of-power party–can call for the full recording and documentation of votes. On my watch, every vote in the Texas Legislature, every measure will be documented and put online in real time,” Garcia says.


Garcia even declines to talk about a recent, potentially damaging revelation about Seaman. Earlier this month, news broke in Seaman’s district that could threaten his re-election. The Corpus Christi Caller Times reported Seaman paid his wife rent from his campaign funds for an Austin condominium that she owns. The couple also took tax exemptions from properties in Austin and Corpus Christi, the newspaper reported. Seaman spokesman Mac McCall told the paper that Seaman’s wife was figuring out the “mistake.”... As Election Day approaches, Corpus Christi voters can expect some aggressiveness soon from the Garcia camp, especially considering the reputation for negative campaigning of Garcia’s main consultant, San Antonio-based Christian Archer, who ran successful races for Houston Mayor Bill White and San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger. Archer may soon target Seaman’s record in Austin, if a recent conversation with him is any indication. The ads could be ugly, considering he describes Seaman in terms that include “whore of the insurance companies” and “punk” and “rubber stamp for [House Speaker] Tom Craddick.”... Yet without doubt Seaman’s most infamous moment in the House came in March 2005, during a floor speech that more than one blogger has called “creepy.” (See and “Gene Seaman’s Erection” on The Internet has allowed Garcia backers to look back and laugh at Seaman’s infamous speech in which he talked about giving older people a discount on Viagra. In his embarrassing presentation, Seaman threw his shoulders back and stood “erect,” as he put it, before the House and promised to go “limp” if he didn’t get the votes. The Garcia campaign might take the high road on the Viagra issue, but the footage has taken on a life of its own on the Internet and ... If District 32 voters can manage to shake any memory of the Viagra speech, they might also hear the Garcia camp talk about Seaman’s less-than-astonishing tenure in the House, including his inability to earn a committee chairmanship. As Truan puts it, “I would have thought that Gene would have been a more prominent member of the House, or at least would have achieved more significant legislation.”

Read the whole article here.

10/10/2006 11:32 PM  

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