Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

If rural democrats are going to be successful long term we need better leadership in regional planning and cooperation. Notice I said, cooperation not coordination. If I had a dime for every time someone has mentioned having a coordinated campaign — we don’t need coordination. We need partnership and true cooperation in achieving a single objective. The individualist, go it alone county party model must be discarded.

Every county party falls into this trap. It is not our fault. It was designed this way. But it was designed for a very different world than the one we live in. A…


Photo City of San Angelo Water Distribution Dept.

I use the phrase political infrastructure in my writing and speaking about rural Democratic efforts a lot. Quite often people ask what that means. The best and simplest way I can describe it is to compare it to our dismal and dilapidated highways, water mains, bridges and the other crumbling infrastructure problem we have all over this country. The vulnerability and failure of the electric grid and our municipal water delivery systems during the recent snowstorm is a prime example.

If you have all the money in the world, the best people and the best message but you don’t have…


Graphic courtesy of Hannah Horick and The 134 PAC

There are the 39 counties west of the I-35 corridor in Texas that have no Democratic County Chair— Andrews, Armstrong, Borden, Carson, Cochran, Coke, Concho, Crockett, Dallam, Dawson, Floyd, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Irion, Kimble, Kinney, Knox, Loving, Lynn, Martin, Mills, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Reagan, Roberts, San Saba, Shackleford, Sherman, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, Swisher, Throckmorton, Ward, Winkler, Yoakum.

But the problem goes much deeper than these 39. They are just scratching the surface. There are dozens, maybe scores, more counties in rural Texas that, whether there is a name in the seat or not, effectively have no county chair and…


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I talk to a lot of folks from across the country on social media about politics in general and Texas politics specifically. Many that I follow and converse with are not in Texas, and are much more progressive than the average Texas voter — especially rural Texas voters. Many of them are from urban or suburban areas. Like me, they find much about Texas GOP dominated politics disconcerting and they express their views. Sometimes in anger or frustration their criticisms go beyond a particular elected official or GOP policy proposal and include a general criticism or attack on Texas as…


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“I hate ‘isms.” Someone said this to me the other day and it really stuck. There are a bunch of ‘isms — conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, populism, socialism, communism, progressivism. I do hate all of ‘em.

I said something similar during my congressional campaign. Mine was “I hate labels.” These statements both convey the same idea —we should reject everything that limits us and does not help win elections. These are things that just stand in the way.

This is especially true when talking about rural Democratic politics. Ideologies, purity tests and oaths of allegiance to one particular view of the…


I have been critical here of the decades long neglect of rural areas by the Texas Democratic Party. Now it is time to leave criticism behind. I did not write my previous articles to advocate for change at TDP. I wrote them as a way of fleshing out my own ideas and to explain why I believe the only way we can change what is happening in Texas is to operate outside of the official party structure. I am a Democrat. …


“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” — Julius Caesar Act 1 Sc. 2

Horsehead Crossing of the Pecos River, Texas.

I understand why TDP felt the need to prepare its recently released 2020 Texas Election Retrospective. After a result like we had, and the ensuing internal unrest, they had to. From a rural Democrat’s point of view I find little in it of worth and am not optimistic it will change anything. I’ve been around long enough and have seen this pattern before — a disaster at the polls followed by much hand wringing, resignations, study of…


Photo by Jurij Kenda on Unsplash

During my run for Congress in 2020 the first thing I did was try to connect with every county chair in the 29 counties of TX-11. I spoke with several persons who were listed by TDP on its website as county chairs who told me in no uncertain terms that they were not. All of them told me the same thing, they had gotten burned out, had received no support, few volunteers and had told the TDP it needed to find someone new. Yet they were still listed as county chairs on the TDP website. As it turned out, only…


The Texas Democratic Party does not know rural voters. Even worse, it does not know how to get to know them. If TDP wants to make ground in rural Texas, the party and most of its candidates cannot apply the same tactics with rural voters that they do in urban/suburban areas. I offer this is a primer on key practical differences campaigns must be aware of before they ever venture to make rural voters part of any election strategy. My experience is in West Texas, so I cannot say that these observations would apply in all rural areas of the…


Photo by Jr. Farren on Unsplash

It has long been said in Democratic politics in Texas that Hispanics don’t vote. Maybe that is because we don’t give them anything to vote for.

The future of Texas is Hispanic. That future is already here. The Texas Democratic Party has long been operating under the assumption that, given enough time, Hispanic population growth will return Democrats to power. This of course is based on a plainly false assumption — that all Hispanics will vote in a block and vote Democrat. This is a mistake of cataclysmic proportion.

It is shocking to have to say this in Texas, but…

Jon Mark Hogg

West Texas Lawyer and former Democratic Candidate for Congress

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