Jon Mark Hogg

Democrats sometimes like to look back at their 130 plus years of one party rule as some sort of golden age we want to get back to. Don’t. It wasn’t

The more you study the history of the Texas Democratic Party and the Texas Republican Party during this era the more you realize the complete reversal of roles that have taken place between the two parties. It is sort of the Freaky Friday of politics — you remember, the old Disney movie about the mother and daughter who change bodies. Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis were the daughter and…


Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

There is nothing Democrats like more than calling their party A Big Tent — meaning we are a coalition of various groups with various sets of values, beliefs and interests, but who come together in the party to work for their common interest. Democrats are a coalition, not a monolithic, unitary party. I love that about the party. But if we are going to continue being that Big Tent we have to be ready to expand the tent and include even more partners in our great coalition.

I am referring to the disaffected moderate and liberal Republicans who will be…


Do you have what it takes to run as a rural Texas Democrat?

Photo by Marc Rafanell López on Unsplash

The greatest obstacle to electing Democrats in rural Texas is getting people to run as Democrats in the first place. Yet, nothing is more important. Democratic candidates energize Democrats. If you are reading this, then I suppose you have at least thought about running for office as a Democrat. You have also probably been told some version of “you should run as a Republican,” or, “you can’t win as a Democrat.” Depending on where you live, and the office you seek, I am not going to tell you they are wrong. …


When I decided to run for Congress one of the best pieces of advice I received was from my friend the late J.B. Hall, long time Democrat and fierce advocate for his community. When I told him I was running for Congress he looked up at me, set his firm jaw and said “Be bold.” I hope that I lived up to that advice. It is advice we as rural Democrats desperately need to hear.

Notice that he said nothing about contacting the party in Austin, nothing about fundraising, nothing about organization, nothing about voter registration and nothing about GOTV…


Saturn Devouring His Son by Goya ca. 1823

Saturn was one of the Titans who overthrew his father Uranus in order to rule the heavens. He so feared one of his children doing the same to him that he devoured five of his children as soon as they were born. When Zeus was born, to save him his mother gave Saturn a rock wrapped in cloth to swallow instead. Zeus ultimately became King of the Olympian Gods. After fighting a ten year war, he overthrew the Titans, including Saturn, and imprisoned them in Tartarus.

The moral of this story — don’t be like Saturn.

That is easier said…


I have heard lots of rumors over the past several weeks of people that are planning to run for Texas Democratic Party Chair. There seems to be a growing call for radical change and new leadership at the state party. I am a vocal critic of the party, particularly its failure to rise to the challenge of being a state wide party for a diverse state — politically, ethnically, culturally, economically. You would think I would be jumping up and down clamoring for new leadership and radical change. But I am no radical and no revolutionary. …


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

There is one major obstacle standing in the way of Democratic growth in rural Texas — political pessimism. It pervades every county, every county party, ever volunteer, every Democratic primary voter. Democrats out here walk around with a sense that can only be described as political nihilism — nothing you do matters so why even try. I don’t care how much money or work we pour into rural Texas, unless we can destroy this culture and attitude, making progress will be extremely difficult. Our task as rural Democrats is already hard enough without the prevailing pessimism.

Unbridled optimism is not…


Photo by Jon Toney on Unsplash

There once was a farmer who had a big gray horse and a wagon. Now this farmer had been taught by his daddy and granddaddy the most important thing was to never put the cart before the horse. He took that to heart. So after his harvest he decided it was time to take his grain to market. So one morning he went and got the horse and hitched him to the wagon. As soon as he finished hitching the horse to the wagon he went to go get the grain. …


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…

Jon Mark Hogg

West Texas Lawyer and former Democratic Candidate for Congress

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