Democrat Hellyar Takes Endorsement From Republican Peck--Has Peck Distanced Self From Anti-Democratic GOP?
Houston Democratic At-Large Position 2 Council candidate Nick Hellyar has taken an endorsement from incumbent Republican District A Councilwoman Amy Peck.
Bipartisanship is fine in concept. But bipartisanship when the Republican Party is an anti-democratic threat to public safety, is not a pragmatic or safe course to follow in the most diverse city in the United States.
A political class may reach accomodation that leaves rank & file voters out in the cold as Texas state government moves always further and further to the right. And then Republican officials will turn on the Democrats who thought they could be reasoned with.
Democrats running for office in Houston have an obligation to make clear at every juncture that they are willing to fight for democracy.
We know that some Republican Houston City Council members hold extreme views.
Councilman Mike Knox talks about voters getting food and water while waiting to vote and says Election Judges doing their civic duty should possibly be punished.
Councilwoman Mary Nan Huffman seeks endless audits of our 2022 Harris County elections by far-right Texas statewide officials.
Did Mr. Hellyar ask Ms. Peck if she has distanced herself from Mr. Knox and Ms. Huffman on the core issue of protecting democracy?
Here is some of what Mr. Hellyar said in announcing Ms. Peck's endorsement:
"We are so excited to share with you City Council Member Amy Peck has endorsed our campaign! Amy is a former City Hall staffer just like me, serving as the chief of staff in the District A office before being elected as its Council Member. Amy is a fierce advocate for the residents of District A and is an outspoke leader on the issues of public safety and flooding infrastructure."
There is no relevant definition of "public safety" that does not include protection of democracy.
In Houston, we've lost our elected school board in what was just 60 years ago a Jim Crow city.
In Harris County, there are 20 ongoing Republican lawsuits to undo the 2022 election.
If Ms. Peck wants to come out and say she respects election results, uses her influence as an office-holder to help steer the Republican Party back towards democracy & and will not support insurrectionist Donald Trump for President in any circumstance--Then great.
Mr. Hellyar should insist on such assurances from anyone who supports his campaign.
To do otherwise is to look the other way at extremism, and to neglect the safety and well-being of Houstonians who imagine a future for themselves and their families rooted firmly in freedom.
The Houston Democracy Project is working everyday to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston city politics & to help inspire, build and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
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I'm Neil Aquino