Thursday, November 11, 2004

Debate family values

Democrats' biggest victory in Texas last week had to be Chet Edwards' defeat of Arlene Wohlgemuth for Congress. Noted Edwards in a Dallas Morning News column by Carl Leubsdorf, "I got 64 percent of the vote in President Bush's home county even though almost every ad run by my opponent for six months was that she wanted to go to Congress to work for George Bush."

Edwards says Democrats can't cede territory or issues. "We cannot be a national party by just representing the population centers on the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States," he added. "And we should keep Republicans from having a monopoly on family values."

How to do that? The Texas League of United Latin American Citizens produced a publication calling for "pro-family" criminal justice policies that's a good place to start. Democrat wins in Dallas County demonstrate again that the Democratic future in Texas depends on the party's ability to attract and retain Latino voters. So the ability to combine pro-family themes with messages relevant to Latinos could bridge past some of these entrenched family values debates.

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