Friedman Runs Again
Friedman, known as the frontman of Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys as well as the songwriter of “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” is also known for being an author and two unsuccessful runs for office.
This time, running as a Democrat, he wants to be agriculture commissioner for the state, and he’s already knocked out the party’s preferred candidate, Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III.
Friedman, 69, faces a May 27 runoff against a cattle rancher named Jim Hogan who says he has no plans to raise money for the political battle.
The Texas Democratic Party is trying to gain statewide office for the first time since 1994 with Wendy Davis its gubernatorial candidate.
If Friedman wins the runoff against Hogan as well as the Republican candidate, he will be placed in a “powerful” position, running an agency that has 700 employees and a $550 million annual budget, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But his candidacy is giving the party “fits,” according to the paper.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa sent out an email last month that basically endorsed Fitzsimons.
A spokesman has said the party will not take sides in the runoff, but the email didn’t sit well with Friedman.
“If [the party] had a great track record, then I would say, ‘OK, maybe I am dong something wrong,’” Friedman told the WSJ. “But when you look at their comprehensive record of failure over the last 20 years then you realize you gotta try something different.”
Friedman wants to legalize marijuana, while the party wants to decriminalize it but keep it illegal.
Friedman said legalization would “castrate” Mexican drug cartels.
The party is also concerned Friedman’s stance on marijuana will complicate straight-ticket voting and that Friedman’s colorful soundbites can be a hindrance.