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I talked to Hogan today, and he attributes his victory to the Almighty.
“It was a miracle and only God could’ve pulled it off,” he told me. “That doesn’t sell papers and you may think that’s corny but I truly believe it.”
I can understand why God wouldn’t want the atheistic Kinky Friedman representing God’s Party but what about Fitzsimons, who actually campaigned?
Hogan scoffs at the idea that “the Establishment” has anything to teach him.
“When I called Democrats and told them I was gonna be on the ticket first thing they said was, ‘How long you been in politics?’ I said, ‘I’m not no politician.’ They said, ‘Let me tell you something: It takes a lot of money to win a state race and you can’t win.’ I said, ‘Let me tell you something, y’all haven’t won since 1994.’”
And that’s true enough. Democrats have lost every single one of the last 100 or so statewide races since 1994. Hogan thought he’d try something a little different: He wouldn’t really campaign.
“Basically I run on the internet and a phone,” he said. “My motto is: My phone and Internet can outrun any jet plane or car across the state of Texas. I don’t have to be there.”
But how did voters know about him at all? Details about his candidacy only appear in a handful of small-town papers.
“All you gotta do is Google my name—’jim hogan ag commissioner’—and there’s enough on there.”
Hogan says he signed up for the Democratic ticket only because the field was weaker than the Republican slate, which featured five candidates.
“I can’t whup all five of ‘em but I might whup one of ‘em,” he said. “Sign me up!”
To be fair, Hogan has more experience than Kinky Friedman with farm and ranch affairs. He says he’s been involved in agriculture from childhood and ran a dairy farm from 1973 to 2005. Now in the insurance business, Hogan can speak at length about the economics of irrigated agriculture and the functions of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Still, he doesn’t have much of a platform.