Three candidates - David Van Os, vice chair Roy Laverne Brooks and current chairman Boyd Richie - just threw their hats in the ring to be the next chair of the Texas Democratic Party.
Van Os, an attorney, gave a fiery speech emphasizing an intention to campaign in all 254 Texas counties and put the state in play for the presidential election. He referred to President George W. Bush and company as a "gang of criminals," and referred to John McCain as "McBush."
"I want to win those five seats too" (needed in the Texas House to regain a Democratic majority), Van Os told the crowd, but also said he wants to "shoot for the stars" and make as many gains as possible for the party in Texas in November. "It's not good enough to say we're just gonna win a few more seats," he said.
The speech of Roy Laverne Brooks, a long time member of the Texas Democratic Black Coalition, was subdued and brief by comparison, emphasizing that "we can do it together."
Richie's strategy during his years as chairman, with which Van Os has openly taken issue, has been to target a handful of vulnerable Republican seats during each election cycle. Tha strategy has led to the gradual dwindling of the Republican majority in the Texas House since 2003.
"We have found our voice, our confidence is back," he said.
He highlighted the goals of winning back the majority in the House, "turning Harris County blue," giving "John Cornyn a pink slip" presumably by electing Rick Noriega to the U.S. Senate, and finally electing Barack Obama president.
"Let's get out there and kick a little Republican rump," he concluded.