After a hotly contested campaign in the Democratic Primary, State Sen. John Whitmire won the Democratic primary by a landslide over challenger Damian LaCroix.
Voters at the polls spoke loudly giving Whitmire the momentum he needs to push toward November.
“We are thankful to voters for their confidence in me and I am grateful,” Whitmire said. “This win is not a victory for me, but for the community and the district.”
Whitmire won by a whopping 75.1-percent garnering 9,756 votes to LaCroix’s 24.9-percent or 3,232 votes.
He earned the trust of his constituency by not forsaking or going astray from his mission of serving the people and the communities who sent him to Austin.
As Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, he has dedicated his time and efforts to reforming our adult and juvenile criminal justice systems by championing alternatives to incarceration through prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Whitmire is a vocal advocate for increased funding for our public schools, colleges and universities, and crucial health and human service programs.
Since 2003, he has been know as the “Dean of the Senate” because of his 42 years of public service.
Senate District 15 shows the voting age population is 32.8-percent Anglo, 23.6-percent African-American, and 38-percent Hispanic. It is a majority-minority district and should always be protected as such under the important principles of the Voting Rights Act.
Whitmire said one of the most difficult lessons learned campaigning this round was dealing with an opponent who tried to use race as one of the main reasons for electing him.
“I grew up more during this campaign,” he said. “My whole career and voting record was up for review. I am thankful that the race was shut out and rebuffed and voters sent a strong statement of where we are as a diverse people and where we are going together.”
The African-American News&Issues endorsed State Senator John Whitmire for State Senate District 15. It is a decision made by the editorial board after considering the needs and priorities for the African-American community and who can best understand those needs, communicate those priorities and deliver in Austin.
The race card was not a factor in the decision to support Whitmire over LaCroix.
“Just because you are Black (running in a predominantly Black district) does not mean you are automatically entitled to be elected,” said African-American News&Issues Publisher, Roy Douglas Malonson. “We are not taking sides for Republicans or Democrats. We are interested in candidates who are truly interested in making a difference in the Black community and who have done things, given back or fought for causes in the community.”
According to Malonson, many candidates running on the basis of entitlement who get elected often forget where they came from and lose sight of what the community needs and fails to help it get to the next level.
“Our endorsements will not be automatic,” he said. “We are looking carefully and closely for people who have done things for the community, know the community and are willing to give back and it does not matter if they are Black, White, Green, Red or Yellow.”
Whitmire was clear in pointing out that he respects the honest judgment and decision of the people in his district and will demonstrate it by delivering results.
“My support came from people who promote the community and who are not just talkers, but very active in issues, making a difference and doing things for the community,” he said. “I take earning that trust seriously and appreciate their willingness to select me after measuring my qualifications and recognizing that experience counts.”
Whitmire will continue to protect and represent that diversity, in particular the minority make-up of the district.
The issues important to our citizens and our families are still the same – good jobs and fair wages, quality public schools, access to affordable health care, safe streets and neighborhoods, a fair and just criminal justice system.