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Daugherty kicks off campaign for Travis County Commissioner

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Michael Kanin

Former Travis County Pct. 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty drew about 115 supporters to a campaign kick-off event at the Broken Spoke on Tuesday night. There, Daugherty, who lost his seat to current incumbent Democrat Karen Huber in 2008, refrained from any direct attacks against his once and future rival.


Daugherty was, however, careful to imply that he was the better candidate. “I think that you have to have people in office that are willing to take this thing on and do it for the right reason,” he told supporters.


Republican Daugherty’s campaign manager, Mistie Davis-Frappier, told In Fact Daily that the candidate was pleased with the turnout. She also stuck to the high road when talking about Jim Strickland, who will challenge Daugherty for the GOP nomination for the Pct. 3 seat. Daugherty himself has previously toed that line.


Still, the specter of Strickland came up as Daugherty reminded his supporters to get to the polls in March. “I have a primary opponent this year, which means that I have a March 6 race,” he said. “I cannot take this for granted. People come up and say, ‘Well Gerald, that’s not going to be difficult for you is it?’ I will tell you, you have got to run every race like you’re behind.”


Daugherty spoke for roughly 10 minutes at the event. After repeating the campaign mantra that his candidacy was a relatively recent development, he listed three quick reasons that he’d decided to enter the fray: He touted his credentials as a fiscal conservative, his focus on building road infrastructure, and his desire to build a “good working relationship” between the Travis Court and the business community.


Daugherty’s candidacy came as something of a surprise to Strickland. Strickland told In Fact Daily that, as late as September, he was under the impression that Daugherty would stay out of the race. (See In Fact Daily, Oct. 18, 2011) Both candidates have filed papers with the Travis County Republican Party that reflect their intention to challenge for the Pct. 3 seat.


Daugherty’s political pull was palpable on Tuesday evening. His event drew former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd, former West Lake Hills Mayor Dwight Thompson, Judge Melissa Goodwin, and, naturally, Chair of the Travis County Republican Party Rosemary Edwards.


In October, Daugherty told In Fact Daily that his decision to move forward came only after it became clear to him that Huber would seek reelection. “I really, really don’t want Karen Huber representing Precinct 3 for another four years, and I’m really afraid that if I’m not in the race, Karen might win,” he said at the time.


Huber has scheduled a kickoff event of her own this evening at Scholz Garten.

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