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Cofer not running for Democratic party chair

Thursday, October 26, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Attorney Rick Cofer, who was until Wednesday the front-runner in a campaign for chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, has dropped out. Cofer is an assistant county attorney but recently told the Austin Monitor that he planned to go into private practice in January. After a day filled with rumors, Cofer released a statement confirming his decision not to run. He said that even though he “wanted to lead the fight against Republicans,” he had decided it was in the party’s best interest to elect a woman to that position. “I know there are several strong female candidates waiting on the sidelines, and for that reason, I have decided to take my name out of the running for TCDP Chair. I have absolutely loved running for this position, and would’ve loved to serve you in this role, but the very best thing I can do for our party is to step aside for incredible women leaders,” he wrote in an email. David Butts, a political consultant who was helping Cofer with his campaign, said he was disheartened by this turn of events, remarking that Cofer was “without question in my mind the most capable emerging political operative in the city, in both understanding tactics and being able to raise money. They can talk all day about where we stand on some issue, but that’s not what the party needs to be focused on – it’s winning elections. I don’t see another person out there who brings the skill set that he has. It’s a thankless job, and you get beat up every time you turn around.” The current chair, Vincent Harding, announced in late September that he did not intend to run for re-election.

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