When Indivisible Austin was founded in December 2016, we were purely a resistance movement. The reality of Donald J. Trump as our president forced us into action, and the Indivisible Guide showed us the way.
Now, a little more than a year later, the energy of the resistance movement is clearly shifting toward electoral strategy, and rightfully so. Part of that strategy is endorsing candidates.
For the 2018 primaries, we opted to examine statewide races on the top of the ballot. We declined to endorse in every race, instead only endorsing those candidates that received unanimous approval by Indivisible Austin’s Board of Directors. We will consider broadening the races we will endorse in—including campaigns for congressional and state legislative seats—in the coming months.
The Board looked at Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian candidates. We made our selections based on who most aligned with our mission to defend democracy and resist authoritarianism—and on one of our guiding principles: to be vocal allies for marginalized communities.
From that group, we chose three candidates that we are enthusiastic about endorsing.
The Board of Directors of Indivisible Austin voted unanimously to endorse:
Lt. Governor – Mike Collier
Comptroller – Joi Chevalier
Agriculture Commissioner – Kim Olson
More detailed notes on our endorsement decisions follow.
Mike Collier supports comprehensive finance reform, opposes gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement, and supports policies that promote closing the income inequality gap. His commitment to affordable health care for Texans, a top priority for Indivisible Austin, was a deciding factor in our endorsement.
We endorsed in the Lt. Governor’s race, in part, in recognition of the importance of this election to the Texas Legislature. Dan Patrick, with his fervent desire to discriminate against immigrants and the LGBTQ community and to restrict the economic security of all Texans, must go, and Collier is our pick to defeat him.
For Comptroller, small-business owner Joi Chevalier would bring experience and humanity to the important role of managing the state budget.
Rather than waste our money on bathroom bills, further militarizing our border, and breaking up families, Joi Chevalier will focus on the role the state budget can play in fostering more, not less, opportunity in the state. For example, her commitment to diversifying revenue sources suggests Chevalier will bring new creativity and life into the Comptroller role, an energy that is sorely needed.
For Agriculture Commissioner, where Sid Miller has been a national embarrassment since 2014, Kim Olson gets our nod. Kim is a retired Air Force pilot and an organic farmer who is listening to the concerns of Texans in all of our 254 counties. Her campaign has demonstrated she is eager to listen to the concerns of both those who grow our food as well as the families that purchase it.
Her life has been one of service—often in a trailblazing manner—both during her military career and afterwards, as she worked in education and on behalf of veterans. In 2014, she was rightly inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and we are proud to offer our endorsement to her race.
5 things you can do to support these candidates
VOTE! Early voting is Feb. 20 to March 2, with election day on March 6.
Volunteer your time—candidates need people to make phone calls, stuff envelopes, knock on doors, and all sorts of other things.
Promote candidates on social media.
Give money to the candidates who most share your values!
Be vocal! Tell your friends and family about your choices and remind them to vote.
A note on the Senate race
We feel it is important to recognize that Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s name is not listed above. We are impressed with Rep. O’Rourke’s dynamic campaign. However, he voted for a budget that did not include protections for Dreamers and seems to lack any reasonable strategy for protecting immigrant youth moving forward. As such, the Board declined to endorse at this time.
We recognize that the budget contained funding for a number of important items, but the uncertain fate of so many young Texans cannot be ignored. We look forward to hearing more from the Representative on his strategy to protect Dreamers and revisiting this endorsement in the future.
We’ll have more to say on this topic soon.