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Volume 71, Issue 131, Thursday, April 20, 2006


U.S. Senate candidate has a long road ahead of her

Josh Delano
Opinion Columnist 

Nobody gave Houston attorney and first-time U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky a chance in the Democratic primary a few weeks ago against Gene Kelly with all that name recognition power he trounced around with.

Well, 61 percent to 39 percent later, Radnofsky gets the nod from the people to face Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in November. Thus far, Hutchison has "virtually ignored," any attempt by Radnofsky and her campaign to debate the issues. However, Hutchison said after Radnofsky's primary victory that she welcomes a public discussion of the issues.

During my talk with Radnofsky a few days ago on her way back from San Antonio, she said she's ready to debate "anytime and anyplace" and believes UH would be an ideal forum to host the debate.

One of Houston's own, Radnofsky received her bachelor's degree from the UH, where she graduated magna cum laude before attending the University of Texas for law school. 

Radnofsky points out that Hutchison has "time and again, voted against meaningful reform on education and healthcare." Radnofsky wants to bring accountability to the U.S. Senate office for her fellow Texans by holding accountable elected officials who lie to the people and "endorse and stand behind those who have been involved in scandals and misdeeds in both parties." 

Radnofsky also said Hutchison should not have stood behind Rep. Tom DeLay and basically make statements that she didn't find anything wrong with his actions.

If elected, Radnofsky hopes to bring integrity to the office as well as build bridges to bring reform to the Texas education system, which currently has the highest high school dropout rate. Likewise, she wants to improve the Medicare system and "benefits to veterans who've been hung out to dry by Sen. Hutchison."

During our talk, Radnofsky was upbeat and indicated she is looking forward to debating the issues as soon as Hutchison is ready. Radnofsky voiced her concern about the senator "obtaining her office by fraud when she repeated, before and after the 1994 election, that she would only run two terms." To that Radnofsky quipped that she isn't necessarily advocating nor opposing term limits, but she definitely believes Hutchison should have been more earnest with the voters, who Radnofsky feels that Hutchison will abandon for a vice presidential bid, should she be re-elected.

It looks like Radnofsky has her work cut out for her. Hutchison has garnered anywhere in the neighborhood of 70 percent or more of the vote when she's been opposed and has accumulated a war chest from 2001 to present of $5.7 million. Radnofsky just eclipsed the $1 million mark. 

Hey, everything is big in Texas, including the dust cloud that is going to get rustled up during this election. It will likely bring plenty of entertainment, mudslinging and, I hope, some real debate and progress on important issues.

I wished Radnofsky good luck and offered my help as I will to any candidate from either side who grants me the time to interview them. Politics is war, so get ready for the 2006 election, folks, and hold on to your hats.

Delano, an opinion columnist for The Daily Cougar, 
can be reached at

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