When Angela Hunt agreed to speak at this month’s meeting of the Preston Hollow Democrats, she made it clear that she was not there to announce a run for office. Having just completed her fourth and final term on the City Council, Hunt discussed municipal matters instead.
But when she opened the floor to questions, it didn’t take long for Hunt’s political prospects to come up. Might she consider challenging Congressman Pete Sessions? What about a bid for the Legislature? Heck, why not run for mayor?
“I feel like this is an intervention,” Hunt said with a laugh.
With a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old at home, Hunt said she is not eager to get back on the campaign trail, especially in a part of town that favors Republicans so much. Although President Obama earned 57 percent of the vote in Dallas County last year, Mitt Romney won every precinct in Preston Hollow and the Park Cities.
When asked about running for District 108, the state House seat being vacated by Dan Branch of University Park, Hunt said, “It’d be a bloodbath.”
District 108 includes the Park Cities, Bluffview, Devonshire, Greenway Parks, and a portion of Preston Hollow. Since Branch kicked off his campaign for attorney general, three Republicans — Court Alley, Morgan Meyer, and Chart Westcott — have signaled interest in replacing him, but no Dems have stepped up to the plate.
Branch and state Sen. John Carona went unchallenged by Democrats in 2012. In state House District 114, which includes the rest of Preston Hollow, Republican newcomer Jason Villalba bested Democrat Carol Kent, 54 percent to 46 percent.
But Sessions may be beatable, said George Edwards, president of the Preston Hollow Democrats. He pointed out that a member of his group, Katharine McGovern, earned 40 percent of the vote when she challenged Sessions last year. The only Democrat who’s fared better in a bid for any of the aforementioned positions lately was Rainn Levy Minns, who eked out 41 percent in a 2008 loss to Carona.
And McGovern had amassed a war chest of only $80,000, Edwards said. For comparison’s sake, Westcott — who has not even officially announced his candidacy for District 108 — has already taken in more than $700,000.
Despite his optimism, Edwards could not name a potential candidate to represent the area in Congress or the Legislature. Neither could several of the other officers of the Preston Hollow Democrats.
Preston Hollow resident Lisa Blue Baron, a noted benefactor of Democrats, has had other things on her mind lately, given the allegations that Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins indicted oil heir Al Hill III on her behalf. But even she was stumped when asked who might try to represent her party.
“I wish I knew who was motivated to do the job,” Baron said via email. “I’m at a loss for ideas.”