A priority for Williamson County Conservatives this year is taking back the Texas House of Representatives District 52 seat from liberal incumbent Diana Maldonado. In 2008, Maldonado ran as a moderate Democrat who would put the interests of Round Rock before party politics, and squeaked out a narrow, 850-vote victory. Once elected, however, she proved that party politics were far more important than district needs by becoming one of the most active participants in the 'chubbing death' of hundreds of bills in order to stop Voter Photo ID legislation. Furthermore, in 2010, Maldonado will be defending a dismal 36% legislative rating from the Texas Association of Business, as well as her open association with both socially and fiscally liberal groups.
Maldonado's legislative record, a nation-wide disillusionment with liberal/progressive policies, and a strong GOP challenge from Larry Gonzales indicate Maldonado is facing a very tough re-election campaign in 2010, and her campaign seems to be scrambling to adjust. Observers have noted marked changes in the Maldonado camp; for one, she has abandoned the very "Obama" style 2008 logo and campaign signs for a new "Texas" themed sign. (Although some of my co-horts think it is more St. Louis Show Boat.)
Trouble seems to be brewing for the campaign in that a number of 2008 supporters have switched allegiance to Gonzales. Also, those usually supportive of a 'friendly incumbent' are nowhere in sight, and interestingly enough, Maldonado is now looking for a new Legislative Aide/Scheduler for her Captiol and District offices. One might speculate that some staff are already jumping ship.
Diana Maldonado continues to try to hold on to the moderate label, and in interviews calls herself fiscally conservative, but she can no longer hide her legislative record, and this is going to be a tough campaign season for her.
Applicants for the Legislative Aide job should be advised that this is likely a temporary gig.