Poor Jim Foster. Even though he hasn’t had a federal court order him around, leading Dallas county Democrats won’t back his re-election for county judge next year. If Foster had only known that that was what it took to get powerful backing, I’m sure he would have found something to screw up. After all, it worked for sheriff Lupe Valdez.

This is not to say that Foster is an attractive candidate, because he isn’t. In fact, he is exactly the kind of candidate that the Democrats used to run when they didn’t think they had a chance of winning. In this, he is almost no different from Valdez, whose problems with federally-mandated changes at the country jail – and that she didn’t fix during her first term — didn’t stop party heavyweights from supporting her.

After the jump, why Foster gets the shaft and Valdez didn’t:
It’s about jobs, plain and simple. Valdez doesn’t seem to mind using her office to promote the county Democratic agenda, which means rewarding supporters and punishing opponents. How else to explain nary a whisper of protest from county Dems when the sheriff demoted several officers who supported her opponent last fall?

Foster, on the other hand, doesn’t seem all that interested in pursuing the party’s agenda. My favorite part in the story in Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper: “They contend that he has not been a strong, aggressive leader on the court and has allowed Republicans to maintain political dominance, even though the GOP influence in overall county politics is declining.” It doesn’t take a PhD in politics to read between those lines. County Dems have been out of power for a long time, and they want back in, and they want back in with the jobs and contracts that go with power.

Can Foster win re-nomination? The election is 21 months away, so predictions don’t mean much. And, from the way I read the tea leaves, the party heavies quoted in this story don’t even want him to try. The point of this story is to show Foster he should reconsider and bow out gracefully, like a good team player.

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