A field crowded with Republican men has its first Democrat and its first woman: University Park resident Leigh Bailey.
Bailey said she was moved to run for House District 108 by this year’s Legislative session and subsequent special sessions.
“I, along with many other Texas women, became outraged by the blatant attacks on women’s access to basic health care,” she said. “I was inspired by the men and women in the Legislature that stood up for all Texas families. It became clear to me that to stop these types of attacks, more women are needed in office.”
Bailey, 34, said she recently underwent candidate training via Annie’s List, an organization that recruits and supports women candidates across the state. She sent paperwork to the Texas Ethics Commission this week that lists Lake Highlands attorney Angeline Bain as her campaign treasurer.
"I’m working for Leigh’s election to the Texas House because she is passionate about protecting individual liberties while making moral fiscal decisions for the state of Texas," Bain said. "Leigh is energetic, enthusiastic, and smart. She will work hard for her constituents.”
The daughter of restaurateur Ed Bailey and Lee Bailey is an attorney herself. She earned a law degree from SMU after getting her bachelor’s degree there. But the Hockaday graduate recently resigned from her position as associate general counsel at Applebee’s so she can focus on her campaign and family. She and her husband — Vincent Carrizales, a Jesuit graduate and attorney — have a 1-year-old daughter, Sophia.
In an email to potential supporters, Bailey said she would be running on a fiscally conservative platform. When asked by People Newspapers in what ways she leans to the left, she cited “equality, specifically marriage equality, and women’s access to basic health care.”
District 108 is up for grabs because University Park Republican Dan Branch, who has represented it for a decade, is stepping down. Three Republicans have expressed interest in replacing him.
University Park resident Morgan Meyer, 38, officially announced his candidacy on the same day that Branch formally began running for attorney general; Meyer has scheduled a campaign kickoff party for Sept. 7.
M Streets resident Chart Westcott, 28, has already amassed more than $700,000 in donations, but he’s made no formal announcement. The same goes for Devonshire resident Court Alley, 33, who reported about $17,000 in contributions.
District 108 includes the Park Cities, Bluffview, Devonshire, Greenway Parks, and a portion of Preston Hollow. 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.
But all of that red doesn’t give Bailey the blues.
“Growing up as the daughter of a self-made businessman, I was raised in a pro-business household,” she said. “I will fight for fiscal responsibility in the state of Texas and stand up for Park Cities families. I will run a smart and professional campaign with the support of Texas women and the men that care about them."
The filing period to get on the ballot for the 2014 primaries is Nov. 9 through Dec. 9.