In a business that’s revolves increasingly on political professionals who are hired guns for small armies of candidates, party organizations and special interest groups that operate as teams for all practical purposes, Steve Ray defies the trend as a go-to guy for clients who want a personal touch with a hands-on mindset. That’s especially true if you’re a former Democrat who’s running for re-election to the Legislature at the end of your first full term as a Republican in a district that tilts slightly Democratic on paper. Ray is an absolute must-hire if this district happens to be anywhere near the former newspaper columnist’s home base in the Corpus Christi area. State Rep. J.M. Lozano could testify to that after following Ray’s guidance to what may have been the most impressive victory by any candidate on the Texas ballot in the fall of 2014.While Ray had a cadre of local Republican candidates who won in an area that had been a Democratic stronghold until recently, he was able to hoist Lozano to the top of his priority list in a South Texas House race that Democrats had tagged as one of their top targets on the legislative Battlefield this year. The House District 43 contest – on paper – had appeared to be the most potentially winnable seat in the Democratic Party’s scope at a time when it could concentrate more resources there with opportunities for gains more limited than usual on other parts of the map. Democrats thought they had a formidable contender in Kim Gonzalez – an assistant Nueces County prosecutor who lived in nearby San Patricio County where there are more GOP voters than there are in the district’s other three counties combined.