Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Texas Republican comings and goings

It's still Williams v. Williams for a DC seat, just a smaller one.

Weatherford car dealer Roger Williams switched from the U.S. Senate race to a race for Congress this morning, finishing up a swap that began last week with calls to supporters in and around the new CD-33.

He's the second candidate to jump. Former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams switched to the congressional race last week, opting out of the crowded GOP pack seeking to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Senate.

Roger Williams is a former Texas Secretary of State and has been a successful fundraiser for other candidates while never seeking office himself. The new district includes all of Parker County and part of Wise County, but the biggest part of the population is in the portion of Tarrant County that's included. It's one of four new seats in Congress coming to Texas because of its population growth over the last decade. Williams started with endorsements from Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, Arlington City Councilman Robert Rivera and state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford.

The bats are already out. On the eve of the announcement, opponents circulated a flier with news clips about Patty Williams, the wife of the candidate and the president of the family's car dealership, lobbying Congress to win federal bailouts for Chrysler and other car manufacturers in late 2008.

Moncrief is *gasp* a former Democratic state senator. Expect that to be a point of contention in this GOP primary.

The Texas Senate adjourned sine die this afternoon, but Robert Miller posted these rumorings last night about Republican state senators and their wannabes shuffling about. I'll embed more links to the various players later on as your scorecard.

  1. SD 5 -- Although no final decision has been made, the odds are that Sen. (Steve) Ogden retires and does not seek reelection. Rep. Charles Schwertner is eyeing the seat.
  2. SD 7 -- We will know soon whether Sen. Patrick's exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate has been successful. If Patrick files for the U. S. Senate, former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt will run for SD 7 and perhaps Rep. Patricia Harless.
  3. SD 10 -- This seat was drawn to elect a Republican, and Sen. Wendy Davis is highly unlikely to be reelected if she runs. Rep. Kelly Hancock is certain to run, and Rep. Vicki Truitt, Rep. Mark Shelton and Dee Kelly, Jr. are considering it.
  4. SD 11 -- Sen. Mike Jackson is taking a hard look at running for Congress in the new CD 36. If he does, expect Rep. Randy Weber to run for his Senate seat and perhaps Rep. Larry Taylor.
  5. SD 25 -- Sen. Jeff Wentworth has long been rumored to be retiring after the legislative session. If Sen. Wentworth retires or does not seek reelection, expect Rep. Lyle Larson to run.

Weasel/turncoat Aaron Pena defies my predictions and opts to stay in the Texas House. Update: Former NFL offensive lineman Seth McKinney, also the son of recently-resigned Texas A&M chancellor Mike McKinney, declared his campaign to replace Fred Brown in HD-14 within moments of Brown's announcement at the conclusion of Wednesday's special session that he would retire. Update II: And just like that *snap* ... McKinney drops out. Must be a record for shortest campaign ever. Rebecca Boenigk and former Brazos County Tax Assessor-Collector Buddy Winn are also in.

I wonder if there are any Democrats running for anything (besides Sen. Davis running to keep her job, that is). Eddie Lucio isn't. Oh yes, here's one: Julian Castro accepts the task that Tom DeLay could not complete; take out Lloyd Doggett.

Anything else on the Dems? Maybe we should ask the new executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, Bill Brannon. Bill?

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