Sunday, October 21, 2012

Remaining Brainy Endorsements, Part II (Harris County and statehouse)

(See Part I for the federal and statewide endorsements.)

Texas State Board of Education

I previously endorsed G.C. Molison in District 6, where I reside, but residents of Districts 4 and 8 should cast their ballots for Democrats Lawrence Allen and Dexter Smith, respectively.

State Senator

Similarly, David Courtney in my home district of SD-17 has a Libertarian opponent and a Republican incumbent, so if Democrats can see their way past an STD ballot then he will reward them with effective leadership in the Senate. Other state Senate candidates worthy of your vote include...

SD-06: The late Mario Gallegos. If he defeats his GOP challenger as expected, there will be a special election called by the governor to replace him.

SD-7: Sam Fayed (Tejas) Texas. A ham sandwich would be better than Dan Patrick. Tejas/Texas is all but a rotten ham sandwich. Charles Kuffner doesn't think he's worth it; I'll let you decide.

SD-11: Jackie Acquistapace (D). Conservative, Christian, fairly poor with the English language, and still better than Larry Taylor.

SD-13: Rodney Ellis (D). Still the liberal stalwart of the Texas Senate.

SD-15: John Whitmire (D). He drew a Republican opponent, and he could be better on progressive issues, but Whitmire can continue to be the Dean as long as he likes.

Texas House of Representatives

State Representative, District 127: Cody Pogue (D). Pogue is challenging "Rookie of the Year" Dan Huberty in this Humble/Kingwood-area district. Egberto Willies has written extensively about Pogue's campaign.

District 130: Art Browning (G). Browning is challenging Republican incumbent Allen Fletcher in this northwest Harris County district. Fletcher, whose brushes with illegality are mounting, is bound to collapse of his moral turpitude sooner rather than later; he needs to be removed from the Texas House before that happens.

Browning, a semi-retired petroleum geologist, ran for Texas Railroad Commission in 2010.

District 131: Alfred Molison (G). One of the first Brainy Endorsements.

District 134: Ann Johnson (D). Also an early Brainy Endorsement.

District 135: Paul Morgan (D). A retired printer, Morgan is challenging Republican incumbent Gary Elkins in this Jersey Village -area district. Elkins couldn't even be bothered to fill out the Vote 411 questionnaire. He was described as "used furniture" by Texas Monthly...  in 2003. Isn't it about time we throw that ratty old chair out?

District 137: Gene Wu (D). Wu won a challenging primary and deserves to be the able replacement for the indomitable Scott Hochberg. A legacy Wu can live up to, I believe.

District 139: Sylvester Turner (D). Turner is one of the most capable legislators in the Harris County delegation.

Districts 140, 141, 142, 143: Armando Walle, Senfronia Thompson, Harold Dutton and Ana Hernandez-Luna (all Ds). All four are experienced and capable, face token November opposition if any at all, and have been mentioned as successors to the SD-6 Texas Senate seat after the passing of Mario Gallegos.

District 144: To replace the deceased Republican incumbent, Ken Legler (who had opted not to run for re-election prior to his demise), the Democrats picked Mary Ann Perez, and seek to flip this purple Pasadena-area district. Just a few years ago it was represented by Crazy Bob Talton, so it's evident that the Latino Democratic wave is actually coming in a few places. Perez is running against a Republatino and a Libertarian. Chances are good.

District 145: Carol Alvarado. See D-140-143 above. Texas Monthly wrote about her feisty battle over the sonogram bill in the last session. Her detailed description of the procedure involving transvaginal wanding (pictured at left) had the House transfixed. BOR had more (NSFW). Alvarado is a real fighter, and whether she serves in the Texas House or the Senate in the next legislative session, she will be formidable.

District 146: Borris Miles (D). My representative has regained his footing after some rocky episodes in years past that involved personal troubles. He's a rock-solid progressive.

District 147: Garnet Coleman (D) or Deb Shafto (G). This is mostly a keep-him-honest referendum on Coleman. If you don't think he's done a good enough job, then vote for Shafto, the Green Party's gubernatorial candidate in 2010, and before that, a competitor for Houston city council in 2009.

District 148: Henry Cooper (G) over Jessica Farrar (D) as previously detailed in this Brainy Endorsement from August.

District 149: Hubert Vo (D). Was it only a few years ago that this district was represented by the vile Talmadge Heflin?

District 150: Brad Neal (D). Neal once again picks up the gauntlet against Debbie "Pit of Hell", "Go Live in Afghanistan" Riddle. Maybe some day they'll get tired of her nasty, sorry ass and vote her out. Maybe this November 6.

Justice, First Court of Appeals

Places 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9: Ron Lovett, Chuck Silverman, Natalia Cokinos Oakes, Nile Copeland, and Kathy Cheng (all D).

Copeland was, of course, the very first Brainy Endorsement of this election cycle. Cheng is Copeland's law partner. They have both worked tirelessly, registering new voters at citizenship swearings-in and walking blocks to introduce themselves. I have known Cokinos Oakes' family since I was a child growing up in Beaumont. Silverman barely lost a district court race in 2010 2008; here's the Q&A with his challenger from vote411.

Justice, Fourteenth Court of Appeals

Places 3, 4, 5, and 8: Barbara Gardner, Jim Wrotenberry, Tanner Garth, and Julia Maldonado (all D).

You've seen Gardner's Brainy Endorsement, I take it? She's the best. Maldonado likewise. Wrotenberry and Garth are making bids again for judicial office after narrow losses in 2008 and 2010.

Harris County Judicial Courts

Recommended candidates include: Mike Miller (11th), Al Bennett (61st), Larry Weiman (80th), Kyle Carter (125th), R.K. Sandhill (127th), Michael Gomez (129th), Jaclanel McFarland (133rd), Mike Engelhart (151st), Robert Schaffer (152nd), Alexandra Smoots-Hogan (164th), Josefina Rendon (165th), Ruben Guerrero (174th), Shawna Reagin (176th), Vivian King (177th), David Mendoza (178th), Randy Roll (179th), Tracy Good (333rd), Donna Roth (334th), Herb Ritchie (337th), Hazel Jones (338th), Maria Jackson (339th), and Mack McGinnis (351st).

Please note that some races are left out. That's for good reason.

Harris County District Attorney: No Endorsement.

Lloyd Oliver is both party pariah and Tea Party Democrat. After reading that article, I cannot in good conscience recommend a vote for him. I'm leaving this race blank.

Harris County Attorney (Vince Ryan-D) and Harris County Sheriff (Remington Alessi-G).  Both are previous Brainy Endorsements.

Harris County Tax Assessor/Collector: Ann Harris Bennett. Also an earlier Brainy Endorsement.

Harris County Court at Law #1: Erica Graham, and #2: Damon Crenshaw.

Harris County School Trustee

Position 3, At Large: Diane Trautman
Pos. 4, Pct. 3: Silvia Mintz
Pos. 6, Pct, 1: Erica Lee

Harris County Commissioner

Precinct 1: El Franco Lee
Precinct 3: Glorice McPherson
Precinct 4: Sean Hammerle

Justices of the Peace

Precinct 1, Place 1: Dale Gorczynski
Pct. 2, Pl. 1: JoAnn Delgado
Pct. 3, Pl. 1: Mike Parrot
Pct. 6, Pl 1: Richard Vara
Pct. 8, Pl. 1: Tommy Ginn

And finally...

Harris County Constable, Precinct 1

Carlos Villalobos (G)

Precinct 2: Chris Diaz (D)
Precinct 3: Ken Jones (D)

And don't forget to vote for ALL the bond issues.


Demeur said...

Interesting recommendations. I'm not up on Texas politics but I understand that there is a slight possibility that the state could color shift to blue. Any truth in that?

Forget the green party and the socialists and the other far out parties at least until they can gain some power on a local level.

PDiddie said...

Thanks for your comments, D.

Texas won't be a blue state for many years.

You cite a fairly common Catch-22 for people fresh to consideration of alternate options to the R-D duopoly. How will they 'gain some power on the local level' if you 'forget' them?

Voting third-party on any level sends a message to the two-party collaborists that your vote cannot be taken for granted. It is the only way, in fact, to do so.