The re-filing deadline was Friday, and as expected there was a flurry of activity on the final day. I’m going to do a news roundup to highlight what went on and who’s now running for what. You can find a list of filings that the Texas Democratic Party is aware of here, but bear in mind that this is not a complete list because any candidates who are running for an office which is wholly contained within one county will have filed with their County Democratic Party, so the TDP may not be aware of it. Also, it’s not clear to me if they have removed all of the candidates who filed for an office in December and then subsequently withdrew or switched. A spreadsheet of HCDP filings is here, and the Harris County GOP’s list of candidates is here. A few highlights before I go to the papers:
- US Senate candidate Daniel Boone withdrew from that race and filed for CD21 instead. Candace Duval has also filed for that race. Grady Yarbrough filed for the Senate, so there are still four Democratic candidates there.
- A San Antonio attorney named Michelle Petty filed to run for State Supreme Court, position 6, against Justice Nathan Hecht. She is the only Democrat running for the Supreme Court.
- There is also only one Democrat running for the Court of Criminal Appeals – Keith Hampton, who was on the ballot in 2010. Hampton is running against the notorious Sharon Keller, who is challenging his place on the ballot.
Keller’s challenge, filed with the state Democratic Party on Thursday, claims Keith Hampton did not submit enough valid signatures to qualify for a place on the ballot.
Candidates for statewide judicial office must collect signatures from 50 registered voters in each of the state’s 14 appellate court districts. Keller’s challenge, filed by lawyer Edward Shack, claims irregularities on several petition pages should invalidate numerous signatures, leaving Hampton short of voters in three districts.
Hampton, a 22-year Austin lawyer, dismissed Keller’s challenge in two appellate districts as quibbling and was working Thursday to correct petition forms in the third district before the evening candidate filing deadline.
Keller claimed several petition pages in two districts were invalid because signatures were collected while Hampton was running for Place 8. When Hampton changed his mind last fall and targeted Keller, it appears “Place 8” was scratched out and replaced with Keller’s position on the court, the challenge said.
The change should not invalidate the forms, Hampton said Friday. “That’s not even a clerical error,” he said. “I think her challenges there are completely meritless.”
Questions about dates associated with petitions from a third district were being addressed Thursday by collecting new signatures, “so everything there should be moot,” Hampton said.
As this is for a primary election, TDP Chair Boyd Ritchie gets to rule on the validity of the challenge, which can then be appealed to state district court. We’ll see what happens.
- Nick Lampson picked up a primary opponent for CD14, a woman from Galveston named Linda Dailey.
- Two people filed for the Democratic nomination in CD10 after Dan Grant dropped out, William E. Miller, Jr, of Austin, and Tawana Cadien of Cypress in Harris County.
- Jim Dougherty, who was the Democratic nominee for District Attorney in 2000 and for HD134 in 2004, filed to run against Rep. Ted Poe in CD02. Here’s a press release he sent out on Saturday.
- I don’t see a Democratic challenger listed for Republican Judge Tad Halbach, who presides over the 333rd Criminal District Court.
- Republicans Gilbert Pena and David Pineda filed to replace State Rep. Ken Legler on the ballot in HD144.
The once-a-decade redistricting process has created an unusually high number of contested races for the U.S. House. For example, former Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald, a Democrat, said Friday that he will challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold for a GOP-leaning district that cuts through Bastrop but is based in Corpus Christi, which is Farenthold’s hometown. At least three other Democrats, all from the southern end of the district, also hope to take on Farenthold.
Travis County voters will see highly contested primaries for two other congressional seats. Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin will face three candidates from San Antonio in District 35, which extends from eastern Travis County to Bexar County. Doggett’s toughest fight is likely to come from Sylvia Romo, the Bexar County tax assessor-collector. More residents of that district live on the San Antonio end than the Austin end. Three Republicans filed for the seat, but it is heavily Democratic.
Meanwhile, 11 Republicans filed to run in Congressional District 25, which includes much of western Travis County and runs up to Fort Worth. Those filing include former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams and former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams.
Republican U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul of Austin, Lamar Smith of San Antonio and John Carter of Round Rock each drew GOP primary opposition.
I personally think McDonald would have had a better shot at HD17, but I wish him well in his efforts. A fellow named Colin Guerra filed in HD17.
In 2011, it appeared Doggett, D-Austin, would face Castro, D-San Antonio, in the 35th, but after Rep. Charlie Gonzalez announced his retirement, Castro switched to the 20th, where he faced local attorney Ezra Johnson.
Johnson, a former Congressional page appointed by the late Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, dropped out Friday. The new maps, he said, “cut the heart out of the 20th District.”
That left Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Romo, real estate broker Patrick Shearer, and former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez to duke it out for the 35th in the Democratic primary.
The latest maps, however, put Rodriguez back into the 23rd Congressional District, and chopped up Doggett’s old district.
Rodriguez filed for the 23rd this week, and will face state Rep. Pete Gallego and attorney John Bustamante for the chance to challenge Republican incumbent Francisco “Quico” Canseco.
Shearer announced Friday he would withdraw from the 35th and endorse Doggett.
Maria Luisa Alvarado, a veteran who ran as the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2006, is now the third Democrat on the ballot.
On the Republican ticket, John Yoggerst also filed for the 35th this week. He’ll square off against Susan Narvaiz and Rob Roark, both of San Marcos.
In South Texas, Brownsville lawyer Filemón Vela Jr. is seeking the Democratic nomination in the newly drawn 34th Congressional District, changing the dynamics in that crowded race.
More than a half dozen Democrats are running in that primary, including former Edinburg City Manager Ramiro Garza, Denise Saenz Blanchard of Brownsville and Ramiro Garza Jr. of South Padre Island.
Harlingen lawyer Salomon Torres, a former staffer to Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, is running for the new seat, as is Iraq war veteran Elmo Aycock , lawyer Anthony Troiani and District Attorney Armando Villalobos, all of Brownsville.
In the 27th Congressional District, Ronnie McDonald, a former Bastrop County judge, announced he will run for the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by Republican freshman Rep. Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi.
Also seeking the Democratic nomination in that race is Rose Meza Harrison, the Nueces County Democratic Party chairwoman and Murphy Alade Junaid of Corpus Christi.
Farenthold has GOP opposition in Don Al Middlebrook of Louise and Trey Roberts of Rockport.
Clearly, I have a lot of work to do on my Texas primary page.
In the 33rd District, 11 Democrats have filed for the primary. Three Republicans are also running.
The race is a rare matchup between Dallas and Fort Worth politicos. It also will pit blacks and Hispanics against each other in a battle that could test minority voting strength in the district.
According to the Texas Legislative Council, the district’s Hispanic voting age population is 39 percent. The black voting population is 25 percent. But black voters cast ballots at a higher percentage than Hispanic voters, so the contest is expected to be close, and all of the candidates hope to cross ethnic boundaries.
Front-runners have already emerged.
In Dallas County, former state Rep. Domingo Garcia kicked off his campaign Thursday. His supporters are already registering and mobilizing Hispanic voters on both sides of the county line. Former Dallas City Council member Steve Salazar is also a candidate. And David Alameel, a deep-pocketed dentist who controls a political action committee, entered the race just before the filing deadline.
“It will be interesting to see where all the money lands,” Minchillo said.
In Tarrant County, state Rep. Marc Veasey is running, along with Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks and others.
Veasey has the most money and is counting on the support of former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Dallas.
State House races in Dallas County are less competitive than four years ago. No Republican or Democrat incumbent received a major challenge.
The most competitive races were in the districts represented by retiring Republicans Will Hartnett and Jim Jackson.
In Hartnett’s District 114, business consultant David Boone, former state Rep. Bill Keffer and Dallas lawyer Jason Villalba are in the GOP primary.
In District 115, the crowded Republican field includes optometrist Steve Nguyen, lawyer Andy Olivo, businessman Bennett Ratliff, attorney Matt Rinaldi and Lib Grimmett.
“We’ve got some good races for the open seats,” Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert said. “In many cases our incumbents were able to fend off primary challengers.”
The hottest Democratic Party statehouse race is the primary to replace Caraway, who is running for Congress.
That field includes former Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis, mental health professional Toni Rose and prosecutor Larry Taylor.
A pair of former state representatives are trying to make comebacks. Carol Kent is running in the District 114 Democratic primary. Robert Miklos is unchallenged in the District 107 Democratic primary.
Alameel had previously filed for CD06, against Smokey Joe Barton. He loaned himself some money for that race, and I daresay he’ll spend a few bucks on this one.
District 33, the state’s newest district. Democrats: David Alameel, Domingo Garcia, Kathleen Hicks, J.R. Molina, Jason Roberts, Steve Salazar, Kyev Tatum, Manuel Valdez and Marc Veasey. Republicans: Chuck Bradley, Charles King and Bill Lawrence.
District 25, a revamped congressional district. Republicans: Ernie Beltz Jr., Bill Burch, Dianne Costa, James Dillon, Dave Garrison, Justin Hewlett, Brian Matthews, Wes Riddle, Chad Wilbanks, Michael Williams and Roger Williams.
District 6. Republicans: Rep. Joe Barton (i), Joe Chow, Itamar Gelbman and Frank Kuchar. Democrats: Brianna Hinojosa-Flores, Donald Jaquess and Kenneth Sanders.
District 12. Republican: Kay Granger (i). Democrat: Dave Robinson.
District 24. Republicans: Kenny Marchant (i), Grant Stinchfield. Democrat: Patrick McGehearty.
District 26. Republican: Michael Burgess (i). Democrat: David Sanchez.
State Senate District 9. Republican: Kelly Hancock and Todd Smith. No Democrat filed.
State Senate District 10. Wendy Davis (i). Republicans: Derek Cooper and Mark Shelton.
State Senate District 12. Republican: Jane Nelson (i). No Democrat filed.
State House District 90. Democrats: Lon Burnam (i) and Carlos Vasquez.
State House District 91. Republicans: Stephanie Klick, Kenneth M. “Ken” Sapp, Charles Scoma and Lady Theresa Thombs.
State House District 92. Republicans: Jonathan Stickland and Roger Fisher.
State House District 93. Republicans: Matt Krause, Patricia “Pat” Carlson and Barbara Nash (i).
State House District 94. Republicans: Diane Patrick (i) and Trina Lanza.
State House District 95. Republican: Monte Mitchell. Democrats: Duliani “Jamal” Masimini, Nicole Collier and Jesse Gaines.
State House District 96. Republicans: Mike Leyman and Bill Zedler (i).
State House District 97. Republicans: Craig Goldman, Susan Todd and Chris Hatch. Democrat: Gary Grassia.
State House District 98. Republicans: Giovanni Capriglione and Vicki Truitt (i). Democrat: Shane Hardin.
State House District 99: Republican: Charlie Geren (i). Democrat: Michael McClure.
State House District 101. Democrats: Vickie Barnett, Paula Pierson and Chris Turner.
The TDP page lists a Pete Martinez for SD09, and a Gilbert Zamora for HD93.
Democratic candidate Art Fierro announced he will not run for representative of District 75, the post now held by Inocente “Chente” Quintanilla.
Quintanilla is running for El Paso County Commissioners Court Precinct 3, the seat representing most of the Lower Valley recently vacated by Willie Gandara Jr., who resigned after being indicted on federal drug-trafficking charges.
In a news release, Fierro said he no longer lives within the district’s new boundaries, which were announced last week, and no waivers or extensions of residency requirements have been provided.
“My family has prepared to move twice since December during the time of uncertainty caused by the redistricting litigation,” Fierro stated in the release. “At this point it has become difficult for my family to sacrifice the expense and time to move back into the district. I am greatly disappointed that I will not have the opportunity to represent District 75, which has been our home for over a decade.”
Fierro, whose wife is County Commissioner Anna Perez, is chairman of the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees.
Fierro is the second candidate to drop out of the race for House District 75. Gandara was running for the seat but quit after his arrest by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
On Friday, businessman Antonio “Tony” San Roman jumped into the race for House District 75, party officials said. The race also includes Hector Enriquez and Mary Gonzalez.
The Lion Star Blog has been my go-to source for El Paso political information.
I think that’s all I’ve got. If there’s anything you think I’ve missed, let me know. Robert Miller has been summarizing the legislative races in the big counties, and his information differs a bit from what I’ve seen elsewhere, but I expect these discrepancies will sort themselves out in the next day or two. It’s always a little confusing right after the deadline, especially on a weekend.
UPDATE: I have been informed that there was a typo in that Harris County spreadsheet and that Tracy Good has filed for the 33rd Civil District Court and not the 339th Criminal District Court. So there are no unchallenged judicial seats after all.