Boy, I didn’t see this coming.
Longtime Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Lawrence “Larry” Meyers announced Monday that he is leaving the Republican Party to run as a Democrat for the Texas Supreme Court.
Meyers, of Fort Worth, filed Monday on the last day of filing to seek Place 6 on the Supreme Court, currently held by Jeff Brown.
“I am thrilled to welcome Judge Meyers to the Texas Democratic Party,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said. “I am even more excited to know that Judge Meyers doesn’t stand alone. Every day, I hear from real voters that our party represents the strongest path forward for our state.
“Texas is changing and voters will continue ot reject a Republican Party more focused on ideology than ideas.”
Meyers’ party switch makes him the first statewide Democratic officeholder since 1998.
What’s more, since his term on the CCA isn’t up until 2016, no matter what happens in that race he’ll be on the bench at least until then. It’s a little strange having a criminal court judge running for a civil court, but that’s far from the strangest thing that’s happened this cycle. Meyers announced a challenge to Sharon Keller in the GOP primary in 2012 despite having previously been an ally of hers, but as far as I can tell he didn’t actually go through with it; the SOS page for the 2012 GOP primary shows her as unopposed. In any event, welcome to the party, Judge Meyers. Best of luck in your election.
That was the first surprise of the day but it wasn’t the last and may not have been the biggest, for next came this.
U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, has filed to run against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the March GOP primary, joining at least eight other hopefuls vying for the senior senator’s seat, according to a spokesman with the Republican Party of Texas.
Stockman, who had filed for re-election in Congressional District 36, had to withdraw from that race to seek Cornyn’s seat.
In an interview with the website WND, Stockman said he was running because he was “extremely disappointed in the way [Cornyn] treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined Ted Cruz’s fight to stop Obamacare.”
There’s crazy, there’s bat$#!+ crazy, and then there’s Steve Stockman, who does a triple lutz barrel roll with a half-gainer but still sticks the landing. Take that, Louie Gohmert!
GOP political consultant Matt Mackowiak said Stockman faces an uphill battle, from recent investigations into his political and fundraising operation to Cornyn’s “huge bankroll.”
“Now we will find out if Sen. Cornyn is truly vulnerable, which I have doubted,” Mackowiak said, adding, “I predict that not one member of the congressional delegation will support Stockman. Ultimately, he will need outside groups to spend, and that is the most important unknown right now.”
All I can say is that so far, no one has gone broke underestimating the insanity of Republican primary voters. I suppose there’s a first time for everything. In the meantime, I join with PDiddie, Texpatriate, Juanita, and BOR in marveling at the spectacle.
Stockman’s change in office means that he won’t be running for CD36, which means there’s at least a chance Congress could be a tiny bit less wacko in 2015. There are three other Republicans running, and one Democrat.
Meanwhile, Michael Cole has had his eye on the heavily-Republican district since 2012, when he ran as a libertarian. He got about 6,000 votes in that election.
Now Cole, a 38 year old teacher from Orange, Texas, is running again as a Democrat. He says he has a campaign team in place, has been crisscrossing the district, and is about to file his first report on fundraising to the Federal Elections Commission. He said he’d focus on getting things done and charged outgoing Stockman with wasting time on politics.
“I can listen to what my constituents want instead of just showboating against Barack Obama,” he said, noting that his major focus would be on middle class job growth.
The change in candidates doesn’t change the fact that this is a 70% GOP district. But still, a Republican and a Libertarian both turning Democrat to run next year? Not a bad day if you ask me.
Anyway. Here’s the TDP list, which will not include people that filed at their county offices, and the Harris County GOP list; I’ve put the HCDP list beneath the fold, since the updated version of it isn’t online just yet. Stace notes the contested primaries of interest in Harris County, but here are a few other highlights:
- In addition to Larry Meyers, the Dems have two other Supreme Court candidates (Bill Moody and Gina Benavides, who is a Justice on the 13th Court of Appeals) and one CCA candidate (John Granberg for Place 3). Not a full slate, but not too bad. According to a TDP press release, Granberg is an attorney from El Paso (as is Moody, who is a District Court judge) and Benavides is from McAllen.
- Kinky Friedman has a second opponent for Ag Commissioner, Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III. Either the Dems got used to the idea of Friedman on the ballot or they failed utterly to find an opponent for him that isn’t some dude. I never thought I’d say this, but as things stand today I’d vote for Kinky.
- Another press release from the TDP makes a nice-sounding claim:
Today, the Texas Democratic Party announced its slate of candidates for 2014. Texas Democrats are fielding more candidates for statewide office in this election cycle than any time since 2002.
In addition to the statewide slate, the party devoted significant time to recruiting for down ballot races, and announced challengers in State Senate districts 10 and 17, and a full slate of candidates to the State Board of Education.
The party spent significant time recruiting Justices of the Peace, County Constables, County Judges, County Commissioners and others in places like Lubbock, Wichita Falls, San Angelo and across Texas.
I like the look of that. I wish they had more information in that release, but it’s an encouraging sign regardless.
- There will not be a rematch in CD33 between Rep. Marc Veasey and Domingo Garcia. As a fan of Rep. Veasey, I’m glad to hear that.
- Rep. Harold Dutton did file for re-election in HD142. Some people just can’t be rushed, I guess. Rep. Carol Alvarado joined Rep. Alma Allen in drawing a primary challenger, as Susan Delgado filed at the last minute in HD145. I’ll be voting for Rep. Alvarado, thanks. Oh, and the GOP did find a challenger for HD144 – Gilbert Pena, who lost in the primary for that district in 2012.
- Dems did not get candidates foe each local judicial race, but there are a few contested judicial primaries. Yes, that’s a little frustrating, but people will run where they want to run.
- No one is running against Commissioner Jack Morman, and no one else is running for County Judge. Alas. Ann Harris Bennett has an opponent for County Clerk, Gayle Mitchell, who filed a finance report in July but has been quiet since.
- Possibly the biggest surprise locally is that outgoing CM Melissa Noriega filed for HCDE At Large Position 7, making that a three way race with Traci Jensen and Lily Leal. I will have more on that later.
I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say about many of these races soon. Here’s the Chron story for now, which doesn’t add anything I didn’t already have here. What are your thoughts about the lineups?
HARRIS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Candidate filings for March Primary
2014 March Primary Candidates
Democratic Candidates Who Have Filed
United States Representative, District 2 – Niko Letsos
United States Representative, District 7 – James Cargas
United States Representative, District 9 – Al Green
United States Representative, District 18 – Sheila Jackson Lee
United States Representative, District 29 – Gene Green
State Senate, District 7 – Jim Davis
State Senate, District 15 – John Whitmire
State Senate, District 17 – Rita Lucido
State Representative, District 129 – John Gay
State Representative, District 131 – Alma A. Allen
State Representative, District 132 – Luis Lopez
State Representative, District 133 – Laura Nicol
State Representative, District 134 – Alison Ruff
State Representative, District 135 – Moiz Abbas
State Representative, District 137 – Gene Wu
State Representative, District 138 – Fred R. Vernon
State Representative, District 139 – Sylvester Turner
State Representative, District 140 – Armando Lucio Walle
State Representative, District 141 – Senfronia Thompson
State Representative, District 142 – Harold V. Dutton, Jr.
State Representative, District 143 – Ana Hernandez
State Representative, District 144 – Mary Ann Perez
State Representative, District 145 – Carol Alvarado
State Representative, District 146 – Borris L. Miles
State Representative, District 147 – Garnet F. Coleman
State Representative, District 148 – Jessica Cristina Farrar
State Representative, District 149 – Hubert Vo
State Representative, District 150 – Amy Perez
District Judge, 55th District Civil Court – Kay Morgan
District Judge, 113th District Civil Court – Lori Gray
Steven E. Kirkland
District Judge, 157th District Civil Court – Jim Peacock
District Judge, 180th District Criminal Court – Randy Roll
District Judge, 184th District Criminal Court – Mark Thering
District Judge, 185th District Criminal Court – Mack McInnis
District Judge, 189th District Civil Court – Ursula A. Hall
District Judge, 190th District Court – Farrah Martinez
District Judge, 208th District Court – Chuck Silverman
District Judge, 230th District Criminal Court – Greg Glass
District Judge, 234th District Civil Court – Barbara Gardner
District Judge, 246th District Family Court – Julia Maldonado
District Judge, 247th District Court – Clinton “Chip” Wells
District Judge, 248th District Court – Shawna Reagin
District Judge, 263rd District Criminal Court – Herb Ritchie
District Judge, 262nd District Court – Jules Johnson
District Judge, 269th District Civil Court – George Arnold
District Judge, 270th District Civil Court – James Hippard, Jr.
District Judge, 280th District Court – Allecia Lindsey Pottinger
Barbara J. Stadler
District Judge, 281st District Civil Court – Tanner Garth
District Judge, 295th District Civil Court – Latosha Lewis
District Judge, 308th District Court – Bruce Steffler
District Judge, 309th District Court – Kathy Vossler
District Judge, 311th District Court – Sherri Cothrun
District Judge, 313th District Court – Tracy D. Good
District Judge, 314th District Juvenile Family Court – Natalia Oakes
District Judge, 334th District Court – Daryl Moore
District Attorney – Kim Ogg
Lloyd Wayne Oliver
County Civil Court at Law, No. 2 – Scot “Dolli” Dollinger
County Civil Court at Law, No. 3 – Gloria Cantu Minnick
County Civil Court at Law, No. 4 – Damon Crenshaw
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 2 – Harold J. Landreneau
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 4 – Nikita “Niki” Harmon
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 5 – Ramona Franklin
County Criminal Court at Law No. 6 – Linda Geffin
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 7 – Shelia Acosta
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 8 – Kelli Johnson
County Criminal Court at Law No. 10 – George Barnstone
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 13 – Jason Luong
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 14 – David L. Singer
County Criminal Court at Law, No. 15 – Raul Rodriguez
County Probate Court No. 1 – Kim Bohannon Hoesl
County Probate Court No. 2 – Josefina Rendon
County Probate Court No. 3 – Jerry Simoneaux
County Probate Court No. 4 – James Horwitz
County Judge – Ahmed Robert Hassan
County Commissioner, Precinct 4 – M. I. Badat
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 2 – David M. Patronella
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Place 2 – George E, Risner
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Place 2 – Don Coffey
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 6, Place 2 – Diana Davila
Armando V. Rodriguez
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7, Place 2 – Zinetta Burney
District Clerk – Judith Snively
County Clerk – Ann Harris Bennett
Gayle Young Mitchell
County Treasurer – David Rosen
Department of Education, Position 5 at Large – Debra Kerner
Department of Education, Position 7 At-Large – Traci Jensen
County Chair – Lane Lewis