Campaign Roundup: Political News for the Week of 12/15

The first bit of campaign chatter is that candidates can file through Monday of next week. Federal judges hearing redistricting arguments moved today’s deadline and also said candidates will be able to file, revise or withdraw their applications when the courts finally decide what maps the state should use for its congressional and legislative elections next year.

In other words, everything could change, from the number of candidate to the races in which they’ll stand for election. Candidates can file now — using either the maps drawn by the Legislature or the maps drawn by the courts — and can switch to their home districts later, when the boundaries become clear.

When will the elections be held? Sometime next year. The dates for the congressional and legislative elections won’t be certain until maps have been approved.

That means you’ll see more announcements like the one from Salomon Torres, who told the Rio Grande Guardian that he’ll be running for Congress, but hasn’t said what district he’ll run in. Torres, a Brownsville Democrat, is the district director for U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Edinburg.

Former Edinburg City Manager Ramiro Garza filed for Congress, too. No district number in that announcement, either. “For my part, I’m certain that I’ll be running for U.S. Congress to represent the people of South Texas,” he said in a press release.

The last election under the current map went to John Raney, the founder of the Texas Aggieland Book Store in College Station. He got 57.9 percent of the vote against Bob Yancy in the runoff election to replace Rep. Fred Brown, R-Bryan. Brown resigned earlier this year and moved to Salado. Yancy finished first, with 36.4 percent, in the special election last month. Both men are Republicans.

Terri Leo, R-Spring, won’t seek another term on the State Board of Education, and instead is endorsing Donna Bahorich for her seat.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, endorsed state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, for re-election. She’s in a re-election race of her own, against state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas.

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, filed for re-election. He’s got a primary opponent, too: Matt Beebe, a local businessman who started off his campaign calling on Attorney General Greg Abbott to challenge the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst picked up an endorsement from the Texas Poultry Association, capping last week’s list of agricultural trade associations that are backing his race for U.S. Senate. This week, he’s working the Austin business groups, including political action committees of the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Medical Association and the Texas Oil & Gas Association.

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert anted in with a pack of former Dallas Cowboys, including Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Cliff Harris, Daryl Johnston, Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Breunig and Chad Hennings.

The confusion over filing deadlines and election dates hasn’t slowed the endorsement business much. The Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC is still cranking out its gold stars, saying it will back Reps. Kenneth Sheets, R-Dallas; Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi; and Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston. Hunter also picked up an endorsement from TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association’s political action committee. And the Texas Civil Justice League endorsed Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina for re-election.

Bracy Wilson, running for the Texas House in Collin County, says he got an endorsement from Bill Baker, Kaufman County’s GOP chairman.

Our continually updated list of people who’ve filed for office can be found here.

[Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story put Bracy Wilson in the wrong place; he’s running in Collin County.]

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The article was published at Campaign Roundup: Political News for the Week of 12/15.

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