The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Thursday, December 29, 2005

State Legislative Round-Up

We've got a quality candidate in Pete Laney's district:

Crosby County Judge Joe Heflin announced today at a packed hall he would step into the race for House District 85, which former Speaker Pete Laney (D-Hale Center) opens with his retirement next year.

Heflin, 52, said Laney approached him about running a few days after he announced he wouldn’t seek another term in the House. Heflin said he contemplated the idea for a couple of days, and ultimately agreed to make the race.


"What I’m finding (throughout the district) is the Republican Party has crammed so much down people’s throats - from redistricting (former Democratic Congressman) Charlie Stenholm and redistrict Pete Laney, and things of that nature – that people are tired of the bickering," Heflin said. "It’s one of the things that keeps coming up, and now the bickering is even falling into the Republican Party and they couldn’t get school finance resolved."

Heflin said as a House representative, he would vote his district and work across philosophical divides as much as possible.

"I want to protect West Texas. I want to protect West Texas’ way of life. I want to protect our schools," Heflin said.

Just the kind of candidate we need to keep that seat. Crosby county by itself only makes up a small portion of this district, but if he can get Laney's votes in Hale county and can get Laney to stump for him across the district, Heflin has a fighting chance.

After zero Democratic challengers in the past twelve years, Frank Corte may now be getting two. And you just won't believe who the second one is. Check out Matt's place for the name. Then come back here and register your disbelief.

Through Nate, we find out that the possible Republican primary between freshmen State Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson and Adam Sibley- son of former Waco mayor and State Senator David Sibley- has fallen through. Which is a shame. But not all is lost. Former (Democratic) State Rep. John Mabry might be running for McLennan County Judge after the current (Democratic) County Judge Jim Lewis has decided to switch parties and run as a Republican. My assertion in the comments over there still stands.

Finally, Rebecca Chapa- although I disagree with a lot of it- over at the Express-News has a great commentary on all kinds of races affecting Bexar County and Texas. Here's what she has to say on the HD-118 race:

House District 118, the seat being vacated by Uresti, has historically been a Democratic district. His departure has prompted two Republicans to enter the race: George Antuna, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Steve Salyer, a physician assistant who ran for the seat two years ago.

Two Democrats have announced a run in District 118, but neither has enough name recognition to do well. Unless a strong, well-known Democrat emerges soon, that seat will likely go Republican.

Is HD-118 competitive? Yes. Is HD-118 getting more and more Republican votes in it? I believe so. Still, it's more Democratic than Leibowitz' seat. And while I'd like to see more choices in the Democratic primary, even if there aren't I still give the edge to the Dem nominee. It'll be a tough road to hoe for Antuna in the general, but it'll be just as tough for him to come out of the Republican primary. Anyone remember Xavier Rodriguez?

Chapa's spot on in her Uresti-Madla assessment though:

The Texas Senate District 19 Democratic primary between incumbent Frank Madla and challenger Carlos Uresti will find the two battling it out in both Bexar County and the rest of the district, which is vast at 55,000 square miles.

Although Bexar makes up about 40 percent of the voter turnout in the district, there are 22 other counties to consider, and in places like Quemado, Marfa and Valentine, a handshake and an appearance at local fairs and parades go a long way.

Turnout for the Madla-Uresti race will be elevated by the Congressional District 28 Democratic primary, featuring incumbent Henry Cuellar of Laredo and former seat-holder Ciro Rodriguez of San Antonio.

There's gonna be alot of votes coming out of South Bexar county and almost as many coming out of places such as Maverick and Del Rio counties. But you cannot discount the deep West Texas votes.

Update, 1:42pm: Something from the Christmas travels- why is there a contested primary in HD-43? Incumbent Juan Escobar is facing Richard Valdez, who I think he beat in the 2003 Special Election by just a couple hundred votes. Escobar's from the Kingsville area while Valdez- a former Cameron County Comissioner- is from the southern portion of the district. Could be just a classic geographical match-up. Could be something else. Anyone got any thoughts?