December 11, 2019      4:47 PM

JR: In potentially significant shift, Texas House on track to see widespread Democratic primaries instead of so many Republican contests

For the most part, Republicans seem to have contained the urge to fight with each other while Democrats must deal with their own insurgent candidates, particularly in Houston

If you thought this legislative session was a snoozer, then you may hate the March GOP primaries. While this year was full of surprises – culminating in the downfall of a speaker, a committee chairman, and an incumbent in a swing seat – the Republican primary could be relatively quiet.

Democrats report fielding a record number of candidates while Republicans are beefing up their war chests for general election battles.

Meantime, the state’s de facto third-party, run by Farris and Dan Wilks along with Tim Dunn, has seemed to quietly exit the stage. Not one challenger has emerged to primary members of the Senate Republican Caucus up for reelection this cycle. That’s even after Empower Texans feuded with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for much of the summer, comparing him to Beto O’Rourke on gun rights while Patrick accused spokesman Michael Quinn Sullivan of destroying the GOP.

By James Russell

December 10, 2019      8:17 PM

TWIA rate increase deferred for now

Rep. Middleton says “I am glad that Texans in Galveston and Chambers counties will not face a rate hike for the foreseeable future” but an increase could come next summer; the board agreed to post an RFP for an actuarial review

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association board took a pass on a rate increase at today’s meeting in Corpus Christi while leaving the door open for a potential rate review next year.

Gulf Coast residents are still bruised and battered from Hurricane Harvey. Many continue to rebuild. Most are still waiting on federal funds to rebuild their homes. Today, along with their Nueces County lawmakers, they urged TWIA’s board to say no to an insurance rate increase.

County Commissioner Brent Chesney – Rep. Todd Hunter’s one-time staffer – said he had spent 30 years fighting windstorm insurance rates on behalf of the Texas Coast.

“This is a very difficult time, still, in the recovery of Nueces County, and especially in Port Aransas,” Chesney said. “It is ridiculous for 30 years – a good portion of my adult life – we’ve had to continue this fight against unfair and discriminatory rate practices against the coast. The system is flawed. There should be a true catastrophic pool for insurance across the state.”

Speakers had plenty of arrows to aim at TWIA: That the Gulf Coast carried the price of its own natural disasters, plus others across the state. That two members missing from the TWIA board – intended to represent the public – was no mistake. And that the Gulf Coast was suffering huge personal losses, while continuing the export of high-cost cargo – such as natural gas out of the Permian Basin to other markets – while the region continued to suffer.

By Kimberly Reeves

December 10, 2019      8:08 PM

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Hinojosa finds Ramsey English Cantu ineligible to run for House seat being vacated by Nevarez

"In this case, the public records provided to me, along with legal provisions laid out above, obligate me to administratively declare you ineligible and I hereby do so."

Ramsey English Cantu, who until now has served as Mayor of Eagle Pass, was found ineligible to run for Texas House today by Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa. He is among those who had declared candidacy for the seat being vacated by Chairman Poncho Nevárez.

December 10, 2019      7:53 PM

Dennis Bonnen creates House Select Committee on Statewide Health Care costs, taps Greg Bonnen to lead it

Read the proclamation below.

December 10, 2019      3:31 PM

Confirmed: Rep. Bill Zedler will not seek reelection, withdrew name today

December 10, 2019      11:28 AM

Now that she has no primary challenge, Gov. Abbott endorses Rep. Sarah Davis

Abbott says he and Davis have not always seen eye to eye but "we share the same commitment to bring people together to solve problems."

December 9, 2019      7:31 PM

Rep. Mike Lang apparently changed his mind, again, and filed for Hood County Commissioner

As we understand it, Rep. Lang will retire from the House and run for Commissioners Court. At least one GOP State Representative on social media wished Lang luck in his race for commissioner, which Lang retweeted

December 9, 2019      6:36 PM

With candidate filing concluded, Democrats set their sights on November while the GOP avoids numerous Texas House primary fights

But, “All eyes…on November” doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be a few ugly races in March; very few surprises on the last day of filing

Candidate filing for the coming cycle has now concluded and, as one observer put it, “all eyes are on November.” But others said there will be some sparks in the March primary.

Here’s the Buzz Central breakdown:

By James Russell

December 9, 2019      6:33 PM

Longtime Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack did not file for reelection

The Pct 3 commissioner was first elected in 1988

December 9, 2019      12:39 PM

Braddock on Radio: Bloomberg campaigns in Plano, impeachment talk, and race fueled controversies in Texas GOP

On KFYO radio, Editor Scott Braddock and Chad Hasty discuss a wild weekend in Texas politics

December 9, 2019      12:24 PM

Chairman Huberty endorsed by former Congressman Ted Poe

Here’s the endorsement.

December 7, 2019      8:11 PM

Galveston County GOP Chair under pressure from Republicans to resign over racist text message

Via the Galveston County Daily News:

Galveston County Republican Party Chairwoman Yolanda Waters faces demands for her resignation from members of her own party after revelations she used a racist slur in reference to another party member in a text message earlier this year.

The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas and a group of more than a dozen local precinct chairs called Saturday for Waters' resignation and state officials confirmed the text had already caused Waters to resign from a state-appointed board at a request of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Despite the loud calls for resignation, Waters on Saturday was adamant she had no plans to do so, arguing the slur was a typo.

"I am saddened and hurt that anyone believes I am 'racist' against my own people," Waters said.

Details of Waters' text have been known to local and state Republican leaders for weeks, officials said. They became public late last week when a group of precinct chairs called an emergency meeting to discuss Waters.

Precinct chairs called the meeting after learning Waters had referred to member J.T. Edwards, a black man, by the n-word in a text earlier this year.

December 6, 2019      8:00 PM

People on the Move

Lobby moves, appointments, Democrats staffing up for 2020, Christmas parties, and the end of year schedule for POTM

Great to see so many of you at Christmas parties around town and at the Texas Association of Business luncheon in Houston Wednesday as well as the Dallas Citizens Council annual meeting yesterday in Big D.

Being on the road for two weeks has worn your editor down so some time here in Austin will be just fine heading into the Christmas season. For those who asked, the Texas Take Podcast will be coming your way this afternoon – apologies for the late delivery.

Members of the Texas House Republican Caucus huddled this morning but we are told nothing interesting happened.

Meantime, POTM was off for Thanksgiving and we’re back as promised. Some readers asked about the POTM schedule heading into Christmas, so I’ll address it at the bottom of this column. For now, please keep sending career news to ksbraddock@gmail.com and use POTM in the subject line if you don’t mind. Helps me keep it all together.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

By Scott Braddock

December 6, 2019      6:02 PM

Ahead of filing deadline, Rep. Lance Gooden scores endorsement of President Trump

In a tweet, President Trump says Gooden "has done a wonderful job for the people of Texas while supporting our #MAGA Agenda. He continues to protect your very important #2A. Lance is Strong on Crime and the Border, he Loves our Great Vets and Military. Lance has my Complete & Total Endorsement!"