December 07, 2005
Filing news: We have a surprise

Via the Quorum Report, we have what I'd call the first genuine surprise of the 2006 election season: A candidate switching parties to run as a Democrat.

Greenville attorney Scott Cornuaud is filling out paperwork this afternoon to run for House District 2 as a Democrat.

Cornuaud said he thought he was a Republican until he began considering the GOP’s support of the issues most important to him – public schools and the rising problem of methamphetamines.

The Quinlan Independent School Board member said that during the past two years, the district has lost $3 million because the Comptroller’s Office said their property taxes are too low. As a result, the school district has received less money and been taxed at a higher rate.

A recent study showed it costs about $7,100 to educate a student each year, he said, juxtaposing the figure against the $16,000 per person, per year that it costs to incarcerate a non-violent criminal.

"I think our priorities are screwed up," he said of Republican leadership.

Despite his conservative views on other issues – Cornuaud believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and he’s pro-life except in certain circumstances – the Democratic Party is more supportive of the issues most important to the district’s success, he said.

HD 2 state Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) is seeking re-election.

Who knows, maybe he'll start a trend. HD2 is on the order of 70/30 in favor of the GOP, so if Cornuaud wins he'll be nothing short of a miracle worker. That said, the process he went through to arrive as a Democratic candidate is exactly the sort of thing the Dems will need to happen with voters if they're going to climb back out of the hole. It's the same process that created a lot of the current crop of Republicans, just in reverse. If Cornuaud winds up beating the spread - say, cracking 40% - I'll be taking a hard look at the precinct data there, to see what if any effect he has on other races. One way or the other, we ought to learn something from this guy's experience.

Elsewhere, Andy Brown has dropped out of the HD48 special election due to residency concerns, but will be back in March.

State law requires a House candidate to live in the district for a year before the general election for that office. Brown, a lawyer, moved into District 48 in western Travis County last May, meaning he is eligible to run in the March primary and November general election for a new two-year term that will start in January 2007.

Brown said he still plans to run in the March primary. But with the special election in January, he does not think he will try to push his way onto the ballot to fill the rest of Baxter's term.

"Many supporters and activists have asked me to challenge the residency requirements for the special election," Brown said this morning. "At this point, I do not think that is the best course of action for the Democratic Party or the families of District 48. Over the next day or so, I will consult with my family and supporters regarding my decision, and how best to achieve true education, ethics and insurance reform in the state Legislature."

Brown was quick to point out that he grew up in Austin, went to high school and college here and now lives and works in District 48.

So that leaves Donna Howard and Kathy Rider for the special election. Or does it? PinkDome says he's still in and this initial report is erroneous. These things can change quickly, I suppose. Stay tuned.

Katy Hubener filed her paperwork today for another shot at HD106, which she narrowly lost in 2004. From her press release:

"I'm proud to have the enthusiastic support of a broad cross-section of our community," Hubener said. "These are leaders who support my campaign to be a catalyst for change at the State Capitol."

Hubener paid her filing fee and submitted the required paperwork at the Dallas County Democratic Party today.

Hubener was encouraged by a broad cross-section of the district to run again after her strong showing last year. The incumbent in that race recently announced his retirement amid continuing ethics controversies, questions about his residency, and a mounting frustration among voters at the unwillingness of state leaders to stand up narrow special interests and ultra-partisans.

Hubener said the Legislature has repeatedly failed to get the job done when it comes to improving public schools, lowering property taxes, rolling back homeowners¹ insurance rates, and ensuring access to affordable health care for working families.

HD106 is a swing seat, basically 55-45 GOP-Dem, with Hubener outperforming that against incumbent Rep. Ray Allen. With Allen stepping down, she would appear at this point to be a favorite to win, though not by much just yet. If the Dems hope to make more gains in the House next year, this is a seat they just about have to take.

On a semi-comic note, an old familiar face is back in Harris County, running for the now-open HD126. Well, it'll be comical unless he wins, anyway.

It's not filing news, but John Courage is in another race for an endorsement, with a donation to go along with it. Read about it here. I should note that Nick Lampson is also in the running, though he's in better financial shape. Check it out and cast a vote.

Finally, also not filing news, but if you're not reading Larry Stallings' blog, you're missing out on one of the more original voices in the campaign blogworld. It's in my Bloglines subs now. And if you're in San Antonio and need something to do this Saturday, consider blockwalk training.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 07, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Katy Hubener rocks! She almost took out Ray Allen. With no incumbent she's the candidate that can win this. Go Katy Go!!


Posted by: Sonia on December 8, 2005 7:13 PM

Scott Cornuaud is the man for the job. He know's what we need and will get the job done right.

Posted by: Lori McIntire on September 18, 2006 11:15 AM