January 02, 2006
Filing news: The lineup

This is still subject to some change, since not everything is yet reflected on the filings page, but here for now is the top of the Democratic ticket:

U.S. Senator
12/5/2005 Barbara Ann Radnofsky, (713) 758-3846
12/6/2005 Darrel Reece Hunter, (806) 359-6206
12/28/2005 Gene Kelly

As noted before, I know nothing about Hunter. Kelly is a perennial candidate who went against Hutchison in 2000, losing by a 65-32 score (two other candidates took the other 3%).

12/9/2005 Chris Bell, (713) 524-0009
12/15/2005 Bob Gammage, (325) 247-5577
12/29/2005 Rashad Jafer, (832) 277-2040
1/2/2006 Felix Alvarado, (817) 657-7369

Lieutenant Governor
12/30/2005 Benjamin Z. Grant
1/2/2006 Adrian De Leon, (830) 876-2486
1/2/2006 Maria Luisa Alvarado, (866) 281-0460

Attorney General
12/5/2005 David Van Os, (210) 225-1955

Comptroller of Public Accounts
1/2/2006 Fred Head, (903) 675-5111

Land Commissioner
1/2/2006 VaLinda Hathcox, (903) 438-1529

Agriculture Commissioner
12/8/2005 Hank Gilbert, (903) 871-2424
12/12/2005 Koecadee Melton, Jr.

Railroad Commissioner
1/2/2006 Dale Henry, (512) 564-1448

That's a fuller slate than I'd expected. There's definitely more excitement in the Dem primary for Governor than there now is on the GOP side. As Greg and Vince both note, Gammage, Grant, and Fred Head are members of the Dirty Thirty:

"Dirty Thirty" was the name given to thirty members of the 1971 Texas House of Representatives who grouped against Speaker of the House Gus Mutscher and other Texas officials charged in a bribery-conspiracy investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The coalition of thirty Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, has been given credit for keeping the Sharpstown Stock Fraud Scandal alive as a political issue. One member called for a resolution to make Mutscher and his associates resign from leadership positions while the SEC investigation continued, but Mutscher was still favored by a majority in the House, and the measure failed. Another resolution, for the House to make itself a committee of the whole to study the SEC allegation, also failed. The criticism by the Dirty Thirty of Mutscher's system of controlling legislation led him, finally, to agree to an investigation. But he appointed five of his closest House allies, all chairmen of other committees he had appointed, to do the job. This blatant use of appointive power to clear himself actually helped the Dirty Thirty's cause. On the next-to-last day of the session, Mutscher attacked the group, accusing them of irresponsible and partisan politics. In return the group called Mutscher a dictator of state politics, more concerned with private than public interests. This began the electoral battle, which Mutscher lost.

In September 1971 a Travis County grand jury indicted Mutscher and two colleagues for conspiracy to accept a bribe and accepting a bribe. It also strongly recommended reform in the power of the speaker, although this recommendation was largely ignored; in 1993 minor reforms occurred. Mutscher was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to five years' probation. Although not brought to trial, Governor Preston Smith and Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes saw their political careers effectively ended. The Dirty Thirty paid a price, also, for Mutscher blocked most of the legislation introduced by the members, and they found themselves isolated from other legislators.

There's a decent narrative there, if any member of the Fourth Estate chooses to pick it up.

Every Congressional seat save for Mike Conaway's CD11 is contested. Stace has some info on CD02 candidate Gary E. Binderim.

None of the late Congressional filings is as intriguing as that of former CD09 wackjob Steve Stockman, who got elected in a fluke in 1994 as a Republican, then got ousted in 1996 by Nick Lampson and is now running as an independent (PDF) in CD22. Vince caught that one, and all indications point to it being the same Stockman as before. Here's a little background on Stockman. Elam sent him an email to ask about this. I can't wait to see if he gets a reply.

Two Dems filed today for the now-open SD18, currently held by Ken Armbrister: Bret Baldwin and Henry Boehm, Jr. You know as much about them right now as I do.

At the State Rep level, there's still some gaps. The filings page lists 91 races with a Dem in them, which would leave 59 uncontested seats. The awful Tarrant County Democratic Party page confirms that Lon Burnam (HD90) and Marc Veasey (HD95) are in, while the Dallas Democrats page fills in Terri Hodge (HD100), Roberto Alonzo (HD104), Bob Romano (HD105), Katy Hubener (HD106), Eric Brandler (HD113), and Phillip Shinoda (HD114). I'm certain someone is running to replace the retiring Jim Solis in HD38 - I believe Eddie Lucio, Jr, son of the State Senator was supposed to be the one - but I can't find a page for the Cameron County Democratic Party to confirm that. The Republicans don't list a candidate, either, so I'll say there's a Dem and go from there. That brings us to 100 districts, which means 63 Dem-held seats, plus 37 of 87 GOP-held seats, leaving 50 uncontested. I counted 51 Republicans without a Democratic challenger in 2004 - Greg has it as 46 free rides this year, 54 in 2004. Like I said, there's still gaps. I'll get back to you on this one.

On a side note, Galveston blogger Liberty emails me to say that he's running as a Libertarian in HD23, against Democratic Rep. Craig Eiland. Liberty, who gives his real name as Raymond Lloyd, appears to be Eiland's only competition. Obviously, I'll be rooting for Eiland, but I wish Liberty well in his campaign.

Finally, there will be a contested race for Bexar County Democratic Party chair. Carla Vela is the only candidate listed right now, but I'm told via comments that a Dan Ramos is also in the race. Anyone care to add to this? Whoever wins the BCDP chair wil have his or her work cut out for himself or herself.

I'll have more as things clarify further. Good night.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 02, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

43 unchallenged Republicans at the State Rep level. The Dallas & Tarrant filings whittled it down a bit. Definitely progress on that front.

Posted by: Greg Wythe on January 2, 2006 11:21 PM

Henry Boehm, Jr. is a retired physician from Brenham and was for many years, my doctor. His wife, ran for the legislative seat which came open in 1998 with the death of incumbent representative Dan Kubiak.

The Boehm family are longtime stalwarts of Brenham, Washington County and Dr. Boehm's father, Henry J. Boehm, Sr. served for many yars as one of the academic leaders of Blinn College.

Posted by: Carl Whitmarsh on January 2, 2006 11:29 PM

I was in the Valley a few weeks ago and remember seeing billboards for Eddie Lucio Jr. I am pretty sure he is running for Jim Solis' seat.

Posted by: TC on January 3, 2006 12:36 AM

CD09 wackjob Steve Stockman, who got elected in a fluke in 1994 as a Republican, then got ousted in 1996 by Nick Lampson ... is now running as an independent ... in CD22.

That should help Lampson's chances a bit, since right-wingers who are disenchanted with DeLay will have somewhere else to go. I doubt Stockman will get more than 3% of the vote, but that could make the difference if the DeLay-Lampson race is close.

Posted by: Mathwiz on January 3, 2006 9:41 AM

"Dirty Thirty" was the name given to thirty members of the 1971 Texas House of Representatives who grouped against Speaker of the House Gus Mutscher and other Texas officials charged in a bribery-conspiracy investigation....

The nickname "Dirty Thirty" is misleading, since it implies they were involved in the scandal, rather than challenging those who were. I wouldn't be surprised to see attack ads identifying "Dirty Thirty" members without explaining the meaning of the term. It'd be a (ahem) dirty trick, but that's Texas politics.

Posted by: Mathwiz on January 3, 2006 9:58 AM