December 19, 2007
Filing news: Alvarado, Criss, Thompson

More campaign filings...First, soon-to-be-former Council Member Carol Alvarado will maker her filing for HD145 official tomorrow morning at 10:15 at HCDP headquarters. I'd excerpt the release, but that's pretty much all it says.

Next up is Judge Susan Criss, who made her filing for the State Supreme Court official Monday.

Criss, a veteran district court judge and a former prosecutor, issued the following remarks following her filing:

"Republican control of our state's highest civil court has put the average Texan's constitional right to a trial by jury at risk. When an injured Texan is awarded damages by a trial at his/her local courthouse - and that decision is appealed - this Republican-dominated court reverses the jury's decision about 90% of the time. This Republican-dominated court has consistently favored wealthy corporations and insurance companies, and has made life for everyday working Texans more dangerous.

"Texans deserve better. The primary purpose of my campaign is to fight to protect the constitutional rights of all of our citizens. The most important work the Texas Supreme Court does is review cases and determine whether trials were conducted fairly and according to the law. I bring a new perspective based on actual courtroom experience earned from presiding over hundreds of cases as a trial court judge and from handling thousands of cases as a trial court attorney. I have worked in the courtroom trying cases with juries for over twenty years. I have been there in the trenches and know firsthand how the jury system works."

"Since announcing for this position in April, 2007, I have traveled across Texas, visiting over 90 Texas counties and gathering over 1600 signatures for my candidacy. The response has been overwhelming. The people want change. 2008 can be a banner year for Democrats. Our party deserves its strongest electable candidates. We need Democrats with the courage and determination to do what is right for Texas and Texans."

Criss is running for Place 8, held by Perry appointee Phil Johnson. She will face Judge Linda Yanez in the primary.

And finally, up in Austin, Brian Thompson filed against Craddick D Dawnna Dukes. The < ahref="">Statesman reports:

In front of a boisterous crowd at an East Austin restaurant, Austin lawyer Brian Thompson kicked off his challenge Tuesday night to longtime state Rep. Dawnna Dukes.

Thompson targeted his fellow Democrat as out of step with the heavily Democratic district and too clubby with the state's Republican leadership, particularly Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Midland Republican whom Dukes helped elect as that chamber's leader.

Thompson, 27, moved from Alabama to Austin in 2002 to attend law school and last year bought his first house, in East Austin. Yet he claimed that he has more in common with East Austin than Dukes, who grew up in the neighborhood but now lives in Pflugerville.

"This is my home, and the values of East Austin are my values," he said.

Craddick has become a lightning rod as he has fought off two challenges to his leadership post from both Republicans and Democrats who complained of his strong-arm leadership style. Dukes was one of 15 Democrats who helped Craddick win re-election in January, and she stuck by him in May, when many of Craddick's own lieutenants tried to oust him.

In an interview Tuesday, Dukes declined to criticize or defend Craddick.

"Craddick is not running for office here," Dukes said. "I have a strong Democratic record, and I've delivered for the district."

She also declined to say whom she would support for House speaker in 2009, when Craddick is expected to face both Democratic and Republican challengers. She said she would support the leader who would be best for her constituents.

Thompson's announcement email referenced Dan Barrett's win in Fort Worth as evidence that being with Tom Craddick is a political loser. One wonders if Dukes and her campaign consultant are a bit more concerned about that now. Not that there's anything she can do about it, since renouncing Craddick is apparently not in the cards and might not be believed anyway. We'll see.

UPDATE: How'd I miss this? Craddick himself will have an opponent in November.

I have it on authority that Bill Dingus, a seven-year member of the Midland City Council who happens to be the brother of longtime TEXAS MONTHLY writer Anne Dingus (not my source), will file tomorrow to run against Tom Craddick.

Council members in Midland don't declare a party when they run, and my source tells me that Dingus has always been an independent, in public and private, but after considering running against Craddick as a Republican -- not a bad move in a heavily Republican district -- he's decided to file as a Democrat. Dingus has said before something to the effect that "the two-party system has lots of flaws, but it sure beats the one-party system." And, indeed, part of his motivation, I'm told, is to bring the Democratic party in Midland back into existence.

I'll make a donation to Mr. Dingus as soon as he's got an ActBlue page up. Meanwhile, BOR has more on Brian Thompson, and a video from Michael Skelly. Check 'em out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 19, 2007 to Election 2008