January 02, 2008
Filing news: So what happened?

All right, as expected there was quite the flurry of activity at the last minute. Some of this is likely subject to change, but here's what I can determine at this time:

- While the TDP spreadsheet has her filing for the 4th Congressional District, the Harris County Democratic Party has 2006 Land Commissioner candidate VaLinda Hathcox filing for State Senate District 4, against Tommy Williams. The latter makes more sense, at least in terms of ballot coverage, though it's about as winnable as CD04. We'll see if this is correct or not. In other State Senate news, Susan Delgado's name has disappeared off of the Harris County GOP's ballot listing for SD06. No great loss there. Up in Tarrant County, Wendy Davis is facing a challenge to her ballot eligibility for SD10, while a Melvin Willms will run for the Democrats against Sen. Chris Harris in SD09, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini will have a primary opponent named Rene Barrientos in SD21.

- Dallas District Court Judge Jim Jordan did file for the third Supreme Court slot, against Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. And to my and Grits' approval, two Democrats filed for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Susan Strawn and JR Molina. Molina doesn't add anything, as his past history indicates, but Strawn should be a real contender. And finally, I have just received a press release from the campaign of Judge Linda Yanez saying her petition signatures were accepted as valid by the TDP. The release is here (PDF) for those who are interested.

- Nothing new at the countywide level for Dems. Adrian Garcia made his filing today. C.O. Bradford (District Attorney), Vince Ryan (County Attorney), and Loren Jackson (District Clerk) are unopposed. Garcia, David Mincberg, and Diane Trautman have opponents for Sheriff, County Judge, and Tax Assessor, respectively.

- On the R side, Sheriff Tommy Thomas has two challengers, and appointed District Clerk Teresa Chang has one, Bob Wolfe. Because Rosenthal withdrew, further DA wannabees may still file before Friday.

- For Congress, Ted Poe (CD02) and Al Green (CD09) are unopposed. Both TJ Baker-Holm and John Faulk, the gentleman who came by my Lights in the Heights party to solicit petition signatures, will try their luck against Sheila Jackson Lee in CD18. Something like a million people (okay, ten), including State Rep. Robert Talton of HD144, are vying to run against Rep. Nick Lampson in CD22. And finally, the Republicans finally did dredge up an opponent for Rep. Chet Edwards. Something tells me he's not too worried.

- In the State House, the local GOP wound up filling more ballot slots than I had expected. They eventually found warm bodies to run against Reps. Ellen Cohen (two of them, in fact), Senfronia Thompson, Ana Hernandez (the same person Hernandez whipped in 2006), Jessica Farrar, and for the open HD145 seat that was Rick Noriega's. I don't expect any of them to present any strong resistance, though of course one never wants to take that sort of thing for granted. The Rs also wound up fielding two primary challengers to Rep. Joe Crabb in HD127 (he was challenged in 2006 and won less than 60% of the vote in that primary), in addition to the challenges we knew about in HDs 129 (John Davis) and 130 (Corbin Van Arsdale), plus the three-way race in the open HD144 (Talton).

- On the Dem side, Rep. Scott Hochberg gets a free pass, while Rep. Garnet Coleman got a primary challenger. Just another distraction from the important races, unfortunately, but that's how it goes. Elsewhere in the state, Ernie Casbeer, one of the great overperformers of 2006, is back to challenge Rep. Sid Miller again in HD59.

- As expected, the Dems have a full slate of judicial candidates for the county ballot as well as for the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals - Jim Sharp got his filing in today. I count seven contested primaries for the district courts, including a three-way in the 80th. Ashish Mahendru wound up in the 334th Court, which had originally been Susan Strawn's target, after dropping his bid for the 125th. Kyle Carter, who challenged him there, now has an opponent of his own, Jim Wrotenbery. The Rs have contested primaries in the 55th, 190th, and 312th Courts, all of which are for unexpired terms; for the open 174th; and against incumbent Judge Brian Rains in the 176th.

- The Dems have JP candidates in every precinct except 4, and Constable candidates in every precinct except 4 and 8. Each is a contested primary except for JP Precincts 3 (Mike Parrott) and 5 (Peter Rene), and Constable Precincts 5 (Sam Pearson) and 6 (Victor Trevino). That's a lot of action. The Rs are only running JP candidates in 4, 5, and 8, all of which they hold; 8 appears to be open now, with three contenders. They have Constable candidates everywhere except 6 and 7 (not sure why the disparity), with 4 and 5 contested.

Whew! That's all I've got for now. I expect there will be more news as stuff around the state filters in. Now I've got to start gearing up to do some interviews for various contested primaries. Stay tuned for those.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 02, 2008 to Election 2008

Chet's opponent is Rob Curnock (sp?). He was a local sportscaster on one of the Waco TV stations (25, I think) in the late-80's or early 90's. He has ran twice before for Congress in this district. In 2000, he ran a distant third in the primary and ran again in 2002, but that time he either got his name off the ballot or at least stopped campaigning when it was revealed he had used money from his business for his campaign (which is illegal, although he said it was by accident and he also questioned if it was technically illegal in his circumstance).

So, yeah, he isn't much to worry about!

Posted by: Corey on January 2, 2008 9:51 PM

I think you may be underestimating the challenge to Ellen Cohen in November. Dr. Joe Agris, one of the "warm bodies" that filed as a Republican for her seat is a well known doctor who did a lot of work with Marvin Zinder. I don't know if he will be successful, but he will be a formidable opponent.

Posted by: Mr. 22 on January 2, 2008 11:43 PM

Any idea who is running against Dan Barrett? I recall reading that Bob Leonard announced that he is running again, but I don't see anything on HD97 on the TRP or TCRP web pages. I can't imagine that Dan's running unopposed.

Posted by: blank on January 3, 2008 12:36 AM