At long last, the Chron finishes its endorsements (more or less). The good news is that in the end, they made the right calls.
Texas Senate, District 4, Republican Tommy Williams -- A legislator with impeccable conservative credentials, Williams is an effective representative for his Woorlands-area district.
Texas Senate, District 11, Democrat Joe Jaworski -- A practicing attorney for 18 years, Jaworski served three terms on Galveston's City Council. He believes legislators should craft tax laws that broaden the revenue base to offer fairness to all taxpayers and relief for property owners. Jaworski's priorities in Austin would be transportation, environmental management that would spur job growth and integrity in office.
Texas House, District 127, Republican Martin Basaldua -- Basaldua is a family physician and Kingwood resident who touts his conservative credentials. He promises to go after federal funding to enroll more children in a health insurance plan, tighten border security and examine the high costs of college tuition. Basaldua says the district has suffered from a lack of energetic representation -- a failing he intends to rectify.
Texas House, District 129, Republican John Davis -- Davis, the incumbent since 1998, is a fifth-generation Texan and speaks fluent Spanish. If re-elected, Davis says, he will focus on protecting constituents' property rights against grabby developers, passing a voter ID law, reining in skyrocketing property appraisals and curbing illegal immigration.
Texas House, District 130, Republican Corbin Van Arsdale -- The incumbent, Van Arsdale is serving his third term. He is known for his expertise on House rules, and this skill serves his constituents well, as it increases Van Arsdale's effectiveness in passing legislation. He has worked across party lines to, for example, unanimously pass a law requiring state pensions to divest investments in firms that do business with Sudan. He lists his priorities as curbing illegal immigration, lowering property taxes and stopping the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Texas House, District 134, Republican Joe Agris -- A well-known plastic surgeon, Agris has been active in charity work and civic affairs. He is the more-qualified Republican seeking to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Ellen Cohen in November.
Texas House, District 144, Republican John Hughey -- Hughey says he intends to work to expose wrongdoing in government. A pro-life candidate, Hughey says he will work for lower taxes and smaller government. A retired NASA engineer with a military background, Hughey has long been active in local Republican politics.
Texas House, District 145, Democrat Carol Alvarado -- Alvarado racked up a solid record of achievements during three two-year terms as a Houston city councilwoman. Now running for the seat vacated by Rep. Rick Noriega, Alvarado wants to revisit tuition deregulation, which has made college costs prohibitive for many of her prospective constituents. A native Houstonian who has a history of working to strengthen neighborhoods and fighting pollution in the district, Alvarado pledges to work as a legislator for broader health coverage for Texas children.
Texas House, District 146, Democrat Borris Miles -- Miles, though dogged by a lawsuit alleging unseemly conduct, is still the better candidate in this primary contest. Miles' Democratic challenger is Al Edwards, whom Miles defeated in 2006 and who held the seat for almost three decades, a tenure noted for its modest benefit for the district. Miles says he has learned his lesson regarding public deportment. In his short time in Austin, Miles proved that he can be an effective representative.
Texas House, District 147, Democrat Garnet Coleman -- Coleman, the incumbent, says he is frustrated by public school dropout rates, high college tuition and the high rate of uninsured children. He promises to continue fighting for improvements. Clean air is another of Coleman's priorities, as are land banking for affordable housing and sensible stewardship of the environment. Deeply-versed in all the complexities of lawmaking, Coleman is highly competent, well-respected and the best choice for voters in this contest.
Texas House, District 148, Democrat Jessica Farrar -- Running for her eighth term, incumbent Farrar has been an outstanding representative for her district and has played a strong leadership role for her party in Austin. Farrar has been criticized for attending law school while in office, but she makes a strong case that this additional training will be a boon to her constituents.
On the Dem side, for all the crap I've given the Chron about their pokiness in doing these endorsements, at least they got them right when they finally got around to it. Between the four Dems here plus their earlier nod to Armando Walle, they batted a thousand on these. Which is not to say they were perfect overall - I agree with the fourth letter-writer in particular - but they eventually did a good job. I just hope there are enough people still to vote who'll consider what they've said.
There are still a couple or races left untouched - the GOP primaries for CD18, and two Harris County Department of Education trustee slots. I can only presume they've been skipped at this point. Perhaps the editorial board was never able to meet with all the candidates.
Finally, while the Houston GLBT Political Caucus gave an endorsement to Barack Obama for President earlier this week, the Houston Area Stonewall Democrats went with Hillary Clinton. Here's what they said (PDF):
Houston Area Stonewall Democrats proudly endorses Senator Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. Representing five of the region's counties, Stonewall Democrats are the largest GLBT Democratic organization in southeast Texas. With their endorsement, Stonewall Democrats join Houston Controller Annise Parker and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Sue Lovell in the community's support of Hillary Clinton. Lovell, a super delegate, is the only Texas GLBT member on the Democratic National Committee.
The vote of the Executive Board was decisive with four members voting for Hillary Clinton and one member abstaining.
"For us, the choice was clear, " said Teresa Herrin, Stonewall Democrats president. "Hillary Clinton is the candidate best qualified and most prepared to bring about the changes sought by our community."
"We knew Senator Clinton has been our ally in the fight for our equal rights, but we were genuinely surprised by her passion about us becoming full American citizens under the law," continued Herrin.
"Clinton's absolute indignation about the movement to prevent qualified GLBT couples from adopting showed her long-standing commitment of taking care of America's children," said Pat Gandy, Stonewall Democrats treasurer. "Instead of marginalizing us, Senator Clinton actually asked us to help her create the solutions our country needs. To a 76-year old lesbian in Houston that is very, very powerful."
During the twenty-minute phone conversation, Senator Clinton wholly committed to making immediate priorities of her administration such key issues as passing a completely inclusive ENDA, passing a completely inclusive Hate Crimes bill, and eliminating "Don't Ask, Don't' Tell".
"One of the most important reasons I support Hillary is her length of service with our community," stated Jackie Donovan, Stonewall Democrats Membership Chair. "She is certainly not new to our battles."
Stonewall Democrats are excited to help elect the candidate who is best able to lead all Americans on January 20 - Senator Hillary Clinton.