Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Leslie Johnson

GOP results, Harris County

Bullet points for all these result posts, I was up way too late last night. See the numbers here and the chat transcript from last night here.

– You could have sold me on any result in the GOP DA primary going into yesterday, but I definitely did not expect such a wide margin. Mike Anderson ran away with it, garnering 63% of the vote. I’m stunned by that. Similarly, I would have had no trouble believing that Mike Sullivan could knock off Don Sumners, but I didn’t expect a 64-36 thrashing. Finally, given the establishment support she had received, I’d have expected Leslie Johnson to do well in the County Attorney race, but it was a rout just like the others, with former State Rep. Robert Talton collecting 66% of the vote. Wow.

– By the way, with Sumners’ defeat, as a chat participant noted we will have our fourth Tax Assessor in four years when either Sullivan or Ann Harris Bennett is sworn in next January.

– All incumbent legislators – State and US House, plus Tommy Williams in the State Senate – won easily, with no one breaking a sweat. HD133 might have been seen as competitive, with the district being significantly reconfigured and Ann Witt throwing a ton of money into it, but Jim Murphy cruised with over 62%.

– Jack Cagle easily won the right to run in November for his Commissioners Court seat. Incumbent Constables all won. A couple of judicial races are headed for overtime. With Dewhurst versus Cruz also being on the ballot for July, there will be some votes to fight over.

– I hadn’t even realized there was a contested race for GOP Chair, but Jared Woodfill won another term.

– Turnout was 152,000. Election Day ballots slightly exceeded early voting plus absentee ballots.

On to the non-Harris GOP races next.

Endorsement watch: Madden in HD137

The Chron picks Joe Madden as their preferred candidate to succeed Rep. Scott Hochberg in HD137.

Joseph Carlos Madden

In the Democratic primary on May 29, an impressive slate of candidates has come forward to run for Hochberg’s seat representing the 137th District in the Texas House. But one would be hard pressed to find a first-time candidate more knowledgeable about how Austin works than Joseph Carlos Madden.

If elected in the fall (the Democratic primary winner will face Republican M.J. Khan), Madden would be a freshman representative, but one with years of legislative know-how in his portfolio. Currently serving as chief of staff for Rep. Garnet Coleman and as executive director of the Texas Legislative Study Group, Madden has a thorough familiarity with the bills that end up on the House floor, and the often byzantine methods by which they get there.

During an interview with the Chronicle editorial board, Madden described in intricate detail the process of working with both the Perry and Obama administrations to improve managed health care in Texas. Anyone who can successfully help build bridges between camps as diverse as Gov. Perry’s and the White House demonstrates a talent much needed in Austin.

They specifically cite Jamaal Smith as one of that impressive slate of candidates. I certainly agree it’s a strong field and a tough choice. Bloggers were divided on this one – BOR went with Madden, but Stace endorsed Smith and Greg is on Gene Wo’s team. Carl Whitmarsh announced his support of Madden to his email list on Thursday. With four quality candidates, this race is highly likely to go to a runoff. We’ll see how supporters reorganize themselves after the first round. My interview with Madden is here, with Smith is here, with Wu is here, and with Sarah Winkler is here.

Completely unrelated to this except that it also appeared in yesterday’s paper, the Chron also endorsed Leslie Johnson in the GOP primary for Harris County Attorney.

We recommend a vote for Johnson in the GOP primary.

Her experience in the County Attorney’s Office, serving under both Michael Fleming and Mike Stafford, and her private practice experience as a litigator, are impressive credentials that tip our endorsement in this primary in her favor.

Talton, her opponent, practices in the Woodfill Pressler law firm headed by GOP County Chairman Jared Woodfill. Interestingly, he is one of three attorneys from that relatively small firm running for office in the GOP primary. It seems to us that Harris County voters deserve a choice of candidates and officeholders from a wider political and intellectual circle than that.

They don’t say who else is connected to Woodfill like that and I’m too lazy to look it up. I just thought it was interesting that they’d go out of their way to mention that. Obviously, I have no dog in this fight, and I’ll be pushing the button for Vince Ryan in the fall, but I will once again note that Johnson was a late filer in this race and that it interests me that someone who might not have been a candidate at all has gotten so much establishment support. I can’t think of another such candidate in a race that wasn’t affected by redistricting.