State Rep. Lon Burnam has an opponent in March.
Fort Worth School Board trustee Carlos Vasquez has announced he will challenge state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, in next year’s Democratic primary.
Vasquez, a former elementary school principal, has been on the board since 2008 representing the district’s north side.
“After careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that many of the problems faced with public education are attributable to a broken State Government in Austin,” Vasquez wrote on Facebook. “With over four billion dollars cut in public education we need to refocus on what matters most, a strong public school system.
“Today, I am announcing my candidacy for State Representative in District 90 in the Democratic Primary of 2012.”
I think it’s fair to say that Rep. Burnam was not part of the problem that Vasquez identifies, but that’s neither here nor there. HD90 is a heavily Latino district, and Burnam nearly drew a Latino challenger in 2010. It should be noted that the new district in Tarrant County, currently listed as HD101, was drawn with a Latino plurality, but in practice I believe is more likely to elect an African-American. Be that as it may, I like Rep. Burnam and think he plays a very useful role in the Legislature, but as I’ve said before nobody is entitled to a seat. If Vasquez believes he can do a better job protecting the interests of public schools and representing HD90, then let’s hear what he has to say.
Over in Dallas, one of the Republicans that was paired up in the legislative redistricting has announced her intent to run again.
Mesquite Republican Cindy Burkett announced Tuesday that she would seek re-election to the Texas House.
Burkett will run in the newly constituted District 113, where she was paired after redistricting with incumbent lawmaker Joe Driver of Garland.
It’s possible that Driver and Burkett will have meet each other in March for what would be a hotly contested Republican primary race.
Burkett won the former HD101 last year, ousting freshman Rep. Robert Miklos. The new HD113 is quite purple, so with any luck it won’t matter whether Burkett or Driver and his ethical issues emerges from the primary.
Finally, here in Harris County I had recently mentioned the Precinct 1 HCDE Trustee seat, currently held by Roy Morales and referred to by me as the single easiest pickup opportunity for Dems next year. I am pleased to report that via email, TaShon Thomas has informed me that he will make an official announcement of his candidacy for that seat next month. Thomas is a senior Administration of Justice major at TSU and the Chief of Staff in the President’s office of the TSU student government. I met him a year or so ago at a Harris County Young Democrats meeting; he actually qualifies as a Young Dem, I was there as a guest speaker. Here’s his Facebook page if you want to know more about him.