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15Jun/150

The Exit Door (part 2)

Following up from the initial retirement/"moving on" list ...

Sen. Kevin Eltife - makes it official that he's leaving. Expect to see half of East Texas run for the seat.

Rep. Bryan Hughes & Rep. David Simpson - will be among the list of candidates seeking to replace Eltife. Outgoing SBOE member Thomas Ratliff's name is still a "maybe."

Among the replacements ...

Dr. Tom Oliverson has announced his plans to replace Rep. Allen Fletcher. The fake quote that accompanies his press release reads as follows:

“I am running for State Representative to fight for our conservative values. As a small business owner, I understand first hand that small businesses are the engines that drive our economy. I will fight to promote free markets and end burdensome regulations that cripple our businesses and hurt the Texas economy. I will unapologetically defend the life of the unborn, fight for lower property taxes, protect our border, be an advocate for education reform, and defend our 2nd Amendment rights.”

I'm real interested to learn about those burdensome regulations that cripple Texas businesses. Sounds like the past 20+ years of single-party Republican rule have been a bit of a failure according to their own standards.

Previously mentioned, but Kevin Roberts of the Lanier Law Firm will be seeking Patricia Harless' HD126. The Lanier connection could make him an interesting member to watch, if he succeeds.

Former Longview mayor Jay Dean will reportedly seek Simpson's seat. At first glance, he seems to be an improvement over most in the Lege. But in fairness to our friends in East Texas, HD1's Gary VanDeaver election in 2014 was a good head start on improving the other caucus.

9Jun/150

The Exit Door

The Almanac is still a thing, but I figured the current round of legislative retirements deserves a dedicated working space. With that, here's who's moving on to better and brighter things:

Rep. Allen Fletcher (R - NW Harris County) - was hoping to get the appointed gig for Harris County Sheriff, but has made it known that he'd be running for it in 2016 regardless. He also gave his going-away speech toward the end of the legislative session. District is about as safe as it gets for GOP - no known names for the seat come to mind.

Rep. Sylvester Turner (D - NW Harris County) - running for Houston mayor for the third time. Also preached his going-away speech during the final days of the lege. Safe Dem seat and there will be a long line of potential replacements. Biggest name to date is HISD trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones.

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R - Bell County) - gave his going-away speech in the closing days of the Lege. No known names for the seat early on, but the district has potential for a Democratic pickup in 2016 (followed by an almost certain return to GOP control in a non-Presidential year).

Rep. Joe Farias (D - Bexar County) - gave his going-away speech in the closing days of the Lege. Like Aycock's seat, the district has some potential for swinging to the other party.

Sen. Troy Fraser (R - Central Texas) - announced via letter to Senators after the legislative session. Rep. Aycock was asked to consider running for the seat by Fraser's campaign manager, but declined. There shouldn't be a shortage of candidates for this seat, but the field could be thinned out by fundraising ability. Of some interest is that former Representative (and failed Comptroller nominee) Harvey Hilderbran represented the southern portion of the Senate District.

Rep. Patricia Harless (R - NW Harris County) - announced on June 8 that she would not run again. District is safe GOP. Two names to watch for may be Harless' husband (who toyed with a run for SD7 after Dan Patrick announced for Lt. Gov). Former HD126 candidate John Devine has since successfully run for state Supreme Court. The only semi-announced candidate thus far is attorney, Kevin Roberts.

And in other activity:

Thomas Ratliff (R - East Texas) - announced he would not run for re-election to the State Board of Education.

Sen. Kevin Eltife (R - East Texas) - hasn't announced whether or not he'll run for re-election. But State Rep. David Simpson is rumored to be running for the GOP nomination regardless. Outgoing State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff has said he would consider running if Eltife opted to retire.

Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R - North Central Texas) - Rep. Sheffield has a very visible voting record that allows him to be identified as a moderate in a GOP primary. But his speech against the Schaefer amendment that would ban abortions of fetuses with genetic abnormalities after 20 weeks gave even more ammunition to opponents. Rep. Jonathan Stickland announced via twitter that "[t]his could be Rep. Sheffields last speech on the #txlege floor." Stephenville realtor Brent Graves announced his intention to challenge Sheffield prior to the end of the legislative session.

Rep. Jim Keffer (R - North Texas) - Hasn't made an announcement. Michael Quinn Sullivan seems to believe he will retire rather than face another tough primary challenge (allegedly from RR Commish David Porter). That may be wishful thinking on Sullivan's part, however.

Rep. Charlie Geren (R - Tarrant County) - Hasn't made an announcement. Presumed to be running again. But already has a primary challenge. Given the growing strength of the Tea Party in Tarrant County and more relaxed campaign finance laws (not to mention Geren's pointed opposition to same), it could potentially be more entertaining than prior primary challenges against Geren.

Updates are a given ...

   

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