2014 Statewide update

Over the next few days, I will be updating the 2014 Election page to reflect the updated Statewide races, and then the local Harris County races. That being said, I want to run through each of the non-judicial Statewide races to briefly note all the candidate (especially the Republicans running).

In the gubernatorial election, Attorney General Greg Abbott looks poised to run off with the Republican nomination without a runoff (pun intended). His opponents most notably include Tom Pauken, the former Chairman of the Texas Republican Party, but also include Larry Kilgore, a secessionist advocate. Miriam Martinez, a former television personality, is also running as a Republican. Her campaign has swung significantly to the left of the establishment Republicans, advocating for things such as the legalization of medical marijuana. Lisa Fritsch, a Tea Party activist, will also run.

Apart from the Republican candidates, there are two libertarians running: Kathie Glass and Lee Wrights. State Senator Wendy Davis is also running as the only Democratic candidate in the race (and, very likely, the only one come the end of filing).

For the Senate, all eyes have been upon John Cornyn and whether or not he will attract a high profile primary challenger. Dwayne Stovall, Linda Vega and Erik Wyatt have all announced their candidacy in the Republican primary as Tea Party inspired candidates. However, without major support, their candidacy will most likely not adversely affect Cornyn’s re-election chances. Maxey Scherr, an attorney from El Paso, is currently running as a Democrat.

In the Lieutenant Governor election, the composition of the Republican primary has not changed. The contest is still a four-way race between incumbent David Dewhurst, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and State Senator Dan Patrick. The race also includes two libertarians: Brandon de Hoyos and Ed Kless. Mara Luisa Alvarado, a Democrat who ran in 2006, will run again. State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, seen as an ideal Democrat for the race, has thus far been mum on her intentions.

In the Attorney General election, the same three Republican candidates have persisted: State Senator Ken Paxton, Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman and State Representative Dan Branch. Tom Glass, the aforementioned “Kathie”‘s husband, will run for the post as a Libertarian. The extremely fortuitously named Sam Houston will run as a Democrat as well. Houston is an attorney who previously ran for the Supreme Court in 2008, but has no political experience.

For Comptroller, the Republican lineup has similarly not changed. State Senator Glenn Hegar and State Representative Harvey Hilderbran still dominate the fray, but are flanked by fringe candidates such as activist Debra Medina and former State Representative Raul Torres. Mike Collier, another political novice, will be running as a Democrat. However, as any casual YouTube user will observe after viewing one of his ubiquitous online ads, Collier has been running a formidable campaign thus far.

In the race for Land Commissioner, George P. Bush looks like the presumptive nominee but is still being challenged by David Watts in the primary. Ed Tidwell, a Libertarian, will also run, as will democrat John Cook, the former Mayor of El Paso.

For Agriculture Commissioner, the campaign is still dominated by jokes and nearly jokes alone. I delineated the entrance of many Republican candidates last month, but they include J Allen Carnes, Tommy Merritt, Sid Miller and Eric Opiela. Kinky Friedman is, at press time, the only Democrat in the race.

Similarly, there are six Republican candidates for the Railroad Commission. Their experiences and attributes were similarly discussed last month; they include Becky Berger, Malachi Boyuls, Wayne Christian, Ray Keller, Joe Pool and Ryan Sitton. A libertarian, Mark Miller, will also be running.

And the big news of the evening is that Texpatriate has learned that there will be a Democrat running for the Railroad Commission: Stephen Brown. The Chairman of the Fort Bend County Democratic Party, Brown has much experience in a political bellwether region as well as the needed electoral and political history needed in a viable Statewide candidate.

The Democratic slate looks awfully close to being set: Scherr, Davis, Alvarado, Houston, Collier, Cook, Friedman, Brown. Of these candidates, I believe Davis, Collier, Cook and Brown are good candidates well-qualified for the position. Friedman is a great candidate if our more realistic options fall through, as he has great name exposure. As for Scherr and Houston, I think very highly of them and think they would be good in the Senate and Attorney General’s office, respectively. Unfortunately, a lack of any political experience tends to be a pretty big issue for me and these high-profile Statewide seats. But, given the disarray of the Texas Democrats, they are the best we got.

Dos Centavos has more on Brown’s candidacy.

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