Monday, July 18, 2011

Texas Senate Update

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst will announce for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. At this point, it does not appear probable that Sen. Dan Patrick will challenge him in the Republican primary. However, even with SD 7 (Patrick) moving off the radar screen, we are still likely looking at 5 open Republican seats in the March 2012 primary as follows:

  • SD 5 (Ogden) -- Rep. Charles Schwertner and Rep. Larry Gonzales are each making calls for support in the event Sen. Ogden retires, as is former Rep. Dan Gattis. At this point, I would give the edge to Schwertner.

  • SD 8 (Shapiro) -- Sen. Shapiro is likely to retire, and Rep. Ken Paxton appears to have the inside track to replace her.

  • SD 10 (Davis) -- Sen. Davis may or may not run in this seat, but redistricting has made it a Republican seat. Rep. Kelly Hancock appears to have the lead to replace her, although Rep. Mark Shelton and Rep. Vicki Truitt are also considering the race.

  • SD 11 (Jackson) -- Sen. Jackson is moving ever closer to deciding to run for CD 36. If he does, Rep. Larry Taylor will run for the Senate as may former Rep. Robert Talton. This would be the premier bout on the Texans for Lawsuit Reform vs. Texas Trial Lawyers Association/Steve Mostyn 2012 fight card. Taylor is the frontrunner.

  • SD 25 (Wentworth) -- I continue to believe that Sen. Wentworth will not seek reelection. If he does, expect TLR to go all out to defeat him in the primary.

Two other primary challenges are on the horizon.

  • SD 6 (Gallegos) -- Former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia is quietly mulling whether to run against Sen. Mario Gallegos, although no decision has been made or is necessarily imminent. Garcia reported $751,601 cash on hand as of June 30; Gallegos reported $71,190 cash on hand. They both use Robert Jara has their consultant, so it will be interesting to watch this unfold.

  • SD 9 (Harris) -- If Sen. Harris seeks reelection, TLR intends to defeat him the primary.
Gov. Perry will announce for President either later this month or in early August. If both he and Dewhurst were to win, the Texas Senate would select one of its members to serve as acting Governor and we would have a special election for that open Senate seat. In contrast to 2011 when only two new Senators were sworn in for the Regular Session, 2013 appears likely to have a substantial contingent of freshman Senators.

RESPONSE FROM DANIEL F. MCCLUNG, CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES, INC.: "Senator Mario Gallegos and former Commissioner Sylvia Garcia are longtime friends and strong political allies. They are also both decades-long clients and friends of this firm, and as its Senior Partner, I have spoken with both this morning and each has asked me to say to you and others that a race between them is not a possibility. Thanks for sharing with your readers."