Friday, November 18, 2011

2008 and 2010 Election Results by Proposed Texas House Districts

Eppstein: Court Ordered SD 10 More Republican Than Current SD 10

Re: Correction Requested
Are you drinking Democrat Matt Angle's Kool-Aid?
What is your statistical basis to say: "Sen. Wendy Davis will become a favorite for reelection in SD 10"? 
Davis was actually trying to pick up ALL of EAST Tarrant County to make SD10 more Democratic---- the federal CT map did not do this! 
Additionally, the ACTUAL past voting history of SD 10 contradicts your statement: 
* In 2002-2004-2006-2008-2010 No Democrat has EVER reached 50% in current SD10 
* In 2008, Davis won on plurality with less than 50% 
* The average GOP % in current SD10 in 2010 was 57% 
* The average GOP % in current SD 10 in 2008 was 51% 
* MCain pulled 52% in current SD10 in 2008 
* Perry pulled 53% and Abbott pulled 60% in current SD10 in 2010 
* The Federal Court map SD10 may actually be more Republican than the current SD10 map (I was told this and will try to confirm this morning). 
Based on the above, I respectfully ask that you make a CORRECTION to your statement on Davis being a "favorite" in SD10. 
Your consideration is appreciated. 
Bryan Eppstein

Confirmed this morning: 
The Federal Court Ordered State Senate District 10 is MORE Republican than the current SD10.... both McCain's 2008 % (52.2%) and Perry/Abbott's 2010 %s (52.7% and 60.1% respectively) are slightly higher in the Federal Court Ordered State Senate District 10 than the current SD 10. 

San Antonio Court Proposes Speaker Reelection Map

The three judge panel proposed interim redistricting maps for the Texas House and Senate late yesterday and gave the parties until Noon today to file comments and/or objections.  At first blush, it appears that the Democrats will pick up about ten seats in the Texas House under the court map, and that Sen. Wendy Davis will become a favorite for reelection in SD 10.  The partisan balance of the 83rd Legislature likely would be +/- 90 Republicans - 60 Democrats in the Texas House, and 19 Republicans - 12 Democrats in the Texas Senate.
Twelve House incumbents are paired, although with announced retirements, plans to run for another office, or residence relocation, the actual incumbent pairings appear to be two:  Hunter (R) and Morrison (R) in HD 32; and Scott and Torres in HD 33.  Three other Republican incumbents look to be in trouble because their district becomes significantly more Hispanic:  Aaron Pena in HD 40; Dee Margo in HD 78; and Ken Legler in HD 144.  There are thirteen open seats.
Assuming that the proposed maps are in place for the 2012 elections, immediate winners appear to be:
    • Speaker Straus -- He is much more insulated against an attack from the right with a 90 - 60 House than in a 101 - 49 House.
    • A Senate presiding officer to replace Lt. Gov. Dewhurst selected by both Democrats and Republicans, instead of only the Senate Republican Caucus.
    • Gaming -- The more Democrats in the legislature, the better the chances for gaming in 2013.
    • Texas Trial Lawyers Association -- They will be in a stronger position to combat Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
    • Texans for Secure Retirement -- Efforts to eliminate defined benefit plans for public employees in Texas will face a much more uphill battle.
The court will issue a congressional map shortly, and it seems to be the next shoe to drop.  The Republican legislature divided the four new congressional seats 3R - 1D, while preserving seats for Congressmen Canseco and Farenthold.  It would not surprise me for the court map to divide the new seats 3D - 1R, and for the court to imperil the reelection chances of Canseco and Farenthold.
Filing for office begins November 28 and ends December 15.  Residency for Texas House and Senate seats will now be required to be established by December 15 (instead of November 6).  Especially for the Texas House, fire up those moving vans!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rep. Jerry Madden to Retire

Rep. Jerry Madden will not seek reelection to HD 67.  Already running in that seat are Jon Cole and Jeff Leach.  This brings the number of House retirements to 9, with an additional 12 House members running for other offices.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

City of Houston Election Wrap-Up

As I predicted in my blog posting on September 6, it was generally a successful night for incumbents and for frontrunners in the open seats.  Eleven out of thirteen incumbents were reelected outright:  Mayor Parker; Controller Green; and Council Members Adams, Sullivan, Hoang, Pennington, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Costello, Noriega, and Bradford.  Two incumbents are in a runoff:  District A Council Member Brenda Stardig and At Large 5 Council Member Jolanda Jones.
In the five open seats, again as predicted, Alvin Byrd is in a runoff for District B with Pearland resident Jerry Davis; Ellen Cohen won District C outright; Kristi Thibaut is in a runoff for At Large 2 with perennial candidate Andrew Burks; Mike Laster won District J; and Larry Green won District K.
There will be four Council runoffs, with the election most likely called for December 10. My current analysis: 
District A -- Incumbent Brenda Stardig trailed Helena Brown 41.1% to 47.2%.  This race could go either way.  Stardig is taking a lot of heat for voting for Renew Houston, which failed in District A in the 2009 vote.  As the incumbent, Stardig should be able to raise the money to be competitive.  Additionally, to the extent that Schoellkopf’s voters (11.7% of the vote) return to the polls, you would expect them to break for Stardig.  Rating:  Tossup.
District B -- Alvin Byrd led an eight candidate field 25.1% to 24.4% over Jerry Davis.  Davis will be better funded in the runoff, but Byrd has stronger grassroots.  Rating:  Leans Byrd.
At Large 2 -- Andrew Burks led Kristi Thibaut 17% to 15.9% in a ten candidate field.  Thibaut will pick up all of the establishment endorsements; Burks will continue to have strong support in the African-American community and will attempt to appeal to Westside Republican voters. Rating:  Leans Thibaut.
At Large 5 -- Incumbent Jolanda Jones led Jack Christi into the runoff 38.3% to 33.4%.  This will be the third consecutive runoff for Jones, and the second straight against Christi.  In 2009, Jones defeated Christi 50.24% to 49.76%.  Jones will turn this into a Democrat/Republican race, and in a 60% Democratic city that should give her the edge.  Rating:  Leans Jones.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Elizabeth Ames Jones to Challenge Wentworth

Railroad Commission Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones has decided to run for Texas Senate District 25, which is currently held by Sen. Jeff Wentworth.  Jones began making calls to San Antonio supporters late last week gauging support for the race, and on Friday called Sen. Wentworth to advise him that she was running.
Jones previously was seeking election to the U. S. Senate, and as of September 30, 2011, reported $304,067 in cash on hand.  She will be able to transfer all of those funds to her state race.  
Jones represented San Antonio in the Texas House from 2001 until Gov. Perry appointed her to the Railroad Commission in 2005.  Speaker Joe Straus subsequently won the special election in February 2005 succeeding Jones in HD 121.  Jones’ San Antonio ties are wide and deep, and she will be a formidable competitor to Sen. Wentworth.  Dr. Donna Campbell has recently moved into SD 25 and is also in the race.
Jones is the latest candidate to exit the U. S. Senate race, following in the footsteps of Michael Williams and Roger Williams, who are now running for Congress.  A Mike Baselice poll conducted and released by the David Dewhurst campaign last week tells us why.  The survey of 600 likely Republican primary voters shows David Dewhurst at 50%; Tom Leppert at 9%; and Ted Cruz at 6%.
As of September 30, 2011, Mayor Leppert has raised $2.5 million and loaned his campaign $2.6 million, and had $4.17 million cash on hand.  In other words, he has not had to dip into the money that he loaned the campaign, and is still spending the money he raised.  Leppert went up with paid advertising on television two weeks ago.  I suspect that he is trying to move his numbers to see if it is worthwhile for him to stay in the race and begin spending the $5 to $7 million in personal funds required to compete with Dewhurst. 
If Leppert ultimately exits the race before the filing deadline, Cruz will be one on one with Dewhurst in a high turnout primary election.  Game, set and match.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Most Texas political eyes are currently focused on the interim congressional and legislative maps soon to be issued by the San Antonio court, the Republican presidential contest and the U. S. Senate race.  However, there is already a lot going on with the 2014 Texas statewide races.
If Governor Perry is not elected President, it is impossible to predict whether he would run for a fourth term in 2014.  Assuming that he does not, Attorney General Greg Abbott has positioned himself as the favorite for the Republican nomination.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett is also quietly contemplating a possible run for Governor in 2014. Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri recently named Emmett Chairman of Victory 2012, the party's statewide fundraising effort for the 2012 elections. Judge Emmett previously ran statewide in Texas in 1986 and 1988 for the Railroad Commission.  Harris County, the largest county in the state, is a significant base to run from.  However, the county’s share of the statewide Republican primary vote has been steadily declining from 13.3% of the votes cast in the Republican Primary for Governor in 2002; to 11.7% in 2006; to 10.6% in 2010.
For the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, Comptroller Susan Combs, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples have all announced.  State Senator Dan Patrick has decided to run for Lt. Governor in 2014, with an official announcement anticipated late this year or early next.  Finally, Rep. Dan Branch has indicated that he too intends to throw his hat into the ring for Lt. Governor.
I expect Cong. Michael McCaul to seek the Republican nomination for Attorney General in 2014.  Ted Cruz, if he is not successful in his U. S. Senate race, could revive his 2009 campaign for Attorney General and square off with McCaul.
So far it is very quiet on the Democratic side with no one to date moving around on these 2014 races.