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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.