Saturday, March 3, 2012

Competitive Texas House Races -- Houston SMSA

Under the San Antonio court redistricting maps, we currently have 8 competitive House races in the Houston area.  There are 2 newly created seats (Districts 3 -- Waller and Montgomery; and 85 -- Ft. Bend, Wharton and Jackson), 2 swing seats (Eiland and Legler), and 4 open seats (Taylor, Howard, Weber and Hochberg).  The filing period does not close until 6 p.m. on Friday, so it is always possible that there may be additional competitive primary races.  Below is my current analysis of these 8 races.
IncumbentDist.CandidatePartyTWICOH 12/31/11RDM Assessment
3CecilBellR51.2R$68,235Heavy favorite.  Strong community ties and personal wealth.
Craig Eiland23CraigEilandD2.3R$97,836Favorite.  Elected to Texas House in 1995.
23BillWallaceR2.3R$250Ex-Chambers County Commissioner.
Larry Taylor24GregBonnenR42.5R$465,612Favorite.  Great sign presence in the district; able to self-fund; brother is Rep. Dennis Bonnen.
24RyanSittonR42.5R$7,569Credible candidate, but definite underdog to Bonnen.
24HeidiThiessR42.5R$1,279TEA Party candidate.
Charlie Howard26SonalBhucharR32.8R$96,111Ft. Bend ISD Board President.  Credible candidate.
26JacquieChaumetteR32.8R$77,725Appears to be current frontrunner.
Randy Weber29EricJohnsonR29.6Rn/a
29EdThompsonR29.6R$120,018Heavy favorite.  Pearland Mayor Pro-Tem.
Open85LeeDugganR19.1R$63,530Favorite.  Son of former Sugar Land Mayor.
85PhilStephensonR19.1R$19,978TEA Party candidate.
85DoraOlivoD19.1R$655Former State Rep.
Scott Hochberg137JoeMaddenD18.0D$10,242Rep. Garnet Coleman's Chief of Staff.
137JamaalSmithD18.0D$2,500Former ED, Harris County Democratic Party.
137SarahWinklerD18.0D$1,378Alief ISD Board member.
137GeneWuD18.0D$70,869Is off to the fastest fundraising start.  Has upcoming March 8 fundraiser hosted by Gordon Bethune.
137MJKhanR18.0Dn/aFormer Houston City Council Member.
Ken Legler144KenLegler (Inc.)R1.7R$34,040Elected to Texas House in 2009.
144Mary AnnPerezD1.7R$14,547HCC Board President.
144KevinRisnerD1.7R$0Son of current JP.
144OrlandoYbarraD1.7R$3,663Member, Pasadena City Council.