Summer (Texas) House News

Posted in Election 2008, 2008 Primary, Around The State, The Lege at 12:24 pm by wcnews

Clay Robison has this column up today regarding political positioning for the 2008 state house races, It’s not safe to assume battle-scarred Craddick won’t last in ‘09. I think most everyone can agree on that. The column starts out telling a story about one of the Craddick/Leininger targets from the 2006 GOP Primary is seeing signs that he may be in their sights again.

State Rep. Tommy Merritt, a Republican from Longview who gives Speaker Tom Craddick heartburn, is suspicious of visitors popping up in his East Texas district — at least those who come bearing critiques of his legislative voting record.


The Gregg County visitor was Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a conservative group advocating, among other things, tighter limits on state spending and taxes.

The group is led by Midland oilman Tim Dunn, a modest donor (by today’s standards) to Republican candidates and causes.

“I personally like Mr. Craddick a lot. I think he is a good, decent guy. But my organization isn’t interested in internal House politics,” Sullivan said.

He said he has visited a number of legislative districts, educating people about their lawmakers’ voting records on issues important to conservatives — as well as presenting awards to friendly incumbents — but hasn’t been recruiting candidates.

Right. First let’s not forget that Mr. Sullivan is the former head of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), a Leininger funded right wing “think tank”, and his new “think tank” TFR is a recent spin off. For us to believe that a “former” Leininger lackey is going around the state, “educating” local Republican leaders on anti-Craddick GOP lawmaker’s not-so-conservative voting records is nothing for that lawmaker to be concerned about is naive at best. Anyone ever heard of a County Judge running for the Legislature?

What’s key to note here is that, again, for all we heard last session after Craddick was finally reelected about how things will change, this makes it obvious that nothing has. Craddick and Leininger working together to oust vulnerable Republican legislators that they think aren’t conservative enough.

The column also mentions the fact that some Democrats may be challenged for their allegiance to Craddick.

Among the so-called “Craddick Democrats” — Democratic House members viewed as loyal to Craddick, including a number of committee chairmen — those most likely to draw opponents in their party’s primary include Kevin Bailey of Houston, Robert Puente of San Antonio, Aaron Peña of Edinburg and Kino Flores of Mission.

This is the view of several Democratic consultants, who also believe that Dawnna Dukes of Austin and Norma Chavez of El Paso could be high on the hit list. A lot will depend on local political climates.

Armando Walle, an aide to U.S. Rep. Gene Green of Houston, is preparing to challenge Bailey, and San Antonio Councilman Roland Gutierrez is considering a race against Puente.

I agree with Robison that Craddick should not be counted out until all the votes are counted and he’s out. At this point it looks like Craddick will have to fight to get rid of as many Republicans that are against him as he can, and keep as many Democrats that are for him as he can. How many races we’re talking about it’s not sure, but if the Democrats can gain seven seats in 2008 it won’t matter.

Perry has more primary news here.

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