Early voting ends tomorrow. Primary voting day here in Texas is next Tuesday, which is “Super Tuesday,” voting day along with 13 other states plus American Samoa.
I’ve been procrastinating. Both going ahead and voting and writing about my recommendations. The main reason is that I am sincerely undecided about my state representative race. So I’ve put a deadline on myself to get this out today—giving me one more possible day to early vote.
I’ll walk down the ballot, pretty much skipping the uncontested races. It’s a shorter list than in many previous primaries. We can do this!
TEXAS STATEWIDE RACES
While there are other names on the ballot, I only recognize having encountered one in addition to the obvious. Unlike four years ago, now that he has followed through with conservative promises, I’m voting for Donald Trump. And I will campaign as well as I know how against whichever socialist the Democrats put on their ballot.
The incumbent senior Texas senator is John Cornyn. I expect him to win. And I will gladly support him against any Democrat. But, in the primary, to get his attention that we actually expect conservative representation, I am voting for Dwayne Stovall. I’ve met him before. His main point is federalism—issues being taken care of at their appropriate level, as local as possible. He’s very Texan. Worth this vote. But you do what you want.
Incidentally, I’m not the only one thinking this way. I have an endorsement matrix put together by my SREC (State Republican Executive Committee) Chair, of various individuals and PACs that have put out their choices. He’s giving Stovall his vote, and two others on the matrix as well.
I’m in District 2; my Rep is Dan Crenshaw—because four years ago we—along with our hard work and campaigning for him—got lucky. He has been stellar. He's unchallenged in the primary.
A nearby district is District 7, with three candidates: Wesley Hunt, Cindy Siegel, and Maria Espinoza. I’ve met them all at our local Tea Party meetings. I would give Cindy Siegel my support. She handled the financial report at our county GOP meetings for several years. Before that she was the Mayor of Bellaire, a suburb of Houston, until term-limited out. She has run things. She handles finances well. She’s consistently conservative.
Wesley Hunt looks good on paper. He’s an African-American military veteran, the kind of person you want to be pleased about voting for. However, his voting record shows never having voted in a Republican primary. Maybe we have to forgive him for 2008 (although I’d rather not), but all other primaries? It’s hard to convince me of your dedication to the Constitution without even that minimal record.
Maria Espinoza is impressive enough in person. I like her. A vote for her would also not be wasted.
Ryan Sutton is the incumbent. He has been excellent. He’s also one of my favorite people to listen to on freedom and the US Constitution. I’ve heard nothing from, and know nothing about, his primary opponent.
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3
The Texas Supreme Court is divided into criminal and non-criminal courts. This is an opening on the criminal side. The two lawyers I turn to for their opinions both said Bert Richardson over Gina Parker. I think I’ll agree with them. As my former assistant DA friend said, Bert Richardson “is the most experienced candidate with no glaring weaknesses that I’m aware of. His opponent has far less relevant experience, and her main appeal seems to be she has the most politically conservative credentials.” Conservative credentials are helpful. But, I’ve got those, and I wouldn’t consider that as qualifying for a state supreme court position. Addendum: he also says that Rick Perry didn’t like a Richardson ruling in which Perry was charge, so he firmly supports Parker instead.
HARRIS COUNTY RACES
State Representative, District 138
This is the one I’m undecided on. The three candidates on the ballot are Lacey Hull, Claver Kamau-Imani, and Josh Flynn. Lacey contacted me personally early on. I like her. I relate to her. She’s a homeschool mom who has spent time with nonprofits, dealing with legislative details. She’s married to a veteran, who seems to be a good support to her. She lives in the heart of the district, Spring Branch. However, she’s quiet and gentle. She’s basically me, with a lot more youth and energy. She has the endorsement of Governor Abbott, also Tim Lambert of Texas Home School Coalition.
Some good friends (not in my district) whose opinions I trust, are strongly supporting Claver Kamau-Imani. He’s an African-American preacher—his title is Apostle. He also just recently started homeschooling. There’s a lot we agree on. And he makes a good point that he has a unique ability to outreach to communities we Republicans tend not to reach, and we need that in a district that won by only about 42 votes last time. (The retiring Rep. Dwayne Bohac won in my precinct by about 30 votes, which makes me feel like we’re significant.) Claver is a force of nature. There are moments he seems extreme—although if you spend enough time getting a longer answer, he’s not so scary. But there have been times at past district conventions when I simply didn’t agree with him on various issues—none of which I can remember, though. He has the endorsement of Texas Right to Life.
The third candidate is Josh Flynn. I have not heard from him. He didn’t show up at our Tea Party—although he was scheduled for a forum last Saturday that unfortunately got cancelled, not at all his fault. However, there’s an asterisk: he has been ruled ineligible. This is being challenged, and under law he’s still allowed to have his name on the ballot. He has nevertheless been endorsed by more on the matrix than the other two.
Here’s what I understand of the dispute. He had been serving on the Harris County Board of Education as a trustee. Technically it’s a paid position, paying something nominal like $6 a month. Maybe enough to cover parking, or gas. But there’s an emoluments law that says you can’t run for office while serving in a paid position. There’s a footnote about this on the HCGOPcandidate info page: s
* In response to challenge after the filing deadline, Josh Flynn was declared ineligible to run in the primary. Per Texas law, his name remains on the ballot. Unless a final court ruling holds otherwise, he remains ineligible. Votes for this race will be counted in accordance with Texas Election Code Section 172.058.
As it was explained to me, Flynn was required in the HCBOE bylaws to resign but continue in his duties until he had been replaced on the board. But he failed to show up at the final meeting, and as a result the Democrat vice-chair was able to get installed as chair, put another Democrat in as vice-chair, and appoint another Democrat to the vacancy. The result was flipping the board from long-fought-for conservative leadership to a 5-2 Democrat majority. We all want to get rid of that board altogether, but until then, we at least would have liked what we’d voted for.
So, in the absence of his being able to convince me that doesn’t represent how he’ll function, I’ll at least cross him off my list. I’ll either vote for Lacey Hull or Claver Kamau-Imani.
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals District, Place 5
About 92% of cases stop at the Court of Appeals level. So it’s important. There are nine justices, on three-judge panels.
There are four candidates in this race. I am told Terry Adams has the most appellate experience. I met him in January and liked him. The other favored candidate is James Lombardino, who I’ve also met a number of times. He’s older, friendly, quite experienced, will be aged out in about four years, I think he said. He represented that as a plus, because he won’t be trying to run again, so he can easily be impartial. But I’d prefer good experienced justice that can hold onto it for a while. So, I’m going with Terry Adams.
Harris County District Attorney
The incumbent Democrat, Kim Ogg, has been a disastrously bad DA. Whoever can get us out of the mess she has created, I’m in favor of. So I will support whoever is the Republican nominee.
There are three candidates: Mary Nan Huffman, Lori DeAngelo, and Lloyd Wayne Oliver. I’ve met the two female candidates; I don’t recall meeting Oliver. I liked both DeAngelo and Huffman. They were in the same candidate forum and were respectful toward each other. Huffman seems very young, although impressive. I felt more confidence in DeAngelo. My former assistant DA friend prefers DeAngelo for her experience as a prosecutor. He’s also concerned about Huffman’s youth, as well as her being “too cozy” with the police. While it’s a good thing to always support law enforcement, the DA is often required to investigate the police. Can she stand up to them when necessary, is the question. Huffman is getting a lot of the endorsements on the matrix, but DeAngelo gets them from those I know to be conservative. So that gives me confidence in voting for Lori DeAngelo.
Harris County Sheriff
There are three candidates for sheriff: Paul Day, Randy Rush, and Joe Danna. This is one of the more important races on the ballot, but I’ve heard less from these candidates than from sheriff candidates in other years. We have a Democrat sheriff right now, and replacing him would be a good step in the right direction.
I believe I met Paul Day almost a year ago but haven’t heard from him since. Joe Danna came to our January Tea Party candidate forum. I liked him well enough, although my notes show very little about him. My former assistant DA friend voted for Rush. He offers this insight I hadn’t seen elsewhere:
I met him while investigating a case. He’s very experienced. He struck me as a person of strong convictions who would do the right thing regardless of what others thought. His opponent will probably win, but the big knock on him is he got fired for falsifying a legal document saying he had served a subpoena when it was proven conclusively that he had not.
He added that Danna’s experience was with another agency, while Rush served for a long time with the Sheriff’s Office, which is more helpful in getting to work on day one.
The matrix is almost entirely for Danna. Nevertheless, based on this close-up recommendation, I’m giving my vote to Randy Rush.
Harris County School Trustee, Position 5, At Large
I’m going for Fred Flickinger. He seems to have good experience. He’s never run for office before, but he’s handled large budgets in a logistics business, and also has experience running a smaller family-owned business. I don’t know his opponents, Bob Wolfe and Connie Dubroff. I guess it makes a difference for a candidate to come out and meet people.
Harris County School Trustee, Position 7, At Large
The two candidates are Don Sumners and Kay Smith. Sumners gets the endorsement across the matrix. I can’t remember now what position he’s held before, something school related. I have nothing against him and will support him if he wins. Kay Smith has been on the HCBOE before, stepping down in a run for state House rep (which she managed legally, without the disturbance to the board caused by Flynn’s leaving). She’s dedicated to getting rid of this artifact of an old system, which is a way to spend money and control curriculum without spending a dime on actual education of any student. Harris County is the only county with a school board. It’s redundant, and anywhere there’s more government than necessary, that’s dangerous. An at large position covers the whole county, but Kay is very local, and has been very active politically for longer than I’ve lived here. So she gets my vote.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 1
I’m voting for Russ Ridgway. If memory serves (it might not) I served as a juror in his court a long time ago. If that was him, I very much approved of his work in that case. Anyway, he’s been doing a good job and is well liked. My DA friend has appeared before him and approves of him.
Harris County Republican Chairman
I’m voting to keep Paul Simpson. He’s been easy to work with and seems to me to be tireless in a job that doesn’t pay. And he seems to me to always be fair to the various differing opinions within the party. I know some people are panicky because we lost the countywide races, but I think that was a side-effect of Obama and Beto ground teams, and not actual change. I don’t think it’s because of laziness or ineffective leadership.
These are expressions of opinion on the ballot; they do not automatically become law, but they do become a prominent part of the party platform, if I’m understanding this correctly. Vote yes or no for each. They come as recommendations from the SREC since our last convention.
Proposition 1: Texas should not restrict or prohibit prayer in public schools.
Yes, we should support our First Amendment right, as free Texans.
Proposition 2: Texas should reject restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.
Yes, we should support our Second Amendment right, as free Texans.
Proposition 3: Texas should ban the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying, which allows your tax dollars to be spent on lobbyists who work against the taxpayer.
This is a little more troublesome. In my very large county, I’m very much in favor of this. It was one of our legislative priorities this past session. However, the fallout on small counties is that the one way they have to lobby against unfunded mandates from the state, which can actually bankrupt them, will be taken away. So I am voting No on this for now, while working on refining the concept to exempt smaller counties and jurisdictions.
Proposition 4: Texas should support the construction of a physical barrier and use existing defense-grade surveillance equipment along the entire southern border of Texas.
Yes. It’s a US government responsibility. If we value our sovereignty, we need this.
Proposition 5: Texas parents or legal guardians of public school children under the age of 18 should be the sole decision makers for all their children’s healthcare decisions including, but not limited to, psychological assessment and treatment, contraception, and sex education.
Yes. Of course. But why limit it to parents of public school children? Because that’s where the conflict arises. But we should just say that fit parents have the right to the care and upbringing of their children.
Proposition 6: Texas should ban chemical castration, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and genital mutilation surgery on all minor children for transition purposes, given that Texas children as young as three (3) are being transitioned from their biological sex to the opposite sex.
Yes. Permanent physical alterations to a child should be considered child abuse. If a child reaches adulthood and wants to make those decisions, that is at least their own decision and not the adults whose responsibility it is to care for them.
Proposition 7: Texans should protect and preserve all historical monuments, artifacts, and buildings, such as the Alamo Cenotaph and our beloved Alamo, and should oppose any reimagining of the Alamo site.
There’s a hidden problem with this. I’ve gone over and over the plans for the “Reimagine the Alamo” project. Everything about it is to preserve and protect this historic site. But there are some people who have been coming out against it, it appears to me for political purposes only. They claim they will protect, while the General Land Office is all about tearing down. I don’t know why they’re lying. But moving and restoring the Cenotaph to a better location that will allow better preservation of the Alamo structure and the archaeology there is not “tearing down” either the Cenotaph or the Alamo. Because of that lie, I’m voting No on this proposition, even though of course I am for protecting and preserving all historical monuments, etc.
Proposition 8: Texas election officials should heed the directives of the Office of the Governor to purge illegal voters from the voter rolls and verify that each new registered voter is a US Citizen.
Yes. Of course.
Proposition 9: Bail in Texas should be based only on a person’s danger to society and risk of flight, not that person’s ability to pay.
Wording problem here. There are seven different things to consider, not just danger and flight risk. This would eliminate those other considerations, which are needed. So, No.
Proposition 10: Texas should limit our state legislators’ terms to 12 years.
Yes, I could go for that.