As early voting begins, other runoffs of LGBT interest

Posted on 23 Jul 2012 at 10:05am

Christi Craddick, who’s facing Warren Chisum in the GOP runoff for Railroad Commissioner, will appear Monday night at a meeting of Metroplex Republicans of Dallas.

While the U.S. Senate and Congressional District 33 runoffs will be the most watched in North Texas, voters will also begin casting ballots Monday in a number of other contests.

• In Tarrant County, Democrats will decide the party’s nominee to replace District 95 state Rep. Marc Veasey, who is in a runoff for the Democratic nomination in CD 33 against Domingo Garcia.

Nicole Collier faces Jesse Gaines in the runoff to replace Veasey.

Collier captured 48 percent of the vote in the primary. High turnout in the District 95 runoff could give Veasey a boost in his race.

• In another local Texas House contest, former Rep. Bill Keffer faces Jason Villalba in a runoff for the Republican nomination in Dallas County. Incumbent Will Hartnett isn’t seeking re-election.

The winner between Keffer and Villalba will face Democrat and former Rep. Carol Kent in the District 114 race in November.

Log Cabin Republicans President Thomas Purdy said both Keffer and Villalba have been friendly with his organization.

“They both seem inclusive and that is certainly encouraging,” Purdy said, adding that he thinks Villalba is particularly sincere in including underrepresented groups in the Republican Party.

• In Tarrant County, Matt Krause is challenging first-term incumbent Barbara Nash for the Republican slot in District 93, which covers parts of Fort Worth and Arlington. With redistricting, only 20 percent of Nash’s district is the same.

Krause, an attorney who works with the Liberty Counsel, made a name for himself last year when he defended a Fort Worth student who was suspended after repeatedly making derogatory remarks about homosexuality and his gay teacher. Krause accused the teacher of being the bully and taking away the student’s First Amendment rights.

Krause has been endorsed by the Texas Home School Coalition, several Tea Party groups, and people representing Texas Eagle Forum, Liberty Institute.

• In the GOP runoff for District 12 State Board of Education Race, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller faces tea party candidate Gail Spurlock in the race to replace openly gay incumbent George Clayton, who finished third in the primary.

Clayton was outed after taking office last year, becoming the first openly gay Republican to hold office in Texas.

The district includes North Dallas and Collin County. Despite his defeat in the primary, Clayton has promised to stage a write-in campaign in the fall, when the winner between Miller and Spurlock will face Democrat Lois Price.

“He certainly has a tough road ahead of him with a write-in candidacy, but it is not an impossible one to travel,” Purdy said. “He is uniquely qualified amongst the field for the State Board of Education in terms of his education and experience, and never once did I see a legitimate challenge to the soundness of his positions or the quality of his performance in office.”

• In a statewide Republican runoff, anti-gay state Rep. Warren Chisum faces Christi Craddick for Railroad Commissioner.

Chisum was one of the authors of Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Craddick is the daughter of former House Speaker Tom Craddick. She will appear at the monthly meeting of the gay GOP group Metroplex Republicans of Dallas on Monday night.

• Among the more interesting local races are two for precinct chairs. Stonewall Democrats of Dallas President Omar Narvaez is challenging an incumbent in his Northeast Dallas Democratic precinct.

And Narvaez’s counterpart, Rob Schlein, president of Metroplex Republicans, is challenging the incumbent in his North Dallas Republican precinct race.

Schlein faces the husband of Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, for the second time. Two years ago, he lost by just a few votes.

• The only countywide Democratic race in Dallas County not decided in the primary was for District Judge, 162nd Judicial District. Phyllis Lister Brown earned the most votes but was the most controversial candidate in the primary because she refused to resign from her position as municipal judge. Brown was allowed to retain her seat on appeal despite the resign to run law.

Stonewall has endorsed Brown’s opponent, Maricela Moore, in that race.

Narvaez called Moore open and honest and said that in her private law practice, she does quite a bit of pro bono work.

• In another runoff on the Democratic side, Linda Mrosko and Tom Berry are competing to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling in District 5.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas endorsed Mrosko.

Narvaez called Berry a perennial candidate that his group has endorsed in the past.

“Linda brought a breath of fresh air,” Narvaez said. “We pleased she came in first after spending $0 in the primary.”

He said she’s been out knocking on doors and expected her to be the candidate in the fall. The heavily Republican district takes in Mesquite and a sliver of Dallas including some neighborhoods east of White Rock Lake. District 5 also includes many LGBT residents living around Cedar Creek Lake.

 

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