Not a good night for incumbents in Dallas County or Texas

John Carona

State Sen. John Carona

Challengers did unusually well against incumbents in both the Democratic and Republican primaries on Tuesday.

Several members of the Texas House and Senate will not be returning.

Sen. John Carona, whose district includes parts of Oak Lawn, lost his bid for re-election to tea party favorite Don Huffhines. Carona, a moderate Republican, has served in the Legislature since 1990.

Staunch LGBT ally Rep. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth lost his bid for re-election to Ramon Romero who has no connection to the Democratic Party and has mostly donated to Republicans, according to the Burnt Orange Report. Burnam has the endorsement of all Democratic groups, including Hispanic groups.

Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, an Irving Republican, lost her bid for re-election to tea party favorite Rodney Anderson. During redistricting, Harper-Brown and Anderson were drawn into the same district. Anderson decided to sit out the last election.

Arlington Republican Diane Patrick lost her bid for re-election to Tony Tinderholt. Patrick was the author of the final anti-bullying bill that passed the Legislature in 2011. Among Tinderholt’s complaints against Patrick is a bill she authored that would have required kindergarten children to have a dental exam before entering first grade. He’s running on a platform of securing the border, gun rights and fighting Obamacare and abortion and an almost cartoonish picture on his homepage shows him with his buxom blond wife, a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, in a tight red sweater.

Matt Rinaldi beat Carrollton Rep. Bennett Ratliff. Rinaldi is endorsed by Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shakelford, Texas Home School Coalition and Texas Values President Joanathan Saenz.

In other races, former Dallas City Councilwoman Linda Koop edged out Rep. Stefani Carter. Koop didn’t receive 50 percent of the vote, so they will face off in a runoff.

State District Judge Lena Levario is one of a number of incumbent Democratic judges who lost their primary races on Tuesday. Levario held District Attorney Craig Watkins in contempt of court last March. He was later acquitted, but his prosecutor, Tammy Kemp, challenged Levario, raised twice as much money and won the primary.

Other local judges were defeated for r-eelection by Watkins prosecutors. The list of defeated incumbents includes Lori Chrisman Hockett, Andy Chatham, Carlos Cortez, Marty Lowy, Larry Mitchell, Bill Mazur, Michael E. Miller and Chris Wilmoth.

In the Republican race for lieutenant governor, incumbent David Dewhurst received only 28 percent of the vote. Sen Dan Patrick polled 43 percent. They face each other in a runoff.

Metroplex Republicans President Rob Schlein lost his bid for re-election as Republican Precinct Chair 2069. Former Stonewall Democrats President Omar Narvaez lost his race for re-election as Democratic Precinct Chair 2062.

—  David Taffet

8 more TX elected officials sign letter calling for Scouts to keep gay ban


We couldn’t resist reposting the above editorial cartoon from this week’s Viewpoints page.

Several additional Republican elected officials in Texas have signed a letter urging the Boy Scouts to keep its ban on gays since we first posted about the letter the other day. The letter now has a total of 45 signatures, including its first member of Congress — Kenny Marchant of Irving — as well as state Reps. Jonathan Strickland of Bedford and Linda “Mercedes Benz” Harper-Brown of Irving; and Collin County Commissioner Matt Shaheen. Here are all eight of the latest inductees to this week’s Hall of Shame:

• Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-Irving)
• State Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
• State Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford)
• State Representative Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)
• State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs)
• State Representative Larry Phillips (R-Sherman)
• State Representative Linda Harper-Brown (R-Irving)
• Collin County Commissioner Pct 1 Matt Shaheen

Also, be sure to check out some of the comments below the post about the letter on the Texas Values website. This is our personal favorite, just for its sheer ignorance:

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 10.59.11 AM

—  John Wright

Stonewall-backed Haldenwang takes high road on Harper-Brown's use of contractor's car

Linda Harper-Brown

The Dallas Morning News published a story today questioning four-term Republican State Rep. Linda Harper Brown‘s use of a Mercedes. The car is owned by a company called Durable Enterprises Equipment that makes millions of dollars in state transportation contracts.

Harper-Brown’s husband said the car is compensation for accounting he does for the company’s owner. His wife serves on the House Transportation Committee.

Harper-Brown’s opponent in the November election is Loretta Haldenwang, who has the endorsement of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

Harper-Brown won the seat two years ago by just 19 votes.

—  David Taffet