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

Out candidate George Clayton still in House race, but now as a Democrat

George Clayton

George Clayton

Former State Board of Education member George Clayton is still planning on running to replace Dallas Republican Stephani Carter in House District 102, but he’ll now be seeking the Democratic nomination.

Clayton announced the party switch in an email on Sunday, writing that he’d decided to run as a Democrat instead of a Republican. Carter isn’t seeking re-election because she’s running for the Railroad Commission.

As an administrator for the Dallas Independent School District, Clayton has said his campaign for the House seat would focus on education issues. During his time on the SBOE he was outed as gay and lost in the primary last year, but he told Dallas Voice he doesn’t want to be known as the gay candidate.

“For those of you who know me, you understand this change does not alter my views on education,” Clayton posted on Facebook. “Rather it allows for a much better campaign in terms of openness and acceptance of ideas, beliefs and goals. I hope you will join with me in this crusade.”

The district, which includes parts of North Dallas, Richardson, Addison and Garland, is already heating up on the Republican side with Republican activist Adryana Boyne, former Dallas councilwoman Linda Koop and Richardson businessman Samuel Brown set to battle out in the March primary.

—  Dallasvoice

Gay Republican George Clayton formally announces bid for TX House

Clayton.George

George Clayton

It’s official: George Clayton, who served on the State Board of Education from 2010-12, formally announced his campaign for the Texas House District 102 seat this morning. Clayton, a Republican who was defeated in the 2012 SBOE primary after being outed as gay, works as an administrator for the Dallas Independent School District. Clayton first indicated he planned to run on Facebook last month. He will seek the seat held by Rep. Stefani Carter, R-Dallas, who is stepping down to run for Railroad Commission. Among those Clayton will face in the 2014 Republican Primary is former Dallas City Councilwoman Linda Koop. Clayton would be the first openly gay Republican elected to the Texas Legislature. Below is his full announcement:

—  John Wright

Gay Republican George Clayton announces campaign for Texas House

Clayton.George

Republican George Clayton, a former State Board of Education member who lost his 2012 primary after being outed as gay, announced on Facebook he plans to run in House District 102 in 2014. The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Stefani Carter of Dallas, who is stepping down to run for Railroad Commission.

“This will be a difficult challenge,” Clayton wrote. “I hope to have your support. As the days go by, look for me on YouTube at Clayton House 102. I will have much to say between now and the 2014 election, especially about education in Texas. Your support is appreciated.”

In addition to Clayton, former Dallas City Councilwoman Linda Koop, also a Republican, has announced she’s running for Carter’s seat. Koop has generally been supportive of the LGBT community on the council, attending events and the like, but she declined to take a public position on a resolution supporting marriage equality. I guess now we know why.

Clayton couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment. Read our profile of him from last year here.

—  John Wright

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Monday’s 1st-ever LGBT Pride Month Reception at Dallas City Hall

We apologize for the shaky camera, especially at the beginning (I blame David Taffet). But below is video, in three parts, from Monday’s LGBT Pride Month Reception at Dallas City Hall. To view more photos of the event, go here, and for our story, go here.

—  John Wright

Mayor Rawlings joins 5 other council members at 1st-ever LGBT Pride Month Reception

Mayor Mike Rawlings speaks during Monday’s LGBT Pride Month Reception at City Hall.

About 50 people attended Dallas’ first-ever official LGBT Pride Month Reception at City Hall on Monday afternoon.

Mayor Mike Rawlings was among six council members who appeared at the event, organized by Councilwoman Delia Jasso and her LGBT task force.

Standing before a Pride flag draped from the wall of the Flag Room on the sixth floor, Rawlings spoke briefly at the start of the reception and drew cheers when he pledged to have “open doors” to the community.

“I met many of you during the campaign,” Rawlings said. “Some of you were supporting me, others were not. But I’ll tell you this: I knew that this was a fabulous community that I wanted to partner with when I became mayor. Thank you for what you have done for this city.”

Prior to the reception, Rawlings told Instant Tea he has no hard feelings about the fact that both Stonewall Democrats and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance endorsed his opponents in the election — with DGLA even issuing a rare warning against him.

“Not at all,” Rawlings said. “We must all have a spirit of understanding. I don’t have anything like that [hard feelings].”

Rawlings didn’t specifically mention the LGBT community during his inauguration address at the Meyerson Symphony Center earlier in the day. But at the Pride reception, he told attendees that the community fits with the major themes he outlined in the speech: becoming a city of diversity, opportunity and excellence.

“As far as I’m concerned, you are right on with my plan, and I want to be right on with yours, and so we will continue to talk, and I am just pleased that we are here to honor gay and lesbian Pride Month in the city of Dallas,” Rawlings said.

—  John Wright

Dallas City Council votes down proposal to reinstate funding for HIV/AIDS services

I just got off the phone with District 1 Councilwoman Delia Jasso, who was kind enough to step outside and call me during the City Council’s still ongoing budget briefing. Jasso reported that the council has voted down an amendment from Angela Hunt that would have reinstated $250,000 that has been cut from the budget for HIV/AIDS services.

Jasso said the amendment was defeated by a vote of 9-6 in a straw poll, over concerns that the funding source — collection of delinquent multi-tenant inspection fees — doesn’t really exist. Jasso said the amendment was supported by herself, Hunt, Pauline Medrano, Carolyn Davis, Linda Koop and Steve Salazar. Jasso added that a majority of the council supports the HIV/AIDS programs themselves, just not the proposed funding mechanism for Hunt’s amendment. She said councilmembers have directed City Manager Mary Suhm to identify another, more reliable funding source. Jasso said the city has also applied for two grants, totalling $500,000, to fund HIV/AIDS education and prevention. The council is expected to finalize the 2009-10 budget Sept. 23.

“We’ll find something out next week, but it is an ongoing thing in terms of how she [Suhm] can reprogram some money,” Jasso said. “It may be that we don’t get anything until January and it goes without for a few months.”

There’s no word on how a delay in funding would affect the HIV/AIDS programs at places like AIDS Interfaith Network and Resource Center Dallas, given that a large portion of the money is used to pay staff members’ salaries.

—  John Wright