Campaign Roundup: The Week's Political News

David Dewhurst raised $2.6 million for his U.S. Senate race — his campaign says that's a record for one quarter — and kicked in another $2 million of his own money, ending September with "more than $4 million" on in the bank, according to his campaign. The filing deadline comes later in the week, but the lieutenant governor wanted his own spotlight. And he wanted to send a message to announced and potential primary opponents: This is going to be expensive. The announced list includes former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Glenn Addison, a funeral home operator. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is also considering the race and has a personal fortune to throw at it if he decides to.

John Raney won the endorsement of the Texas chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business in the special election in HD-14. Fellow Republican Rebecca Boenigk, meanwhile, got the endorsements of the Texas Association of Builders and the Texas Restaurant Association. They are among five candidates in that race, which includes one more Republican, a Democrat and a Libertarian, vying to finish out state Rep. Fred Brown's term in the Texas House. The Bryan Republican resigned earlier this summer to pursue a new job. Election Day is Nov. 8; early voting starts on Oct. 24.

State Rep. Chente Quintanilla, D-Tornillo, told the El Paso Times he'll bolt the House to run for the El Paso County Commissioner's Court. He's been thinking openly about that, and Hector Enriquez has been thinking about running for his House seat.

Add former state Rep. Toby Goodman, R-Arlington, to the "maybe" roster in SD-9; incumbent Republican Chris Harris has decided to retire. Harris wants Victor Vandergriff to run, and Vandergriff says he's looking. Goodman, who was city attorney when Tom Vandergriff was mayor of Arlington, says he's doing some polling to see what's what and will make a decision by mid-month. He and Victor apparently haven't talked yet. State Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, is the only declared candidate — he was running against Harris until Harris dropped out. Anderson picked up endorsements from three members of Grand Prairie's city council and from Irving's mayor and mayor pro-tem.

Austin attorney Keith Hampton changed races — he'll run for presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He had announced for another seat on that court out of deference to another candidate, but that candidate — TCCA Judge Lawrence Meyers — apparently won't run for the top spot. Hampton, a Democrat, will be taking on incumbent Republican Sharon Keller.

Dr. Donna Campbell says she'll run against state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. She previously ran against U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. She was from Columbus then — well outside of Wentworth's district — but has since moved to New Braunfels.

Bracy Wilson, a McKinney Republican, is off and running in HD-70 — the district now represented by state Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney. Paxton is running to succeed retiring state Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, freeing up his seat. Wilson was a minister for 19 years and now helps start charter schools.

Trent Ashby, president of the Lufkin school board, will run against state Rep. Marva Beck, R-Centerville, in HD-57. That's uphill: She's a freshman, but she got into office with heavy backing from Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

Speaking of TLR, the group endorsed state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, in an HD-9 GOP primary with Marshall Mayor Chris Paddie. And they'll back state Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, in his re-election bid. He's alone in that race, for now, but former state Rep. Delwin Jones, who lost the GOP primary runoff to Perry in 2010, has been sniffing around a possible rematch.

State Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, has drawn a GOP primary challenger: Steve Toth, owner of a local pool company and a leader in the Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC.

Ryan Downton, who worked as clerk of the House Redistricting Committee, apparently likes the maps: He'll run against state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, in the GOP primary. Downton accuses the incumbent of being too liberal for the district.

Mac Smith will run for retiring state Rep. Warren Chisum's seat in the Panhandle. Chisum, R-Pampa, is running for the Texas Railroad Commission. Smith, a lawyer who's also from Pampa, says he'd continue on with what Chisum has been doing.

State Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, got Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski's endorsement for his state Senate bid. That's geographically significant: Schwertner is trying to win retiring Steve Ogden's seat, which would move the district's senator from Bryan to Georgetown. Schwertner, a surgeon, also picked up the endorsement of the Texas Medical Association's PAC.

TMA's PAC also endorsed Greg Bonnen, who's running in HD-24. Bonnen's a doctor, too, and he's the brother of state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton.

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