Texas Political Campaign News for the Week of 2/15

House Speaker Joe Straus, left, and state Rep. Todd Smith, R-Bedford.
House Speaker Joe Straus, left, and state Rep. Todd Smith, R-Bedford.

State Rep. Todd Smith, R-Bedford, is a "maybe" candidate for Texas Senate, depending on how the maps are drawn. For now, he says he won't make a decision until he sees the lines. Depending on how those come out, he could be in a contest with one or two Republican colleagues; three Tarrant/Dallas County Republicans — Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth; and Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie — are already declared Senate candidates. Smith already filed as a House candidate. As soon as the political maps are set, there will be another filing period.

• State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, got a re-election endorsement from TEXPAC, the political affiliate of the Texas Medical Association. He drew two challengers in the GOP primary, including Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, who announced her resignation from the commission this week, and Donna Campbell, who moved into the district to challenge the incumbent.

Roland Sledge, one of the Republicans running to succeed Jones in that Railroad Commission race, put out a press release saying he's applied for the appointment Gov. Rick Perry will make to fill that seat. Sledge faces state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, and Christi Craddick, daughter of former Speaker Tom Craddick, in the GOP primary. 

• Most of the candidates haven't picked favorites, at least not since the governor got out of the race, but Republican U.S. Senate candidate Craig James endorsed Rick Santorum for president. He was previously a Perry backer.

• State Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, picked up a re-election endorsement from TEXPAC.

• Scott Turner, running for the Texas House in Collin County, says he's won endorsements from the mayors of Blue Ridge, Celina, Farmersville, Lavon and Prosper. He's signed up for an open seat — House District 3 — but his website and campaign materials don't list a district, because the courts could jumble the maps.

• Trent Ashby, a Lufkin Republican challenging freshman Rep. Marva Beck, R-Centerville, won the endorsement of the Texas Medical Association's TEXPAC.

• The Texas Farm Bureau's AGFUND endorsed Barry Smitherman for the Texas Railroad Commission. He's in the post now as an appointee. 

 

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.