Campaign Chatter

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso
U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso

Former President Bill Clinton will visit El Paso later this month to endorse U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes. The incumbent faces a tough primary challenge this year.

• U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison endorsed Jason Villalba of Dallas in the open HD-114 Republican primary.

• Democrat Sylvia Romo got the political blessings of former U.S. Rep. Bob Krueger and his wife, former New Braunfels Mayor Pro-tem Kathleen Krueger, in her bid for a new congressional seat that includes parts of San Antonio and Austin and points in between. Romo, Bexar County's Tax Assessor-Collector, faces U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin in that race.

• Attorney General Greg Abbott is still politically busy, endorsing Rep. Marva Beck, R-Centerville, over a primary challenger; House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, who's got three challengers; Rep. Barbara Nash, R-Arlington; and Barry Smitherman for the Texas Railroad Commission. Pitts also picked up the endorsements of the NRA and the Texas State Rifle Association.

• Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, won endorsements from the GLBT Political Caucus and the Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas Action Fund; she's got a primary challenger this year.

• Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, picked up an endorsement from Texas Right to Life for his primary rematch with former Rep. Tommy Merritt, also R, also Longview.

On the web: Senate candidate Ted Cruz has a new website — dewbious.com — hitting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for his claims on budget and spending. Dewhurst says he's a conservative; Cruz says the lite guv is really a moderate.

Giovanni Capriglione, challenging Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, for the second time, is battling her with a website for the second time. This time, he's got "Liberal at heart" as the headline on VickiTruitt.org. She left a vestige of the last campaign on the web to torment him back: CorporateGraveRobbers.com. These things accumulate. His old one is still around, too: TruittBlewIt.com.

The Texas Home School Coalition PAC launched RobEissler.org to attack the chairman of the House Education. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, has a primary opponent.

Tom Leppert's new TV ad in that race talks about those two while ignoring Craig James. The former Dallas mayor says he knows how to create jobs and the others in the race don't.

• It was Pledge Week for U.S. Senate candidate David Dewhurst. He signed what's known as the Grover Norquist pledge against tax increases for the Americans for Taxpayer Reform Group. And he signed Americans for Prosperity's "Defending the American Dream" pledge and their "Taxpayer Funded Lobbying Pledge," and their "No Climate Tax Pledge," promising his support for small government, for prohibition of lobbying by public entities or their hired representatives, and his opposition to climate change-related taxes.

• The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association's PAC is dribbling out endorsements one at a time. Most recently: Sen. Jeff Wentworth, in a reelection dogfight in SD-25; Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, in SD-30; Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, in SD-31; Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, in SD-4; Rep. Ralph Sheffield, R-Temple, in HD-55; Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, running in the open HD-136; Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, in the open HD-24; Bennett Ratliff, R-Coppell, in the open HD-115; and Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, who's got a primary opponent.

Michael Williams got the endorsements of the state's two Republican National Committee members, Bill Crocker and Borah Van Dormolen. Williams, a former Texas Railroad Commissioner and a one-time general counsel for the Republican Party of Texas, is running in the crowded race for CD-25.

• The new Texas Conservative Roundtable issued candidate ratings that differ in some significant ways from rankings issued by other conservative groups, but that didn't stop winners from claiming their victories. Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, is touting the scores he got. The ratings raised some eyebrows, giving top scores to legislators who aren't at the top of some rankings and lower scores to those who got high scores from other groups.

• Mineola school superintendent Mary Lookado got the endorsement of former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff for her Republican primary challenge to Rep. Brian Hughes, R-Mineola. Hughes countered with endorsements from the GOP chairs of each of the district's six counties.

• State Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, running for an open congressional seat in CD-33, won endorsements from the Dallas County Young Democrats and the Dallas County Chapter of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.

• TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association's political arm, endorsed Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, in his bid for the open SD-9 seat in the Senate. He faces fellow state Rep. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, in that one.