Vol 31, Issue 30 Print Issue

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, are rapidly approaching the May 10 special election for Senate District 4.
State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, are rapidly approaching the May 10 special election for Senate District 4.

Turnout, Tea Party Will Determine Victor in SD-4

From The Woodlands to Beaumont, voters go to the polls on Tuesday to select a new state senator.

Veteran consultant Dave Carney observes Greg Abbott's campaign event in McAllen, TX  on July 15, 2013.
Veteran consultant Dave Carney observes Greg Abbott's campaign event in McAllen, TX on July 15, 2013.

The Carneys Land Dual Gigs

Also, Van de Putte delivers a Sherman statement on running for San Antonio mayor, Roger Williams weighs a run for NRCC chairman and Delwin Jones says he's running for SD-28.

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

***TEXAS WEEKLY TAKES A HOLIDAY*** We're taking a quick summer break. We won't publish the next two weeks, but we'll be back Aug. 22. Thanks for reading!

House and Senate leaders hammered out a $17 billion agreement to fix the problems at the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs. Reports of manipulation of wait lists to hide long delays in service led to calls for reform. The House passed legislation on Wednesday, and final passage is all but assured before Congress leaves on its August recess.

Congress will go into its August recess without passing legislation addressing the border crisis. The Senate on Thursday failed to pass its emergency funding bill, which would have provided $2.7 billion to bolster operations at the border. Earlier in the day, the House pulled from the floor a much smaller $659 million funding measure.

Admiral William H. McRaven on Tuesday was named sole finalist for the position of University of Texas System Chancellor. Best known for coordinating the Navy SEAL operation that killed Osama bin Laden, McRaven succeeds Francisco Cigarroa, who is leaving to resume his surgical career.

Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro on Monday was sworn in to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is the agency's 16th secretary.

Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office filed a brief Monday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage is constitutionally sound and a matter for voters, not courts, to decide.

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte proposed five debates against her GOP opponent, Dan Patrick. The debates, should they occur, would take place in San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Political People and their Moves

Leon Leal of Grapevine was named by Gov. Rick Perry to the State Board for Educator Certification for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017.

Ryan Brannan of Austin was named by Perry as commissioner of Workers' Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2015. He most recently was an adviser in Perry's budget, planning and policy division, focusing on the insurance industry.

Jamie Dudensing is leaving the lieutenant governor's office to become chief executive officer at the Texas Association of Health Plans, taking over for David Gonzales, who is departing for other opportunities to engage in policymaking in Texas.

Bryan Hebert is joining Delisi Communiciations on Aug. 11 as the company's general counsel, and he reports that his duties will involve public policy analysis, legal counseling and lobbying on behalf of clients. He was general counsel for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Alejandro Garcia was named communications director for the Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor campaign. Garcia most recently served as director of border affairs for the Texas secretary of state and counts stints in Rick Perry's 2010 re-election campaign and inaugural committee.

Christann M. Vasquez was named the first president of Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, the new Austin teaching hospital scheduled to open in 2017. She most recently was executive vice president and chief operating officer of University Health System in San Antonio, where she led efforts to plan and build a new hospital.

Kenneth Dierschke will not seek re-election as president of the Texas Farm Bureau, bringing to a close a 12-year tenure leading the organization. His retirement will become effective at the close of the TFB's annual meeting on Dec. 8.

Disclosure: The Texas Association of Health Plans, the Texas Farm Bureau and the University of Texas at Austin are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.