Vol 31, Issue 21 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.

SD-4 Runoff Election Set for Aug. 5

Also, a hearing date is set in the ethics complaint against Michael Quinn Sullivan, the Democratic comptroller candidate wants Combs to support charity with her campaign money and the HD-105 race could get expensive.

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

Roughly 950,000 Republican and Democratic voters cast ballots across Texas in party primary runoff elections on Tuesday. On the GOP side, Tea Party candidates did extremely well at the top of the ticket while establishment Republicans did better in downballot legislative races. Democrats, meanwhile, avoided major embarrassment by not choosing an advocate of President Obama's impeachment as its U.S. Senate nominee. But Democrats also nominated for ag commissioner someone who promises not to campaign for the office.

An analysis showed that Dan Patrick won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor with 65 percent of the votes in Tuesday's runoff election, but he earned votes from only 3.5 percent of registered Texas voters.

Congress' oldest member, 91-year-old Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, was defeated on Tuesday. His defeat, coupled with the retirement of Michigan Congressman John Dingell, means the next Congress will have no WWII veterans.

The two contenders for governor — Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis — continued their brinksmanship on debates for the general election campaign. Davis proposed this week six debates with Abbott preferring to stick with his original proposal of two debates.

The Houston City Council on Wednesday passed a landmark ordinance that gave equal rights protections to gay and transgendered residents. Opponents are expected to seek a referendum to try to repeal the ordinance in November.

Prominent Texas Republicans were all over the map this week, literally: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz went to Israel for a two-day visit, U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess and Steve Stockman were part of the congressional delegation observing elections in Ukraine and Gov. Rick Perry went to Iowa to campaign for his counterpart there, Terry Branstad.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Texas Democratic candidate for governor, has titled her upcoming memoir Forgetting to Be Afraid: A Memoir. The book is due to hit the shelves in September.

Political People and their Moves

Natalia Luna Ashley was named the new executive director for the Texas Ethics Commission on Thursday. She had been serving as the agency's interim executive director.

UT Brownsville President Juliet Garcia was named to lead the newly created University of Texas Institute of the Americas. According to a release, the institute "will focus on developing the next generation of leadership, rooted in the values of a democratic society, and will provide a non-partisan venue for convening discussions of critical issues with global significance."

Betty Reynard was named sole finalist for president of Lamar State College-Port Arthur by Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall. Reynard is currently vice president for academic affairs and was selected for the new post after an internal search that began last year.

Priscilla Pipho has been named to the newly created post of Chief Customer Officer at the Texas Department of Information Resources. She comes to the agency from the Board of Professional Engineers and the Board of Architectural Examiners where she served as deputy director.

The Texas Department of Transportation announced a pair of staff hires:

•    Richard C. McMonagle takes over as the agency's new chief of staff. A retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, McMonagle comes to TxDOT from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department where he directed the infrastructure division.

•    Darran I. Anderson was named the agency's new chief strategy and innovation officer. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Anderson is leaving the Trideum Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., where he was a senior program manager.

The pair start work in June.

Ryan Cassin, the CEO of Dallas-based BEAST Digital, was named a 2014 'Rising Star' by Campaigns & Elections magazine. The award was given to 10 Republican, 10 Democratic and 5 non-partisan/independent consultants.

Disclosure: The Texas State University System is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Brian McCall is a major donor to the Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.