Texas Monthly Reveals Best and Worst List

Texas Monthly's list of the Ten Best and Ten Worst Legislators in the 82nd session has finally been released. Who made the cut — and how did our Texas Tribune insiders do with their predictions?

Texas Monthly's list of the Ten Best and Ten Worst Legislators in the 82nd session has finally been released. Who made the cut — and how did our Texas Tribune insiders do with their predictions?

The list was compiled by Texas Monthly's Paul Burka and Nate Blakeslee, who will be discussing their selections at a TribLive event Thursday morning. This was the first Twitter-era reveal of the much-scrutinized list, and each name was tweeted out one by one as lawmakers frantically refreshed their feeds.

Here are some quick observations about the results:

First, there are no Democrats on the "Worst" list this year. In 2005, there were three. In 2007, there were two. In 2009, there were five. This time: none. We've put a call in to Burka to get his reasoning.

Also, there are some repeat performers. Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, and Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, made the "Best" last session as well as this one. The same is true of the appearances by Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, on the "Worst" list.

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who famously filibustered her (and everybody else's) way into the special session is on neither list.

As for the insiders that tried their hand at picking the best and worst legislators in the latest Texas Tribune Inside Intelligence survey, they picked three of the same "Best" lawmakers — Duncan, Ogden, Zerwas — and four of the same "Worst" — Solomons, Fraser, Berman and Wentworth. They also accurately chose Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, as a rookie of the year.

Now, here's Texas Monthly's list:

The Ten Best

Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas


Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock

Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth

Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas


Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan

Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio


Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo


Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond

The Ten Worst

Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler

Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton

Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, R-Houston

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound

Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman

Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio

Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington

The Bull of the Brazos

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio

Rookie of the Year

Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston

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