Collin County's Republican primary for the state Senate is going to be interesting. Scott O'Grady will have a fundraiser hosted by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas next month. He's also countering Rep. Ken Paxton's long list of endorsees with one of his own, including some big names: Roger Staubach, Ross Perot Sr., Trevor Rees-Jones, Jan Collmer, Erle Nye, Vance Miller, and Vic Lattimore. O'Grady and Paxton are after the GOP nomination for Sen. Florence Shapiro's seat. Staci Rubin and Dr. Paul Rubin are also on O'Grady's list; that's Shapiro's daughter and son-in-law. Barring sunspots, the winner in March will be the next senator.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is scooting the chairs around in his U.S. Senate campaign office. Jim Bognet will become a special adviser, working on strategy and policy. Longtime Dewhurst associate Buddy Barfield will return as campaign manager in Bognet's old spot. Kevin Moomaw returns to work on grassroots organization, and David Beckwith, a veteran at media and messaging, is back for that job.
Republican Jon Cole wants a rematch with Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, in HD-67. Cole, a Plano attorney, lost narrowly in 2008 and threatened to run again in 2010 before deciding against it. He won't be alone: Jeff Leach of Plano will also be in that primary. He's also a lawyer, and he was student body president when he was at Baylor.
San Antonio Democrat Tina Torres will challenge freshman Rep. John Garza, a Republican, in HD-117. It's a family thing: Her dad, Pete Torres Jr., was a city council member in the 1960s and her mom, Yolanda Torres, served on the State Board of Education.
Add Republican Mano DeAyala to the list of candidates for Beverly Woolley's seat in the Texas House. Woolley announced this summer that she won't seek re-election. DeAyala, an attorney born in Houston to Cuban parents, says he raised $100,000 for the race at his inaugural event. Pam Holm, a former Houston City Council member, and Mike Schofield, a former aide to Gov. Rick Perry, have already said they'll also be after the GOP nomination.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility added Larry Taylor to its list. The state representative from Friendswood is running for Mike Jackson's Senate seat (Jackson is running for Congress). They added Rep. Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills, one of several Republicans trying to win the right to run against Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, next year (Rep Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth is another, in what is becoming an endorsements battle). And Rep. Charles Schwertner, the Georgetown Republican who hopes to succeed Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan. Schwertner also picked up an endorsement from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC.
Texans for Lawsuit Reform endorsed Rep. Barbara Nash, R-Arlington, for reelection.