Victor Vandergriff won't run for the Texas Senate, but former Rep. Toby Goodman, R-Mansfield, will announce his campaign later today. He'll face Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, in a Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Chris Harris, R-Arlington. Harris had publicly encouraged Vandergriff to run, but switched to Goodman when Vandergriff decided to stay put. Goodman lost his seat to Democrat Paula Pierson in 2006; Pierson lost to Barbara Nash, a Republican, last November. Texans for Lawsuit Reform, which had encouraged Anderson's challenge to Harris, officially endorsed him after Vandergriff's announcement.
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.
Jeff Leach of Plano will also be in the HD-67 primary where Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, is the incumbent. He's a lawyer, and was student body president when he was at Baylor. Another Plano attorney, Jon Cole, announced last week.
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.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility added Rep. Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills, to its endorsement list. He's 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, also got TFR's stamp. 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 re-election.
Running for re-election: Bill Callegari, R-Katy.