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Campaign Chatter

Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano, won't seek an 11th term in the Texas House, and other news from the campaigns. Madden is the 22nd House member to give up his seat this season.

State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano.

Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano, won't seek an 11th term in the Texas House. Madden, chairman of the House Committee on Corrections, has been central in legislative work on adult prisons, the Texas Youth Commission and other criminal justice issues. He's also on the Redistricting Committee and, over his 20 years in office, served on a long list of other important panels, including Calendars and Public Education. He was elected in 1992. In 2008, he retired from the health insurance agency he started. He's the 22nd member of the 150-member Texas House to announce he won't seek re-election next year. A couple of Republican prospects for his HD-67 seat — attorneys Jon Cole and Jeff Leach — announced their intentions before he announced his. Cole lost, narrowly, to Madden in the 2008 primary and announced and then decided against another run in 2010. "I would suspect that there will be several more," Madden said. At this point, he said, he's not endorsing anyone.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst won the endorsement of the Texas Right to Life PAC, on his way to more endorsements from similar groups as the week played out, including the Texas Alliance for Life and Texans for Life Coalition President Kyleen Wright. Dewhurst, one of several Republicans seeking the nomination to run for the U.S. Senate, also started his first TV ad this week (former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert was the first of this pack to go on television). The new Dewhurst spot attacks federal spending, bashed "Obamacare" and touts a federal balanced budget amendment to the constitution. It closes with the candidate saying, "We've got to choke down government. It's worked in Texas, it'll work in Washington." Ted Cruz picked up an out-of-state endorsement from James Dobson and was so confident in that one that his announcement didn't include any description of who Dobson is. He's an evangelical Christian, the founder of Focus on the Family who, after leaving that group, founded Family Talk. Glenn Addison, an undertaker running for the seat on a campaign that includes a promise to only serve one term, is running radio ads attacking Cruz for legal representation of a tire company from "communist China" that Addison says is poaching American jobs. The Cruz camp declined the opportunity to comment.

Ric Sanchez, a former lieutenant general running for Senate as a Democrat, lost his house to a fire while he was attending Veterans' Day events last week. He issued a press release on it with this headline: Investigations Underway As Campaign Continues.

Jonathan Stickland announced plans to challenge Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, in HD-92. He says he's a small business owner, wants to increase the quality of education and won't be asking taxpayers for more money: "Raising taxes is not an option."

Former San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz is planning a run in CD-25 — the congressional district that runs from Hays County all the way north to Tarrant County. It's crowded with candidates, too. She's set to announce on Saturday; the map she's using could be replaced any minute by that federal panel in San Antonio.

San Antonio businessman Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs, signed on as campaign treasurer for Elizabeth Ames Jones. She is giving up her seat on the Texas Railroad Commission to challenge state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, in SD-25.

Susan Todd, a former nurse whose husband is a doctor, says she'll be in the HD-97 race; that's the contest for Mark Shelton's House seat now that he's running for the Senate against Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (and the announcement came before the courts started dishing out maps, so everything we know could be wrong when the candidates assess the situation). Watch the political docs as this race progresses: Shelton is a doctor. Todd's related to a doctor. The first endorsement on her list? U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Flower Mound. He's a doctor. Craig Goldman, who lost a special election for the seate in 2007, has already said he'll run.

Republican congressional candidate Roger Williams — a former Texas Secretary of State — won the endorsement of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Tyler businessman and former State Board of Education member Randy Stevenson will challenge fellow Republican Thomas Ratliff. He says Ratliff is a lobbyist — true — and says the incumbent was supported by unions in his last run for office.

The Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed freshman Rep. Connie Scott, R-Corpus Christi in HD-34, where she's paired with Raul Torres, R-Corpus Christi. And they endorsed Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, and Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, who's giving up his House seat to run for the Texas Senate.

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