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Campaign Chatter

The latest from the campaign trail, an election this week, and a few interesting new candidates.

Craig James, ESPN Analyst, SMU All American, one half of the Pony Express at SMU with Eric Dickerson, announces a Team Texas draft pick

Candidates can file through Monday of next week, but the federal courts have promised another round of filings after the judges decide what maps the state should use for legislative and congressional elections. Everybody's got the power to change their minds, in other words.

That means you'll see more announcements like the one from Salomon Torres, who told the Rio Grande Guardian that he'll be running for Congress, but hasn't said what district he'll run in. Torres, a Brownsville Democrat, is the district director for U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Edinburg.

Former Edinburg City Manager Ramiro Garza filed for Congress, too. No district number in that announcement, either. "For my part, I’m certain that I’ll be running for U.S. Congress to represent the people of South Texas," he said in a press release.

The last election under the current map went to John Raney, the founder of the Texas Aggieland Book Store in College Station. He got 57.9 percent of the vote against Bob Yancy in this week's special election runoff to replace Rep. Fred Brown, R-Bryan. Brown resigned earlier this year and moved to Salado. Yancy finished first, with 36.4 percent, in the special election last month, but stalled out. Both men are Republicans. After the election, Raney filed for reelection and he picked up a quick endorsement from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC, which stayed quiet in the special election and runoff.

Comal County Commissioner Gregory Parker filed for Railroad Commission; he'll run in the Republican primary against Barry Smitherman, a Rick Perry appointee up for election for the first time.

Terri Leo, R-Spring, won't seek another term on the State Board of Education, and instead is endorsing Donna Bahorich for her seat.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, endorsed state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, for re-election. She's in a re-election race of her own, against state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas.

Play it again: Former Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston, filed against Rep. Borris Miles, D-Houston. Miles won it from Edwards, then lost to him, then beat him.

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, filed for re-election. He's got a primary opponent, too: Matt Beebe, a local businessman who started off his campaign calling on Attorney General Greg Abbott to challenge the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst picked up an endorsement from the Texas Poultry Association, capping last week's list of agricultural trade associations that are backing his race for U.S. Senate. This week, he's working the Austin business groups, including political action committees of the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Medical Association and the Texas Oil & Gas Association.

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert anted in with a pack of former Dallas Cowboys, including Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Cliff Harris, Daryl Johnston, Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Breunig and Chad Hennings.

Speaking of locker rooms and Senate races, The Dallas Morning News reported Craig James, the former football player turned ESPN analyst, plans to file for the U.S. Senate race.

Two candidates — Elizabeth Ames Jones and Ted Cruz — signed a U.S. Terms Limits pledge, saying they would co-sponsor and vote for constitutional limits of two terms for senators and three terms for House members. Jones is out of the U.S. Senate race now and into a race for state Senate; Cruz is still running. The limits would knock out almost all of the Texas delegation.

The confusion over filing deadlines and election dates hasn't slowed the endorsement business much. The TLR PAC is still cranking out its gold stars, saying it will back Reps. Kenneth Sheets, R-Dallas; Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi; and Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston. Hunter also picked up an endorsement from TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association's political action committee. And the Texas Civil Justice League endorsed Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina for re-election.

Bracy Wilson, running for the Texas House in Collin County, says he got an endorsement from Bill Baker, Kaufman County's GOP chairman.

Our continually updated list of people who've filed for office can be found here.

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this story put Bracy Wilson in the wrong place; he's running in Collin County.]

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