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Campaign Chatter

Endorsements are flying, with notable nods from statewide candidates who aren't on the ballot — but might be in two years.

State Representative J.M. Lozano (center) shakes hands with Attorney General Greg Abbott as he announces that he's switching to the Republican Party during a press conference Thursday, March 18, 2012.

Attorney General Greg Abbott endorsed state Rep. J.M. Lozano, who's running for reelection as a Republican to the seat he won two years ago as a Democrat. Abbott is making the rounds — he also endorsed Rep. Ralph Sheffield, R-Temple, who's seeking another term in HD-55, and Wayne Christian, R-Center, who's in a tough reelection primary in HD-9 against Chris Paddie.

He's not the only statewide making the rounds: Comptroller Susan Combs endorsed state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, for reelection in HD-10. And she's backing Paul Workman, R-Austin, for reelection in a part of Travis County she herself once represented in the Texas House. Workman's opponent, Ryan Downton, uncorked a website that attacks the incumbent for his ties to the construction business (that's Workman's occupation) and for past support for Democrats in political races.

• The Texas Association of Realtors announced their endorsements in 77 primary races. They ignored some incumbents, picking former Rep. Tommy Merritt over Rep. David Simpson in that rematch of Longview Republicans; Chris Paddie, R-Marshall over Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center; and Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, over Marva Beck, R-Centerville. That's particularly notable because the Realtors' political action committees are the biggest buckets of PAC money in the state.

• Railroad Commission candidate Christi Craddick picked up Houston endorsements from Sen. Dan Patrick, former tax assessor-collector Paul Bettencourt, and Republican leaders George Strake, Jared Woodfill and Gary Polland.

• U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, spanked his challenger, Beto O'Rourke, for using a stock photo of a Latino family on his Facebook page instead of getting an El Paso family to pose. In the incumbent's telling, the challenger's position on Social Security was too "embarrassing" to win any support.

• The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC endorsed Kelly Hancock in the SD-9 Senate race in Tarrant County. That group also endorsed J.M. Lozano in his first Republican primary, and Susan Todd, a Republican running for an open Tarrant County seat in HD-97.

Tom Pauken, the former Texas GOP chairman and (for another month) the chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, endorsed Giovanni Capriglione, a Republican challenging state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, in HD-98. Pauken also endorsed Republican Cecil Bell Jr. in HD-3, an open seat.

Chris Turner picked up an endorsement from the Arlington Professional Firefighters Local 1329; he's running against fellow former Rep. Paula Hightower Pierson in HD-101.

• State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, endorsed Michael Williams in the crowded Republican primary in CD-25. Isaac was briefly touted as a candidate himself, but decided to stay in the statehouse. His district is on the southern end of that congressional district, which reaches all the way north to Fort Worth.

Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, got an endorsement from Texas Right to Life for her HD-91 race. The Texas Alliance for Life endorsed Paul Workman in his race.

Roger Fisher got an endorsement from the MetroTexas Association of Realtors in HD-92. His opponent, Jonathan Stickland, countered with an endorsement from lame duck state Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie.

• State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, got the endorsement of the Texas State Rifle Association — the state branch of the National Rifle Association.

• That second weekend in June will be busy with political gatherings. Texas Republicans will hold their convention in Fort Worth on June 7-9. The Democrats are in Houston on June 8-9. The Green Party will be in San Antonio on the 9th and 10th. And the Libertarian convention is in Fort Worth on June 9.

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2012 elections