You could be forgiven for thinking Steve Stockman was the only story coming out of the final day to file in the party primaries. He’s not the only featured act, though, in this circus.
To start with, Stockman’s decision to abandon the CD-36 race on Monday's filing deadline triggered an extension under the Election Code, giving interested Republicans until Dec. 16 to file for the now open party primary.
The extension of the filing deadline wasn’t publicly announced until late the next day, which made it next to impossible for current officeholders who might have wanted to run for CD-36 to withdraw from their primary contests in time to enter the congressional tilt.
Caught in that trap were state Rep. James White, R-Hillister, and SBOE member David Bradley, R-Beaumont. They were both seriously considering making a run but are now on the outside looking in. One name, though, has emerged: Houston businessman Ben Streusand. He would join a field of contenders for the Republican nomination that is already a half-dozen strong.
Other action on filing deadline day (full brackets available here) ensured a repeat of a couple of high-profile electoral contests. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, who rode the Tea Party wave of 2010 to a Republican victory in the West Texas-based CD-23, will attempt to take his seat back from Pete Gallego, the Alpine Democrat who beat him last year.
Canseco, though, will have to win his party’s primary contest first. He is facing off there against Robert Lowry and Will Hurd, who has already released a web video focusing on his trusty SUV “Shirley Marie.”
Also, Matt Beebe, who mounted a Tea Party challenge to House Speaker Joe Straus last year, will try again to make the case that Straus “does not hold the conservative values of District 121,” per Beebe's campaign announcement. Straus prevailed handily in the first contest.
Former state Rep. Robert Talton was acknowledged as a master of the dark art of using parliamentary procedure to kill legislation on the floor of the House. It’s unsure how much of that know-how transfers to a statewide judiciary race. But it’s a good bet that more than a few political junkies would love to see his uphill campaign against Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht break through and get some exposure.
On the Democratic side, much was made of the decision by Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers to run for a spot on the Supreme Court as a Democrat. Republicans were quick to discount his chances to win next fall but his action does ensure that Democrats now have their first statewide official since 1998.
Another Democratic hopeful emerged in SD-10 where party leaders would really like to see someone run who can hold the swing district. Soon after attorney George Boll entered the race, though, it was reported that he’s voted in Republican primaries and runoffs 11 times. In defending the votes, he said crossing over to vote in the other party’s primary is often necessary in Fort Worth.
He noted that Wendy Davis — who he’s hoping to succeed in SD-10 — also has a GOP primary voting history.