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Delwin Jones Loses House Bid, Still in Mix for Senate

Fifty years after he first came to the House, Jones is hustling to get back under the Dome.

Rep. Delwin Jones (standing) talks to voters in a Lubbock diner.

Fifty years ago, Lubbock voters first elected Delwin Jones to the Legislature. It's now been four years since Jones was removed from office by Republican primary voters, and the veteran politico is aiming to get back under the Dome.

The interesting bit was his pursuit of a two-pronged comeback strategy.

He is one of six candidates filed to run in the special election to replace a successor to Robert Duncan in SD-28. At the same time, he was working to get on the ballot to regain his old HD-83 seat.

For those wondering how this is possible, the answer hinged on the actions of one of Jones' SD-28 rivals. State Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, who defeated Jones in 2010, is also running for the SD-28 seat. And as the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's Enrique Rangel reports, Perry withdrew his name for his House seat to allow party leaders from the counties in his district to choose a replacement for the November ballot.

Jones was one of five people angling to capture that ballot spot. On Thursday, though, party officials in the district chose Lubbock attorney Dustin Burrows for the ballot spot, Rangel reported.

While Jones was ultimately unsuccessful, hand it to the legislative veteran who, at 90 years old, wants this much to get back in the game.

Here are the names of the candidates for the SD-28 special election. Early voting starts Monday, with the election set for Sept. 9: 

  • Republicans: Jodey Arrington, E.M. Garza, Delwin Jones and Charles Perry
  • Democrat: Greg Wortham
  • Libertarian: Kerry Douglas McKennon

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Longview Republican David Simpson continues to be in the entirely unexpected position of having to shore up his right flank. Simpson, of course, rode Tea Party discontent to a primary victory over Tommy Merritt four years ago.

Earlier this summer, he got an earful from participants in a town hall back home when he presented the case for compassion for unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border into Texas.

Now, he's pushing back against criticism leveled against him for his vote against moving the public integrity unit from the Travis County DA's office to the attorney general's office.

He laid out his case in an editorial sent to several publications.

He writes, "As written, the amendment would have charged the Texas Ethics Commission (currently accused of abusing its authority) with creating a plan to move the duties and responsibilities of the PIU from Travis County to the office of attorney general. It would have required implementation of the plan to be carried out in a matter of months without further statutory authority, thereby circumventing both the Texas Constitution and statutes. ... It perplexes me that the same people who are decrying the actions of the Ethics Commission are also questioning the votes of members who opposed granting the Commission an unconstitutional task."

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In other Ethics Commission news, a state district judge this week refused a request from conservative gadfly Michael Quinn Sullivan to temporarily halt the commission's ruling that he failed to register as a lobbyist in 2010 and 2011. As part of the ruling, Sullivan was ordered pay a $10,000 fine.

Sullivan is still free to ask a district court to review the commission's ruling in a separate proceeding where the commission's work is thrown out entirely. Sullivan's attorney, Joe Nixon, said in the Monday hearing on the injunction request that he still plans to file for that review.

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Kevin Ludlow, the Libertarian candidate challenging HD-46 incumbent Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, announced a $10,000 donation from the Libertarian Booster PAC.

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Mohammed Tahiro plans to run as a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate. An economist by training, Tahiro said in a press release announcing his candidacy that he’d be focusing his candidacy on debt and immigration.

Republican incumbent John Cornyn and Democratic challenger David Alameel are the major party candidates on the ballot. Also running are a Libertarian candidate, Rebecca Paddock; a Green Party candidate, Emily Marie Sanchez; and four other independent candidates, Avery L. Ayers, Frank Earl Kelland, Michael R. Powell and David W. Smith.

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