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A New Contender Comes Forward in Railroad Commission Race

A former state representative decides to mount a challenge to Belton Republican Molly White in HD-55 and Terri Leo abandons primary challenge to Debbie Riddle.

Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter.

Longtime Republican activist, attorney and lobbyist John Greytok will challenge Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter in next year’s GOP primary, he said Monday. It’s the first big contest for Greytok, though he’s been a precinct chair and helped in his mother Marta’s 1994 race for land commissioner against incumbent Garry Mauro (in which she held Mauro to 50.19 percent).

He’ll be assisted in this by consultants Trey Newton, Casey Pipes, and Kendra Tidwell; Vanessa Cortez will be campaign manager. Greytok says the incumbent has not been good for “the commission, the industry or the party.”

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Former state Rep. Hugh Shine is challenging incumbent state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, to represent her Bell County-based House District 55 seat.

Shine, who represented Bell County’s House District 53 during the 1987 and 1989 sessions, will attend a meet-in-greet Oct. 20 at the Austin Club to promote and raise money for his campaign.

The list of hosts for the event includes prominent GOP donor Drayton McLane along with a who’s who of lobby mainstays, including Mike Toomey, Buddy Jones, Rusty Kelley, James Mathis, Stan Schlueter, Mark Vane and Bill Messer.

For all you history buffs, Messer was the man who represented HD-53 before Shine.

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A third contender has emerged in the House District 130 race — Kay Smith, a conservative businesswoman and vice president of the board for the Harris County Department of Education. She joins Cody Davis, a veteran who later worked for the Senate Conservative Fund, and anesthesiologist Tom Oliverson, in the GOP primary contest for the safely Republican seat.

Smith has scheduled a Nov. 8 fundraiser in Cypress for her campaign.

They are all looking to take over for state Rep. Allen Fletcher, who announced he would not run for re-election earlier this year.

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Jim Landtroop may be getting back into politics.

The former state representative from Plainview designated a campaign treasurer in a filing with the Texas Ethics Commission on Oct. 2, suggesting an interest in a run for the Lubbock County-based House District 84.

Landtroop previously held the seat in House District 85, which sprawled across 16 counties in West Texas, but lost the spot after his district was stripped in redistricting. If he were to run, Landtroop would challenge John Frullo, R-Lubbock, whose district is contained entirely within Lubbock County.

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Former State Board of Education member Terri Leo announced Tuesday she will no longer be running for the House District 150 seat. Leo first announced her candidacy in September, citing a desire to have a “true conservative” in the seat long held by Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball. Riddle, who has held the seat since 2002, is seeking re-election.

In a post on her Facebook page, Leo said she found out she would have to leave her job as a school counselor in order to serve in the Legislature.

Disclosure: Rusty Kelley is a major donor to The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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