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Straus Names Steve Wolens to Texas Ethics Commission

Also, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick rolls out the members of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's Texas leadership team.

Joe Straus, Texas Speaker of the House, at an 85th Legislative Session preview at the Dallas Regional Chamber on Sept. 13, 2016.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has appointed former Rep. Steve Wolens to the Texas Ethics Commission.

Wolens replaces Paul Hobby, who stepped down earlier this year, months after his term expired. Straus gets to appoint two members of the eight-person panel — one from each party — and Wolens counts as his Democratic pick.

Wolens, now a Dallas lawyer, served in the House from 1981-2005, during which he authored ethics legislation. In a statement, Straus said Wolens "will help ensure that the Ethics Commission maintains its independence and protects the transparency of our political process."

Wolens' appointment comes as conservative activists continue to press state leaders to deal with "holdovers," or members of the commission whose terms have expired but whose replacements have not been selected. Wolens’ term is set to run out in November 2019. 


Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Monday morning rolled out a new list of Texas Republicans formally assisting the campaign of their presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

The statewide leadership team includes many elected officials who are already supporting Trump, as well as some who have been less vocal. Former Gov. Rick Perry is serving as honorary co-chairman of the team and Republican National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell as vice chair.

Patrick, Trump's Texas state chairman, said the team, named the Texas Strategic Advisory Board, will help recruit supporters to make calls to and volunteer in swing states. The groups plan to add more members.

In addition to Patrick, Perry and Dashiell, the team so far includes:

  • Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller
  • Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
  • State Sen. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels 
  • State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham
  • State Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth
  • State Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi
  • State Rep. Geanie Morrison of Victoria
  • State Rep. Larry Phillips of Sherman
  • State Rep. James White of Woodville
  • Wayne Christian, Republican nominee for railroad commissioner
  • Brooke Rollins, president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Theresa Kosmoski, president of the Texas Federation of Republican Women
  • Brenham businessman Rick Figueroa
  • R.W. Bray, African American engagement director for the Texas GOP
  • Andy Nguyen, president of the Texas Asian Republican Assembly 


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has named four Texans to his Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee.

Announced Sunday, the 31-member panel includes Herman Martir, a Fort Worth pastor; Andy Nguyen, a Tarrant County commissioner; Sichan Siv, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Martha Wong, a former state representative from Houston.

"The committee members will support and strengthen ties to each community and provide recommendations on how best to ensure AAPI voices are heard and included in the Campaign," the campaign said.

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