Chicken Fried Politics

Home » Posts tagged 'Texas 2014'

Tag Archives: Texas 2014

Democrat Wendy Davis under fire for controversial ad in Texas governor’s race

Ad notes that her opponent, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, uses a wheelchair

texas mugFORT WORTH, Texas (CFP) — Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is defending a controversial new television ad noting that her Republican opponent in the governor’s race, Attorney General Greg Abbott, uses a wheelchair and accusing him of being unsympathetic to other accident victims.

State Senator Wendy Davis

State Senator Wendy Davis

Abbott was paralyzed after a 1984 accident in which a tree fell on him while jogging. He received a reported $10 million settlement.

During a campaign appearance in Fort Worth on October 13, Davis, the Democratic nominee for Texas’s top job, insisted that the ad points out Abbott’s “hypocrisy” in opposing efforts by other accident victims to seek redress in the courts, as he did.

“Greg Abbot has built a career kicking the ladder down behind him and denying to others the very same justice that he both deserved,” Davis said.

The Abbott campaign has dismissed Davis’s ad as “disgusting.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

“Senator Davis’s decision to double down on her severe error in judgment is shameful and shows that she is unfit to be governor,” the campaign said in a statement.

Davis, who trails Abbott by double digits in most polls, has faced an avalanche of media criticism — from both the left and the right — since the ad began airing October 10.

The ad begins, “A tree fell on Greg Abbott, who sued and got millions. Since then, he’s spent his career working against other victims.”

The ad goes to criticize Abbott for arguing in court that an amputee wasn’t disabled because she had an artificial limb and for opposing a suit by a rape victim against a company that failed to do a background check on a sex offender.

The ad ends, “Greg Abbott. He’s not for us.”

Abbott has talked about his disability during the course of his campaign and even ran an ad showing voters how he rehabilitated himself by wheeling his chair up and down a parking garage.

View the Davis ad:

Veteran U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall loses GOP primary runoff

Hall, the oldest person ever to serve in the House, is narrowly defeated by John Radcliffe in his bid for an 18th term

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

texas mugTEXARKANA, Texas (CFP) — After 34 years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall has been unceremoniously rejected by his own Republican voters in Texas’ 4th District, ending his quest for an 18th term.

Hall, 91, narrowly lost to John Radcliffe, 48, a former federal prosecutor, in the May 27 runoff. Radcliffe took 53 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for Hall.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall

Hall, first elected in 1980, is the dean of the Texas House delegation and one of only two World War II veterans left in Congress. At 91, he is the oldest person to ever serve in the House.

The 4th District sprawls across northeast Texas from the Dallas exurbs north to Oklahoma and east to Arkansas. The district is heavily Republican, making Radcliffe the prohibitive favorite to win in November.

While not directly making Hall’s age an issue in the race, Radcliffe criticized him for being part of the Washington establishment and billed himself as “a new generation of conservative leadership.”

Hall, a former committee chairman in the House, emphasized his experience and seniority. He had the backing of nearly all of the state’s congressional delegation, including Tea Party favorite Senator Ted Cruz.

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst crushed in GOP primary runoff

State Senator Dan Patrick ends Dewhurst’s bid for a fourth term

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

HOUSTON (CFP) — Two years after losing a U.S. Senate primary to Tea Party insurgent Ted Cruz, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has lost his bid for a fourth term to another Tea Party-backed candidate.

Texas State Senator Dan Patrick

Texas State Senator Dan Patrick

State Senator Dan Patrick of Cypress took 65 percent in the May 27 Republican runoff. Dewhurst trailed with just 35 percent.

Patrick will now face Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio in November’s general election.

Patrick, 64, a conservative radio talk show host who represents a Houston-area district in the Texas Senate, had finished well ahead of Dewhurst in the first round of voting back in March. But Dewhurst poured $5 million from his own personal fortune into the runoff campaign to try to make up the difference.

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst

Dewhurst, 68, from Houston, was first elected lieutenant governor in 2002, after serving a term as state land commissioner. In 2012, he was the prohibitive favorite in the U.S. Senate primary, with the backing of Governor Rick Perry and the GOP establishment. Then, Cruz came out of nowhere to beat him in a runoff.

Patrick criticized Dewhurst for being part of the Austin establishment and also hit him for supporting in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants. Dewhurst’s campaign went personal, making Patrick’s 1987 bankruptcy and his legal name change issues in the race.

Dewhurst claimed Patrick changed his name to avoid his debts. But Patrick insisted that he changed his given last name — Goeb — to Patrick because he had already been using the new name in his work as a media personality.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott enters 2014 race for governor

Abbott highlights his fights against Obamacare and gun control but avoids immigration.

(See announcement video below)

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

texas mugSAN ANTONIO (CFP) — Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has officially entered the race to be the next governor of Texas, launching his 2014 campaign by highlighting his fights against what he sees as infringements on constitutional freedoms and the overweening hand of the federal government.

“I didn’t invent the phrase ‘Don’t Mess with Texas,” but I have applied it more than anyone else,” says Abbott, who has sued the federal government 27 times during his three terms as state attorney general. “When it comes to our freedom and our future, I will never, never stop fighting. That why I’m asking you, the people of Texas, to elect me governor.”

Abbott, 55, made his announcement July 14 before a crowd of supporters in San Antonio, 29 years to the day since a freak accident left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair.

Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott enters 2014 governor’s race

“On a steamy summer day like this, I went out for a jog. While I was jogging, a huge oak tree suddenly crashed down on me,” says Abbott. “Doctors inserted two steel rods up and down my vertebrae … Some politicians talk about having a spine of steel. I actually have one.”

Abbott’s speech touched on familiar conservative themes, such as his legal battles against Obamacare and gun control and his successful defense of a Ten Commandments display at the State Capitol in Austin.

However, in his kickoff speech, Abbott, whose wife is Hispanic, didn’t mention an issue near and dear to the nativist wing of his party – immigration. Noting the blending of Latino and white cultures in the Lone Star State, he said, “Dos casas, pero una fundacion. (“Two houses, but one foundation.)

Abbott’s campaign Web site also steers clear of the issue, although it does note his work to combat human trafficking across the U.S.-Mexican border.

Republicans in Texas — where Latinos make up nearly 40 percent of the population — have steered clear of the more strident anti-immigration sentiment seen in GOP circles in other states.

Current Gov. Rick Perry was assailed as too soft on the immigration issue during his 2012 presidential run, although he has since come out against a compromise immigration bill that recently passed the U.S. Senate. Former President George W. Bush, Perry’s predecessor in Austin, supports the Senate bill.

Abbott is considered the prohibitive front-runner in the governor’s race, having raised Texas-sized campaign stash of more than $22 million. Perry’s decision not to seek a fourth full term as the state’s chief executive cleared away the largest obstacle in Abbott’s path.

Tom Pauken, a former state GOP chairman and state workforce commissioner from Port Aransas, is opposing Abbott. Debra Medina, a Ron Paul acolyte from Wharton who ran a spirited primary campaign against Perry in 2010, had also considered the race but is now running for state comptroller.

Pauken has characterized the race against Abbott as a “battle for the soul of the Republican party,” pitting big-money interests and Austin insiders against what he called the “Reaganesque grassroots.” He has challenged Abbott to a series of Lincoln/Douglas-style debates across the state.

On the Democratic side, State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who became the heroine of the abortion movement by successfully filibustering an anti-abortion bill in June 2013, is running. However, both San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and former Houston Mayor Bill White, who lost to Perry in 2010, decided not to run.

A Democrat has not won the Texas governorship since Ann Richards did it in 1990. She lost to Bush four years later, which marked the beginning of a GOP tidal wave in state politics.

All nine executive officials elected statewide in Texas are Republicans, as are all nine elected members of the state Supreme Court.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry bows out, paving way for GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott

Gov. Rick Perry’s departure gives Texas its first open governor’s race since 1990

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

texas mugSAN ANTONIO (CFP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision not to seek a fourth full term as the Lone Star State’s chief executive in 2014 has opened up the field, with GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott seen as a prohibitive favorite to succeed the colorful and frequently controversial incumbent.

Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history, announced July 8 that he would not run to serve another four years in what he called “the greatest job in modern politics.”

Quoting the “time for every season” passage from the Book of Ecclisiasties, Perry said, “The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership.” He also said he would “pray and reflect” on his future plans but was mum on whether he will seek the presidency in 2016.

Greg Abbott

Attorney General Greg Abbott frontrunner in Texas governor’s race

Abbott, 55, from Wichita Falls, was appointed as a justice to the Texas Supreme Court by then-Gov. George W. Bush in 1996. He ran for attorney general in 2002 when John Cornyn left that job in a successful bid for the U.S. Senate, and has been re-elected twice.

Abbott, who has used a wheelchair since the age of 26, when he was injured by a falling tree, has raised a staggering, Texas-sized $18 million for the governor’s race, with two years still to go.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost a U.S. Senate bid in 2012, has said he plans to run for re-election rather than trying to move up to the top post. If he sticks to that position, it would clear away one possible hurdle for Abbott.

Tom Pauken, a former state GOP chairman and state workforce commissioner from Port Aransas, has announced a bid for governor. Debra Medina, a Ron Paul acolyte from Wharton who challenged Perry in the 2010 GOP primary, has also said she’s considering a bid, and a Facebook page has been set up to draft her into the race.

On the Democratic side, the pickings are slender, which is not surprising given Texas’ strong GOP bent.

Both San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and former Houston Mayor Bill White, who lost to Perry in 2010, have declined to run. State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who became the heroine of the abortion movement by successfully filibustering an anti-abortion bill in June 2013, is being mentioned as a possibility.

Also being mentioned is Annise Parker, the openly lesbian mayor of Houston. She easily won re-election as mayor of the state’s largest city in 2011.

The last time Texas didn’t have an incumbent running in the governor’s race was in 1990, when Democrat Ann Richards defeated Republican Clayton Williams. Richards lost four years later to Bush, who won re-election in 1998. Perry became governor when Bush was elected president in 2000 and won re-election in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

%d bloggers like this: