January 28, 2020      8:45 AM

MJ Hegar raised $1.1 million, has $1 million cash on hand

January 26, 2020      12:32 PM

Texas GOP once again set to debate whether to include gay Republicans at convention

Chairman Dickey walks a fine line on the issue with the SREC set for a possible vote next weekend; reminiscent of former RPT Chair Cathie Adams, challenger Allen West says gays are trying to "infiltrate and undermine our party's platform"

In what could be a test of whether the majority party in this state is willing to accept all the help they can get in fighting back against ascendant Democrats in this year’s elections, members of the State Republican Executive Committee are set next weekend to consider whether to allow the Log Cabin Republicans to be a coalition partner and potentially have a booth at their upcoming convention in Houston.

SREC member JT Edwards from Galveston, who chairs the committee that will first consider this on Friday, said he added the item to the agenda because it is “not about what religion you profess or what lifestyle you prefer.” Instead, he said “the issue is fair and impartial consideration of an organization who could be a force multiplier in our efforts to hold the Texas House and firmly secure the election and re-election of Republican Texans statewide in 2020.”

Edwards, referring to the prize of redistricting in 2021, added “it is an all hands-on deck attitude, after all, do you want Democrats to draw the next set of maps?”

By Scott Braddock

January 24, 2020      1:16 PM

People on the Move

Appointments, lobby hires, a new leadership team, and more

Looking forward to seeing doctors from all over the Great State tonight at the Texas Medical Association’s meeting here in Austin. The docs are never shy with opinions and great questions for your editor. I might even have an answer or two.

It kind of feels like November with so many people voting early in that special election in Fort Bend County where the “false attacks” about “false attacks” are flying on TV and block walkers on both sides are working overtime to git ‘er done. A friend said they’d “eat a hat” if the Republican wins by a substantial margin. Does anyone know if Tiff’s Treats or some other company will make some custom cowboy hat shaped cookies? Surely someone does that around here.

Meantime, there’s career news to share here in the pages of Quorum Report. Last week, after POTM was published, a staffer texted “I wanted to be in the POTM but I didn’t get the job.” Keep swinging, you’re doing great. You know the drill: When you do land the gig – or someone else did and you want to gossip about them – send the info on over to ksbraddock@gmail.com and use POTM in the subject line. You’re all the best.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move:

By Scott Braddock

January 23, 2020      3:42 PM

Top tax policy Republicans remain miffed at TML and TAC after battles over property taxes and what they call interference

If conservatives got everything they wanted on revenue caps last session, why do they continue to express frustration with the Texas Association of Counties and Texas Municipal League?

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, was joined by Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, and Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, on a property tax panel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation on Wednesday. Senior fellow Ellen Troxclair moderated the panel.

“I know the bill is already working because the panic among some of the taxing entities is preposterously high,” Chair Bettencourt told the audience. “After five years of good behavior, Travis County decided to juice their rate, and the City of Austin is always there, going to the maximum of the rollback rate. El Paso raised its tax rates – by 10 pennies – more than ISDs cut from HB 3.”

Burrows said he promised Bettencourt he would pass the most conservative version of the Senate Bill 2 that could possibly pass the House.

By Kimberly Reeves

January 23, 2020      2:01 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick says he is considering going to simple majority for moving bills in the Texas Senate

"If we are still the majority but the minority has the power to overrule us, we cannot let that stand," he said at TPPF event

January 22, 2020      4:00 PM

8-day reports coming in now for three Texas House special elections

Five of the six reports now online; in addition to the Fort Bend throwdown, Republicans are trying to make inroads in one district and a Democratic intraparty fight is playing out in another

We’re now just under a week to go before voters make their final decisions to fill the unexpired terms of three former members of the Texas House.

The nation’s eyes are fixed on the House District 28 race in Fort Bend to pick a successor to former Appropriations Committee Chairman John Zerwas. NBC News and the Associated Press ran national stories about that race over the weekend, thanks in large part to former Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s involvement. Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed the Democrat yesterday, becoming the latest of the White House contender to take an interest in West Houston and Katy.

The two other races – in Houston and Dallas – feature Republicans trying to make inroads in one district and a Democratic intraparty fight in another.

In that Fort Bend race, both candidates were the beneficiaries of large in-kind donations.

By James Russell

January 22, 2020      3:35 PM

GOP internal poll shows Gates up 13 points over Markowitz in Fort Bend County Texas House special election

It’s fair to say the district’s electorate will likely not perform the same as other “suburban” communities where Democrats have a better shot this fall; Democrats maintain “we have one of the best data teams in the country who put us in a significantly better place than in the first round of voting for the November election so far"

New poll numbers are coming to light – and early voting numbers are coming in – that may dampen the spirits of Democrats working overtime to flip the Fort Bend County Texas House seat vacated last year by former Appropriations Committee Chairman John Zerwas.

The numbers in an internal poll conducted for the campaign of Republican candidate Gary Gates were reviewed by Quorum Report. The pollster who did the work is reputable and has a reliable track record. That said, seasoned political observers are quick to point out that polling in a special election presents specific challenges.

These poll numbers show Gates leading Democrat Dr. Eliz Markowitz by a substantial margin and they reveal an electorate that is probably not representative of the kind of district where Democrats may have much better chances of flipping Texas House seats this fall. That’s part of why no one should ever read too much into one poll or overanalyze the results of a single special election. Yes, dear reader, you are correct that literally nothing could be said now to prevent the latter from happening one week from today.

Now, to the numbers:

By Scott Braddock

January 22, 2020      12:49 PM

Texas Realtors release watch list of primary races

Sen. Lucio's challenge, Chair Flynn, Sheffield, and others top the list of races to watch, per the powerful association

The Texas REALTORS® hot list of races to watch in the primaries is right here.

January 21, 2020      5:01 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick appoints Fallon, Lucio, and Paxton to Sunset Commission

The full announcement from the Office of the Lt. Governor is right here.

January 21, 2020      4:45 PM

Elizabeth Warren endorses Markowitz in Fort Bend Texas House special election

Meantime Abbott blasts Markowitz supporter Beto O'Rourke as a gun grabber; already today the 5 early voting locations open *only* for the HD28 special election have voted more people than 23 sites countywide did all day on the 1st day of early vote in November