The Best and Worst Legislators of 2007
Thu June 14, 2007 11:11 am

For the next 24 hours, you can read the full story. After that, pick up a copy of our July issue, which will be on newsstands next week.

THE BEST

Rafael Anchia, Democrat, Dallas
Sen. John Carona, Republican, Dallas
Byron Cook, Republican, Corsicana
Sen. Bob Deuell, Republican, Mesquite
Scott Hochberg, Democrat, Houston
Lois Kolkhorst, Republican, Brenham
Jerry Madden, Republican, Plano
Sen. Steve Ogden, Republican, Bryan
Sylvester Turner, Democrat, Houston
Sen. Tommy Williams, Republican, The Woodlands

THE WORST

Lon Burnam, Democrat, Fort Worth
Warren Chisum, Republican, Pampa
Speaker Tom Craddick, Republican, Midland
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Republican
Sen. Troy Fraser, Republican, Marble Falls
Charlie Howard, Republican, Sugar Land
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Democrat, Brownsville
Sen. Dan Patrick, Republican, Houston
Gov. Rick Perry, Republican
Debbie Riddle, Republican, Houston

HONORABLE MENTION

Rob Eissler Republican, The Woodlands
Senator Kevin Eltife Republican, Tyler
Dan Gattis Republican, Georgetown
Fred Hill Republican, Richardson
Senator Juan Hinojosa Democrat, McAllen
“The Insurgency” Jim Dunnam, Robert Talton, et al.
John Smithee Republican, Amarillo
Burt Solomons Republican, Carrollton
Mark Strama Democrat, Austin
Senfronia Thompson Democrat, Houston
Senator John Whitmire Democrat, Houston

DISHONORABLE MENTION

Kino Flores Democrat, Mission
Pat Haggerty Republican, El Paso
Linda Harper-Brown Republican, Irving
Sid Miller Republican, Stephenville
Mike O’Day Republican, Pearland
Chente Quintanilla Democrat, El Paso
Bill Zedler Republican, Arlington

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Senator Kirk Watson Democrat, Austin

The former Austin mayor (and once and future statewide candidate) instantly earned respect for his intellect and diplomacy--and for knowing enough to let his elders take credit for his accomplishments.

FURNITURE

The concept of "furniture" originated in the early years of the Legislature to describe members who were no more consequential than their desks, chairs, inkwells, and spittoons—the equivalent of backbenchers in Parliament. Today the term is only mildly pejorative; the sin lies not in being furniture but in failing to recognize it. Here is the furniture for the eightieth session:

Alma Allen Democrat, Houston
Roberto Alonzo Democrat, Dallas
Wayne Christian Republican, Center
Senator Craig Estes Republican, Wichita Falls
Joe Farias Democrat, San Antonio
Jim Jackson Republican, Carrollton
Senator Mike Jackson Republican, League City
Nathan Macias Republican, Bulverde
Armando Martinez Democrat, Weslaco

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