Best and Worst Legislators

By Comments

The Texas Monthly politics team is starting to narrow down the list of the Best and Worst members of the 84th Legislature. We observe and we talk to legislators, lobbyists and reporters. We also want to hear from you. If you have any nominations, name them in the comments below, and, please, tell us why you think a particular lawmaker should be included in the list of the Best and the Worst of 2015. 

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  • John Johnson

    The absolute best in the Senate is Eltife. He has constantly shown objective thinking that is not obscured or weighted by threats or dangled carrots. Candidates for a “worst” position must number in the 30’s.

    In the House, Stickland has to win the absolute worst and his caricature on the cover with foam spewing from his mouth.
    Geren and Bonnen win my best votes. No one has stood up to the crazies and the “sold out to interests” senators more than these two have.

    • Blue Dogs

      Too bad Eltife’s umpteenth attempt on shoving term limits down people’s throats FAILED AGAIN!
      At some point, there’s got to be a point when to give up on this term limits CRAP.

  • bigeasy

    Eltife for sure, Nichols for his work on Transportation, Nelson for Finance..Huffman
    From the House, Otto, Sylvester Turner, James White, Trent Ashby, Dennis Bonnen, Drew Darby, Byron Cook, Lyle Larson, Joe Pickett, Senfronia Thompson….there are probably several more that could be added to the list from the House..

    • Claire Wood

      Chris Turner should be on this list.

  • Ogie Wilson

    For Worst – Stickland (of course), Greg Bonnen (for being self serving and not playing well with others), Byron Cook (for being a committee demi-god and killing good ethics reform), Trey Martinez-Fischer (for being himself), Senators West and Ellis (for putting their own money making schemes ahead of ethics reform), Senator Van Taylor (for similar crimes on the ethics bill), Rep Spitzer (for lying about how he would vote for Speaker), Rep. Rodney Anderson (for doing the same and knowing better), Rep. Molly White (for being a general all around idiot) and Senator Don Huffines (for not having a clue about anything or anyone).

    Best: Sens. Eltife, Estes, Whitmire & Nelson. Reps. Straus (for putting up with so much crap), Aycock (for at least TRYING to fix Public Ed), Senfronia Thompson (for just being herslef and showing up – she can do that now), Capriglione (for having intestinal fortitude), Craddick (for sticking to the texting bill, thanks Tom!) and Sylvester Turner (for knowing when to fight and when to fold).

    MIA: Dawnna Dukes. She should not be back one way or another. Her constituents deserve better.

    • mredding

      Seeing as Dawnna Dukes has been having medical issues since her car crash in 2013 (and even showed up to the Capitol for a contentious vote in a medical brace), I don’t know if MIA is entirely warranted…

      • Lilly

        Yes, but she ran for re-election knowing that she couldn’t do the job. I am a constituent. I am so sorry for her pain and suffering, but she should step aside until she recovers. She has enough years for her pension. And she is not doing what she was elected to do.

    • SocraticGadfly

      You forgot “the dreamy” before Don Huffines. Or, per a comment of yours elsewhere, maybe “pansexual” works for him.

  • Another Wilco Voter

    I have to second Ogie Wilson’s nomination of Greg Bonnen as one of the worst. He is a doctor and owns a free-standing ambulatory surgery center. His bills and amendments are self-serving. If you doubt it, check the bills he filed/sponsored and the amendments he offered to see how many he would personally benefit from. Add Dennis Bonnen to the Best list. He’s really grown as a legislator in the last few sessions which served him in good stead this session. Interesting if the brothers make it to the lists on opposite sides. Aycock should keep D Bonnen company on that list for having his heart in the right place on school finance. I raise my Diet Dr Pepper in his honor.

    As a freshman under prior TM guidelines, Molly White wouldn’t be considered for the “Worst” list, but I am sure TM could come up with a “special” category just for her. Clardy went back on his commitments on several bills. If a legislator isn’t comfortable supporting a bill, that’s fine. Just say so. Stickland goes on the Worst list, ’nuff said.

    Best list in the Senate: Eltife, Seliger, Estes for voting their consciences and their districts. I miss Duncan. Worst list: just about every other non-freshman senator.

  • scottrob

    Donna Campbell – for being a clueless looney tune.

    • Beerman


    • Scott Baker

      She is a corrupt and sad individual..

    • Loujean Stauffer

      Donna Campbell is the worst. Someone who allows her personal circumstances to hold hundreds of thousands of people’s lives and histories hostage, should not be in office

  • John Johnson

    Just had occasion to respond to a Julie MCCarthy (head of NE Tarrant County Tea Party and Patrick advisory committee member, I believe) FaceBook post referencing the Stickland/Pickett brouhaha.

    It seems like she is thinking that just because Stickland produced a tape recording, we are all to believe Pickett is the one now under Texas Ranger investigation. I asked her why she was picking on Pickett, and if it was because of his maybe being an “anything goes ” Methodist instead of a pure, holy person like us Baptists. I also asked her exactly what put Strauss on their s**t list …that I was not aware of major conservative issues that he had ever derailed. I asked if it had anything to do with his being Jewish.

    She responded “Hahaha. Why do liberals always play the race card?”

    I was going to point out to her that “Jewish” has nothing to do with ethnicity, but she had already removed my ability to respond. I guess I am no longer her “friend”.

    I think Julie and others on Dan Patrick’s “what do you think” group should get some sort of mention on the Worst list…or, better yet, just list the Lt. Gov for his poor choices.

    • Beerman

      It is difficult for Strauss because his party has been polarized by the TP characters, and it is a challenge to create workability in the legislature. McCarthy just yells and vilifies anyone who is not with her beliefs. If you are not with her, you are not only against her, but rotten to the core.

    • Unwound

      mccarthys a nutjob, unfortunately, shes found herself to be persuesive enough to other nutjobs

  • Blue Dogs

    WORST is still Joan Huffman, for shoving this stupid proposal on moving up the inauguration date of the Governor & LG, which is STUPID!
    It will FAIL!

    • Another Wilco Voter

      Can you explain why it’s STUPID based on public policy?

      • Claire Wood

        Moving an inauguration date is small potatoes compared to the big issues and problems that need to be handled.

        • Dave

          Moving the date up will allow for more work to be done during the first month of session because the top dogs currently are sworn in almost 2/3 of the way into January, which means that committees have to wait around to get their rosters and assignments, effectivley wasting the first 21-28 days of session. Pull your head out of your ass before you speak.

          • Claire Wood

            Oh dear, I think I was not very clear. I was responding to the comments about moving the dates being stupid. My point was that compared to the stuff that needs to be done, moving that inauguration is a very minor thing so why are these people raving about it being stupid to move it. Dave, I agree with you 100% that freeing up more time for the legislators should be the top priority, but your opinion was not up there for me to agree with.. Dates of inaugurations are merely set dressing anyway. Years ago in Tennessee, we had a governor who was so corrupt he was almost brought out of The Mansion in chains. His successor was sworn in quietly in the presence of the Speaker of the House, State court Justices and Leaders of the Senate on the day after the election was certified. No inaugural festivities, parade, etc …well maybe they had a dinner or something but the entire leadership felt that getting the government in the hands of the new administration was more important than formalities. It was on the news that night and in the paper the next day and no one complained…that is how bad the old governor’s administration was.

    • Jud3n25

      yes Huffman is “WORST”, but mainly for her ability to play ignorant on ethics issues and allow bills that would reduce corruption and make politics more transparent to die in committees.

  • mredding

    Stickland gets his own special category. It’s not fair to lump him with the other Worsts, since they’re easily not as bad as he is. Definitely not table furniture, though I think a bookshelf might be a better conversationalist. He’s certainly not Best, but there’s something to be said about how everybody talks about his issues and his issue. Maybe he gets a special award?

  • Lilly

    Worst: Rep. Stickland, at the very least for his juvenile behavior and his total lack of understanding of politics; Rep. White — while she is a freshman, her antics demand some sort of recognition; Lt. Gov. Patrick, for his inability to lead and caving to the antics of the constitutional carry crazies; Sen. Campbell for her inability to grasp anything that there are more important things for the legislature to handle than social issues.

    Best: Speaker Straus, for making the House the saner chamber for the first time in memory (perhaps ever); Rep. Martinez Fischer, for his parliamentary ability that enabled a minority to be relevant; Sen. Whitmire for keeping his head while all those around him were losing theirs.

  • N.M. Horwitz

    Senate Best: Eltife and Whitmire
    Senate Worst: Huffines and Burton
    House Best: Turner and Cook
    House Worst: Stickland and Dutton

  • Tom Cassidy

    -The worst in the House would be Stickland for focusing so much on flashy policies that he inhibited the ability of the House to pass meaningful policy. And his seeming lack of understanding of the political process and his childish antics.
    -The Worst in the Senate would be a tie between Dan Patrick (does he count?) and Jane Nelson for that awful budget and that proposal to break the spending cap, and the whole tax relief debacle.

    -The Best in the House is Sarah Davis for working on sound public policy that will improve Texas and for not getting caught up in the flashy, Washington-style politics that have overrun the lege. She also deserves credit for remaining “unbought and unbossed” and willing to buck the party on the divisive issues like abortion and gay marriage. She is probably THE best legislator in Austin.
    -The Best in the Senate is Whitmire for holding down the fort.

    • Tom Cassidy

      Additionally, Aycock and Straus definitely get Honorable Mention in the house for Best. Senfronia Thompson deserves to be in the best every year from the House. I think Zaffirini is one of the best in the Senate too.

      Campbell is still pretty bad in the Senate and Molly White is among the worst in the House too.

  • Pistol Pete

    House Best- S. Davis, D. Bonnen, J. Straus, J. Aycock, B. Cook, L. Gonzales, D. Howard & J. Zerwas
    House Worst- STICKLAND, M. Schaefer, G. Bonnen, T. Canales, B. Zedler & C. Bell

    Senate Best- K. Eltife, J. Zaffarini, L. Kolkhorst, J. Huffman & J. Whitmire
    Senate Worst- B. Hall, D. Campbell, K. Burton, D. Huffines, Lucio & R. West

  • Stuart Greenfield

    Rep. Strickland should be on both, worst list from D’s, best from Tea Partiers.

  • Boffin

    Rep. Strickland on both

  • I Lead With Love


    Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) for keeping culture warriors from overtaking good legislation, at least mostly.

    César Blanco (D-El Paso) for making a substantial and positive impact as a freshman.

    Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) for never backing down on transportation funding. Not really a show-boater and he often tackles unglamorous issues, but a workhorse. Never votes against his conscious.

    Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) for a thorough and relatively smooth appropriations process. She also carried substantial Sunset legislation.

    Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) for being an actual intellectual leader.

    Four Price (R-Amarillo) for being the go-to guy for big legislation. Everyone likes working with

    Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) for never taking himself too seriously and was responsible for an unreasonable share of Sunset legislation.

    Randy Erben (R-Abbott) for, well, ok, technically not a member of the Legislature but he did a masterful and diplomatic job keeping the Governor’s priorities moving without bruising the daycare egos.

    J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) for leading as a doctor, not a politician. Not an attention junkie and certainly not a Dr. Bonnen or a Dr. Spitzer. It’s good to know there is actually a man of science in the House.

    Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) for passing important and meaningful legislation in a bipartisan way.


    Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) for forcing votes members wished he wouldn’t. Convened a prayer circle on the floor (imagine if that had been like, I don’t know, two Muslims instead). Doesn’t understand his own legislation. Sanctimonious, unctuous, mean, and dimwitted. People in East Texas can forgive a lot if you’re nice about it (e.g. Bernie Tiede) so I have no idea why they have sent this disaster to the Texas House.

    The Caliphate: Matt Shaheen (R-Plano), Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), Molly White (R-Belton), and Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman). Their antics on May 27 was like watching the Little Rascals trying to put on a show in the barn. And then the barn burned down.

    Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio). I realize that Democrats have to resort to stall tactics, but I cringed whenever Gutierrez came to either microphone. Not funny, not smart, not substantial, and not a contributor to the discourse.

    Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford). The Republican Lon Burnham, except worse.

  • SG Spiess

    I prefer not to dwell on the negative. However these two must be held accountable. Senator Craig Estes and Representative Myra Crownover are the worst. Anything positive they may have done is far overshadowed by their support of HB 40 and SB 1165. They turned their backs on their constituents, particularly in Denton. They received a large percentage of their campaign funds from the o&g industry and that’s who they helped. Now that HB 40 has passed, not only is Denton affected, all the other cities in Texas that have o&g regulations on the books are also affected. Also, “Local Control” took a major hit with this legislation and the effects will be noticed with other city ordinances no longer being controlled locally, but rather at the state level. So much for no big government. Local Control of issues within a city is what democracy is all about. These two legislatures lined their pockets and sold out their constituents.

    • Tracy A. Smith – Wise County

      Phil King Wrote the Damn Bill straight out of ALEC

      • Jed

        just give the worst award to ALEC.

  • Tracy A. Smith – Wise County

    Philthy Phil King – National Chair of ALEC

  • Daniel Enoch Barker

    I think State Representative Phil King of Weatherford, Texas needs to be included on the worst list for overriding Denton’s fracking ban. The guy shows how he is bought out by the oil & gas industry with the way he votes.

  • Erica Grieder

    For obvious reasons I’m resisting the temptation to join this discussion but man, some of you are good at this 😉

  • PDiddie

    Eltife has stood out as ‘Best’ in the Senate. Byron Cook and the Speaker for ‘Best’ of a lousy lot in the House.

    Lucio, Campbell, and Huffines as ‘Worst’ in the Senate.

    Senfronia led the anti-fracking ban charge, shot down Tesla, mocked or just gassed on ‘Mr. Tesla’. She, Stickland, Rinaldi, Cecil Bell all ‘Worst’ by a long measure. A black mark beside the name of every Democrat — most of them from Houston — who voted in favor of killing the fracking bans.

  • lisabwaddington

    Best: Kirt Watson. Worst: Donna Campbell

  • RoxieInTexas

    Best in the House – Sarah Davis or Donna Howard
    Worst in the House – Stickland
    Best in the Senate – Whitmire or Kirk Watson
    Worst in the Senate – Donna Campbell

  • lorrainelovesbooks

    For worst, former fetus Strickland. Above and beyond my disagreements with him, he is always brawling with other Representatives.

  • MamaT

    On the best list: Chris Turner. On the worst: Bell and Estes

  • Paula Trietsch Chaney

    Stickland is a shoe-in for the worst, but I think the entire GOP Lege contingent should be on the Worst list for tying up their 180-day, every other year time to do the State’s business and ignoring their only two responsibilities: to pass a budget and fund our public schools. Instead they have embarked on the looniest batch of bills to ever see the light of day. I also agree that Mollie White should get a special Worst as a freshman for her little Christian loyalty stunt.

  • Cathy McMullen

    Myra Crownover who voted against her constituents and voted for HB 40 which removed Denton’s democratically elected fracking ban from the books.

  • Kim Mays

    Absolute worst is Donna Campbell. She alone overode ever other Senator. She got HB 984 which restores original birth certificates to Texans pulled from the floor! How does one person do that without calling in favors from Lt. Gopvernor Dan Patrict? Maybe He is the worst for letting his personal friendship with her outweight what Texans want.

  • Cathy McMullen

    Worst Darby, Paddie, Estes, Crownover, Craddick, Nelson for stripping local control away from municipalities with HB 40

  • Heather

    I’m going to say I disagree with a lot of the comments… 1. Dukes has been out due to medical issues and has been working while in recovery.
    2. WORST Reps: Stickland-no one likes him. Even his own party cringes when he speaks on the floor. They try to get him off of the mic, he makes horribly offensive and violent comments EVERY day. I won’t be sad to stop hearing his voice and horrific bills presented post session. I hope one day he learns to accept people and understand what inclusivity is, or hugs out all of the fear, pain, and hate he has for others so he stops spewing it everywhere to negatively affect millions of Texans. Rep Molly White for how insanely hateful she is and how she avoids presenting her own discriminatory bills that constantly fail to go anywhere. No one from either party likes her either. Her nightmarish Islamaphobia and open hatred for anyone that isn’t a white Christian is pretty sickeningly insulting to the state of Texas, the world, and politics. Our Tax payer dollars shouldn’t be paying their salary to push legislation to encourage hatred of Texas Constituents. They need to go and leave politics FOREVER. Rep. Laubenberg-HB2 and everything she said during that session is enough to remove her from the TXLege forever. I will forever hold grievance with her for that, unless she overturns the bill, passes pay equality, raises the minimum wage, makes comprehensive sex ed accessible for all, and provides comprehensive reproductive rights for all. I doubt that will happen. So she’s on my permanent shit list and should be on the permanent worst list here as well. Rep Cecil Bell-he just wouldn’t stop pushing anti-LGBTQ bills and amendments this session, all of which died and put him on the hateful, homophobic side of history. Great job being a hateful homophobe.
    3. WORST Senate: Sen. Don Huffines, no one likes him in either party and he is always less informed about his bills than everyone else is. He gets schooled by everyone else in the Senate EVERY DAY. It’s sad and shows how much he doesn’t need to be there. He constantly ignores research, misquotes people, and shows how uninformed he is on issues he presents bills on that he’s unwilling to do the work to become informed on. He also is very unwilling to listen to or work with others which is what DEMOCRACY is all about. He needs to go. Sen. Donna Campbell-she openly expressed her homophobic, transphobic, and all kinds of phobic views in media about equality ordinances, transphobic bathroom bills, and has no problem hating. She also often isn’t always entirely educated about her own bills or the ones she’s supporting or fighting. This is a bit of the chip of the iceberg for Donna Campbell. I will have my ‘Best List’ posted tomorrow. I also might have a few more worst tooo…

    • pwt7925

      There’s an article in the Dallas paper suggesting that Huffines is looking to challenge Pete Sessions for Congress. I got a call from a pollster very similar to one that I got about a year before Huffines challenged John Carona, and would not be surprised if he is considering a run. Huffines is a pleasant enough guy in person, but his campaign against Carona was almost entirely negative, provide no reason (for me at least) to vote for him, and told the voters nothing other than that he thought Carona was a scumbag and needed to go. It was a vile performance. Huffines’ campaign consultant was later hired to handle a runoff in another local campaign, and his candidate, who ran a similarly nasty campaign, was soundly defeated by a much better candidate.

  • MaggieRT

    BEST: for speaking up about a myriad of topics that needed attention and actuvely outting their words to action by supporting the passage of legislation (education, human trafficking, teacher pay raises, protection of the elderly and veterans, etc…)…
    House – Anchia, Thompson
    Senate – Zaffirini, Menendez

    WORSE: for rejecting common sense legislation in order to pass legislation that continues to promote division (open carry. anti-gay marriage, rejecting local control) as well as trying to manipulate a process they still don’t have a clue to maneuver)..
    House – Stickland, Molly White
    Senate – Campbell, Lucio

  • Deanna

    Without a doubt, Donna Campbell for worst. Consistently voting to keep women barefoot and pregnant. Stickland is very very close behind her. Just because.

  • Cynthia Douglas

    Kirk Watson, Donna Howard -best
    Donna Campbell, Molly White-worst

  • David Siegel

    The Senate very worst are easy: Huffines, Campbell. Next comes Lucio and West. The best must include Eltife and Seliger. Then there are those who I don’t like, but actually did a good job for themselves, like Nelson, Nichols, and Huffman. Bettencourt has to count for throwing his weight around, although a freshman. Kolkhorst also did lots more than most freshmen ever do.

    In the House, the dominant Ds were certainly Sylvester (as always), TMF (for better or worse), and Chris Turner. Otto and Zerwas are always good. Even Dennis Bonnen, although he often mistreated witnesses in W&M. The list of worse is too long. I’ll go with what everyone else says

  • Kathleen Kj Lowry

    Phil King is one of the worst due to his work with ALEC to remove local control from our cities.

  • txcg

    I am nominating Donna Campbell for the Worst Senator of the year for single-handedly killing HB984 which would have restoref access to original birth certificates for Texas-born adults who were adopted as minors. Passing thru the House committee unanimously and out of the house at 138/1, the Senate committee passed it unanimously as well. Grassroots campaigning by Texas Adoptee Rights had 30 senators ready to pass the bill. On the last day of the session the bill was set on the locals and uncontested calendars to expedite passage. Senator Campbell pulled the bill from locals and time ran out for HB984 to be heard by the full senate. This was the second session Senator Campbell killed an adoptee access bill. . In the committee hearing in 2013 when discussing the legislation, she began by asking if contact was financially motivated “Why the need would a child want to go back and find, for financial reasons? That they should be allowed something…?” She repeated the statement “fail to see the value” and later continued objections, saying “This to me slaps in the face…of how the adoptive parent would like to raise these children up in talking about things” As an Adoptee Advocate, I reminded Senator Campbell in my testimony that as minors, of course the parents are the authority but, “We do grow up, and we have our own rights to our own records.” Video can be viewed here: beginning at 51:00

  • Teresa Underwood Kelton

    Best: Creighton and Deshotel (and others) for working so hard to support HB 984! Makes it almost unanimous through the house, have all the votes needed for the senate!

    Worst: Donna Campbell…. if you are the ONLY person that disagrees with a bill – bring it to the floor and present your point of view and let it be voted on, or if you have a conflict of interest, remove yourself from the committee – You don’t throw it out completely! She was able to silence every person in the house, senate, over 500,000 adoptees, their birth parents and adoptive parents. The vote: over 131- said YES plus 30 senators were going to say YES, she said NO…. And she wins? And doesn’t even have ONE PUBLIC STATEMENT AS TO WHY? NOT ONE! Even on facebook tells people to email her privately because she doesn’t want to post a public explanation and then she sends them a form letter. Save yourself some copy and paste Donna Campbell… paste it 1 time on to the facebook page! Worst….. Ever…..

  • megalvan

    Donna Campbell has to be the worst.

  • Jason Andrews

    WORST – Senator – Donna Campbell – Personal agenda gets in the way of the true legislative process. Back door dealings to kill bills that should have had proper due process.

  • Knockout53

    Senator Donna Campbell singlehandedly stopped HB 984 (allowing adult adoptees to get an original birth certificate) from reaching the Senate floor for a vote, probably for personal reasons. The nonpartisan bill passed the House 138-1 and was on the local and unopposed calendar in the Senate. When she took it off the calendar it should have gone to the floor for a vote. It did not. The bill had the support of 30 Senators and, according to his office, the Lt. Gov. When it became obvious that Senator Campbell was in charge, 14 additional Senators signed on to co-sponsor the bill in a sign of support. How can one elected official decide what the full Senate can vote on?

  • Terri

    Senator Donna Campbell is the worst of the worst for using her personal agenda to crush HB984. This bill would have allowed Adoptees in Texas access to their Original Birth Certificates. HB984 had the support it needed to pass the Senate after it passed with great support through the House. The time was here for Texas to change outdated ideas and law, the support was there for over 500,000 Adoptees in our State to have something that most people take for granted, knowledge of their Medical History, Cultural and Ancestral History. Donna Campbell is the parent of an adopted child, she used personal fears and feelings to crush progress. This is not representing the ideas of the people who elected her, it is using her office to attempt to hide away family secrets…secrets which in this era of Social Media, DNA testing and the information available on the internet are being uncovered everyday. HB984 was good for Adoptees and for Birth Families.

  • Terri

    Best goes to Creighton and Deshotel for recognizing and working hard to allow Adult Adoptee’s in Texas a voice. All the Senators who stood up and co-sponsored in the final push to try to bring to vote HB984 showed us their true dedication to representing the people who sent to Austin TX.

  • CeCe Moore

    Worst in the Senate – Donna Campbell because she felt that her personal issues/feelings/fears as an adoptive parent were more important than the needs of ~540,000 adult adoptees who deserve access to their medical history and heritage. After HB984 passed the Texas House 138 – 1, was voted out of House and Senate committees unanimously, had 14 senate cosponsors and more than enough senators in favor to pass a vote on the senate floor, she killed the bill and didn’t even allow it to be heard and voted upon. That is a clear abuse of power.

  • Leslie Knope

    Best: The Texas House, D. Bonnen, Pickett, Four Price, S. Davis, John Otto, D. Simpson (he is a true Libertarian), the lobby, Twitter and the @84th Legislature account.
    Worst: Texas Senate, Don Huffines, Charles Schwertner, Sen. Lucio (he is dead weight, when is the Democratic party going to realize this?!), the American Phoenix Foundation

    New categories:
    Best new Frosh: Cesar Blanco
    Best turnaround: Stephanie Klick

    • Leslie Knope

      Yes, also add Eltife to my best, and Dukes to new category: MIA, her constituents do deserve better, much better, when she is around she’s self-serving.
      Also, motion seconded on Mrs. T for a best, solely based on her “Sticky and Tinderfoot” rant. That alone was better entertainment than my $200/mo. cable bill.

  • Ashley

    I nominate Donna Campbell for the WORST of the worst for letting her personal agenda take precedence over the wishes of her constituents and not letting HB 984 on the floor. What a slap in the face to adoptive parents, adopted individuals and birth parents.

  • Dawn Scott

    For her egregious act of blatantly selfish, willful disregard for the 1.6 MILLION (adoptees and birth parents) people directly impacted by her blockage of HB984 and the abuse of power such circumvention of democracy represents, I nominate Dr. Donna Campbell for THE WORST of the 84th Legislature.

  • Tracey Parks

    I nominate Senator Donna Campbell for worst Legislator in Texas. She managed to single handedly shut down HB984 in the Texas senate. A bill that had unanimous approval save one vote in the house and likewise unanimous support in the Texas senate. Senator Cambell managed to keep HB984 from ever coming to the Denate floor for vote. By doing so, Donna Cambell effectively denied access to original birth certificates for over 500,000 adult Texas adoptees and, thus, shut out access to their family medical history and heritage.

  • MEMacInnis

    Sen. Donna Campbell for worst. By willfully removing HB 984 from a list of bills to be voted on in this session, she put her selfish, ignorant, personal agenda ahead of the wishes of a majority of members of the House and the Senate.

  • Julie Brownhill

    WORST is SEN. DONNA CAMPBELL she single handedly blocked HB 984 which it had overwhelming support in both the House and the Senate for a personal issue. She put her personal issue above her constituents and 540,000 adult adoptees in TX. So wrong how she used her power. She never listened to anyone.
    BEST – Rep Deshotel, Rep. Parker, Sen Creighton, Sen Nelson

  • HaysHub

    Jason Isaac is by far the best this legislative session. He fought HARD for his constituents with HB3405 and overcame so many obstacles, trials and tribulations. He had bi-partisan support of so many of his constituents in Hays County this session, and passed a VERY good piece of legislation that will protect Hays County private property rights and our groundwater for generations to come! #SaveOurWells #WeJustDid

  • HaysHub

    WORST = The Oklahoma Stripper loving Senator Charles Perry for killing a local bill (HB3405) that shouldn’t have concerned him (but clearly, somehow was “inspired” to make it his concern).

    2nd WORST = Rep Mary Gonzales for trying to kill an important bill without even knowing the details of the bill. (Just cuz someone told her to.) And also because her twitter photo stream’s Selfie to Other Photos ratio is alarmingly high. Wish she loved doing what’s right as much as she loves herself.

  • Kathy Hug Healy

    Rep. Jason Isaac was fierce and fabulous this session fighting for water rights in Hays County. The absolute best. The plot twists in the saga of the citizens against big corp Electro Purification were head spinning and are now fairly common knowledge. Which brings me to the worst. It’s a tie between Charles Perry, he of the stripper restraining order, and Rep. Mary Gonzalez, aka Rep. Selfie, who has accomplished what? Both Perry and Gonzalez tried to deep six a local water bill at the behest of their big water corporate cronies, and could have succeeded, were it not for a last minute reprieve after the horrible flood that brought attention to Wimberley.

  • Sheri Overton

    Best in the House, Jason Isaac. As a lifelong Democrat, I was skeptical at first, but he worked his tail off to get HB3405 for Hays County. Threw himself into it in a way I wasn’t sure existed any more.

  • Dana

    Jason Isaac deserves the best legislator more than anyone this year. He really stepped up to the plate to save out wells in Hays County with HB 3405!

  • mtflis

    Best in House, Rep. Jason Isaac … really went to bat for his Hays County constituents’ local groundwater with HB 3405.

  • come&takeit

    Best – Rep. Jason Issac for fighting the good fight for HB 3405 (Lazarus Bill) to the bitter end and working so hard for his constituents.

    Worst – Rep. Mary Gonzalez for interfering with HB 3405 just as Hays County constituents were dealing with horrific flood damage and had no way to help defend the bill and had no idea why she would care about a bill that had no state-wide implications.

  • Kristi

    Jason Isaac is the best!! Hays co. loves you!!!

  • Lila Knight

    Best – Jason Isaac of Hays and Blanco Counties. He succeeded in passing a groundwater bill (HB 3405) against all odds that will protect a white zone of the Trinity Aquifer. So many people tried to kill this bill, including Rep. Bonnen, Rep. Mary Gonzalez, and Senator Perry – to name just a few. He refused to listen to some of the most powerful lobbyists in the State. And at one point, he even set aside his own MUD bills and pulled them to make point of how important HB 3405 was to our county. This bill was dead – and he still got it passed!HB 3405 had enormous bipartisan support in our County and Isaac worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans to get the job done. When was the last time you saw a conservative Republican go to such lengths to protect our natural resources? At the end, he had to juggle working to get the bill passed AND helping out with the horrific floods that hit both Blanco and Hays County. Regardless of whether or not Rep. Isaac gets recognition from Texas Monthly, he will always have the grateful thanks of the people of Hays County – from the bottom of our hearts.

  • Louie Bond

    My best and worst center around the “Lazarus” Bill, HB3405, the infamous Hays County water bill sponsored by Rep Jason Isaac. Spurred on by passionate eloquence of up-and-comer Hays Co. Commissioner Will Conley and an outspoken bipartisan grassroots uprising, Isaac overcame roadblock after roadblock thrown out by the groundwater snatching Electro Purification of Houston. When the bill was astonishingly snatched from the jaws of death by a rare Parliamentarian reversal, Isaac cried. Not all softie, Isaac played hardball against the political dirty tricks, stalling and killing the bills of his opponents.

    Worst goes to Representative Mary “Selfie” Gonzalez of El Paso, who nearly killed HB3405 on a point of order she didn’t seem capable of coming up with on her own. The day before a Huffington Post feature on her sexual preferences and as Wimberley (the area affected by the bill) continued to search for victims of a 1,000-year flood, Gonzalez challenged the bill on “germane-ness” issues and offered only an explanation of “it’s bad for El Paso farmers.” The bill contained specific wording about the law only applying to the Hays County situation. Gonzalez claimed she needed to consult with her legislative staff before explaining further. That same day, during a visit from a Save Our Wells member, the legislative aide was “not sure what a groundwater conservation district is.” A few days later, Gonzalez voted in favor of the bill. The only language that had changed was the addition of new board positions.

    My other worst goes to Sen Charles Perry. Presented with Sen Donna’s Campell’s version of the overwhelmingly passed HB3405, SB1440, Perry decided to change the language so much that the bill placed a welcome mat at the door for Electro Purification. Perry ignored Campbell’s obvious ire and a deluge of protests from an impassioned Hays County grassroots group, Save Our Wells, and ramrodded the new wording through his position as freshman chair of the powerful Agriculture,Water & Rural Affairs committee. When Perry tried to do it again to HB3405 as it came through the Senate, Isaac began killing Perry bills in the House. Perry came storming over to the House, but Isaac was unmoved. In the end, despite the machinations of the EP machine and whatever other mysterious powerful forces blocked the Lazarus Bill, Save Our Wells emerged with a bill that gives them the tools to protect the Trinity Aquifer in Hays County. (unless Abbott vetoes!)

  • Driftwood Water Warrior

    I second all nominations of Jason Isaac as Best in the House. The man displayed unrivaled compassion and an iron will that is rare in the Texas Big Top. He championed a piece of legislation, HB 3405, that will help protect 40,000 of his western Hays County constituents from the biggest attempted water grab and home invasion in the history of Hays County. His bill, co-sponsored by Donna Campbell in the Senate, clearly states that it will apply only to the affected areas and stakeholders inside Hays County. But a careful reading of the bill reveals major precedent-setting safeguards for private well and property owners who could be harmed by commercial for-profit groundwater mining/operators. I believe Isaac will become an even better lawmaker, even shed some of his ultra conservative feathers, because of the bipartisan support he received and sought out in the Lege. He and all of us in Hays County will be better off because of his efforts. I also nominate Rep. Mary Gonzalez (El Paso) and Sen. Charlie Perry (Lubbock) as WORST in the 84th Lege. They are a rare pair of birds, one a DEMosaur and the other a GOPosaur, stuck way back in prehistoric geologic time. Gonzalez and Perry openly abused their power to continue shielding only the “private property and water rights” of the wealthy – the water and property rights of the little guy be damned. The responsible management and responsible sharing of the natural groundwater resources of Texas is more critically important today than ever. Gonzalez and Perry are absolutely not the kind of lawmakers Texas needs to guide us all into a future of shared natural resources and equal private property rights protection for all. I say can ‘em.

  • Cate Sitton

    Louie Bond, Driftwood Water Warrior and others have eloquently outlined the reasons for my vote.

    Best: Representative Jason Issac of Dripping Springs. As a lifelong Democrat I can’t believe I’m saying this but, thanks Jason!!

    Worst: Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock and Representative Mary “Selfie” Gonzales of El Paso. We’ll see what we can do to make this your last term in office.

  • Lazy T

    Jason Isaac is best for saving our water wells from the massive corporate raid that came to Hays County. Rep Mary Gonzalez is the worst for playing her cards wrong on that same Hays County local bill, and losing support for items that would have benefited her local constituents 550 miles away. Also Sen Charles Perry for worst for interfering with that same bill all the while allegedly harassing prior Texas political consultant, now Oklahoma stripper,Cynthia Ortiz.

  • WimDems

    Jason Isaac is the best. He was able to pass a bipartisan
    local groundwater bill in spite of an enormous amount of back room dealing by some of the most influential current and former lobbyist in the state.

  • Anonymous

    Even by pro-business hydrocarbon-loving Texas standards, Sen. Troy Fraser had an anti-environment, public health, and local control session for the history books. Fraser was the Senate sponsor of HB 40, which guts local control on oil and gas drilling; the Senator author of SB 709, which stacks the deck against Texas residents on challenges to pollution permits issued by TCEQ; and the Senate sponsor of HB 1736, which could curtail the ability of Texas cities to pursue aggressive energy efficiency standards. It was not until the 139th day of session that another measure he authored, SB 931, which would have ended Texas’s highly successful clean energy standard, died as part of an amendment to a non-germane bill. Fraser’s final session in the Senate leaves a legacy of significant damage to local control, public participation, and public health which will be felt by Texans for years to come. Good bye and good riddance.

  • Michael

    In the House, Stickland is the absolute worst. I predict those in his district will be changing their representative sooner than later. The worst in the Senate is Kolkhorst; the most unintelligent, uninformed Senator in the entire Senate, who is lucky to be in the Senate as she blew her reputation in the House among fellow members and was dissed by the Speaker. One of the best Senators is Hinjosa and Eltife, in the House, Straus for putting up with Stickland and several other duffs.