The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is reporting that Republican party chairman Cathie Adams has made an endorsement in the contest for the Texas Supreme Court seat recently vacated by Scott Brister, in violation of her own pledge to remain neutral in GOP primary races. Adams is backing Eva Guzman, who served on the Houston-based 14th Court of Appeals before Rick Perry appointed her to fill the vacancy. Here are the first few paragraphs of the Caller-Times story:
CORPUS CHRISTI — Texas’ GOP chairwoman endorsed Texas Supreme Court candidate Eva Guzman over Corpus Christi 13th Court of Appeals Justice Rose Vela, despite a promise to remain neutral in primary races.
Cathie Adams was elected chairwoman by the state Republican Executive Committee in late October.
Shortly after, she told The Associated Press that her new job requires her to stay neutral in contested races to project party unity, even if candidates don’t hold her conservative views.
“I am going to be supportive of our Republican team, and I’m excited about every one of our candidates,” Adams told the AP.
Well, almost every one.
It is not too far-fetched to conclude that Rick Perry’s hand is behind Adams’ endorsement. In 2002, Perry appointed Xavier Rodriguez to the state’s highest court, only to have see him lose to Stephen Wayne Smith. That was an embarrassment that Perry does not want to suffer twice. Adams, like most of the Republican establishment, is totally in Perry’s corner and is willing to diminish her own stature as chairman in order to do the governor’s bidding.
I know nothing about Guzman beyond the official bio, but I do know something about Rose Vela, who has entered the race to replace Brister. She is the first Republican ever to win a seat on the 13th Court of Appeals (Corpus Christi). She switched parties in 2006 and defeated incumbent Democrat Fred Hinojosa in a breakthrough election that had reverberations throughout South Texas, signaling that Corpus Christi and points south were turning pink. Now Perry and Adams will be lining up Republican county chairs to defeat her. She deserves better.
Or maybe Vela is just too naive to serve on the Supreme Court. “Texans deserve a fair and impartial legal system that is representative of Texas,” she said in announcing her candidacy. “But most importantly, we need judges who will ensure that our courts follow the law and not try to rewrite it to satisfy their own personal agendas.” Yes, that’s what we need. But that’s not the kind of judges we have on the Texas Supreme Court.