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Taking the Field

Martinez Fischer made the biggest news on filing day.

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Yesterday was the filing deadline for candidates who want to compete in the March 1st Texas primary, and for those who plan to run as independents to file a statement of intent to that end.

The biggest news by the end of the day was that Trey Martinez Fischer, after eight terms in the House, will challenge Jose Menendez to a rematch for the state Senate. The two faced off earlier this year, after Leticia Van de Putte stepped down; the special election went to a runoff, where Menendez prevailed. At the time, Martinez Fischer argued that Menendez had been the beneficiary of Republican votes, which seemed plausible. Menendez had campaigned as a centrist, and though the district is left-leaning, the subsequent election of Ivy Taylor as mayor of San Antonio suggested to many Democrats that local Republican turnout efforts had been fairly successful. If Republicans support explains Menendez’ victory, that would bode well for Martinez Fischer’s prospects next year (Republicans presumably won’t vote in a Democratic primary with a hotly contested presidential race at the top of the GOP ballot). But neither candidate is a shoo-in; we can look forward to an unusually lively contest.

Regardless of who ultimately prevails, Martinez Fischer’s announcement was consequential. It means that he will no longer be in the Texas House, where he has proven himself a skillful player—and last session, in particular, a crucial one. The House is going to need a new TMF. I see several plausible contenders, but since that’s an unofficial office, none of them are subject to the filing deadline. Readers, many of you were no doubt keeping track of other filings. Please use the comments to discuss yesterday’s developments.

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  • WUSRPH

    Two very interesting races:

    The widow Madla against Sen. Uresti, the man who beat her late husband; and

    Former Sheriff Garcia as a “Hispanic” candidate against Congressman Gene Green.

    Two discouraging races:

    Wayne Christian for the RR Commission; and

    Rick Green for the Supreme Court (against Justice Green).

    How many stakes thru the heart and silver bullets does it take to get rid of those two?

    • Unwound

      that RR race is gonna be a wild one

    • Speaker Straus redistricted Wayne Christian out of his district because he opposed him, thats the stuff that dems do.
      I’ll support Christian in any way possible.
      Gene Green actually forced people to show a driver’s license to attend one of his town hall meetings. That is more than we asked of Tashfeen Malik upon entry to the US.

      • James Thompson

        Hey wonder boy: NO One is required to show or even have a driver’s license to enter the U.S. Were you aware of that, and acting like a troll, or weren’t aware of it and are an ignoramus?

        • Hay not so wonderboy…
          My point exactly dems say no to voter ID but to attend a democrat’s town hall meeting you need ID?
          I thinks thats called irony

          • James Thompson

            Nice try shifting away from your original point. You first wrote about entering the country without a driver’s license, now you are talking about voting, because you realized your first argument was completely ridiculous. Doesn’t it suck when someone points out your horrible errors in argumentation?

          • Indiana Pearl

            He had attention deficit disorder.

      • Vik Verma

        Certainly a gain here for East Texas to lose Wayne Christian

  • WUSRPH

    For background on two of the more interesting Democratic Primary races:

    U.S. Rep. Gene Green’s Harris County district was originally drawn for a Hispanic back in 1991…..but he defeated State Rep. Bennie Reyes and has held it ever since (actually, he had to beat him twice because Reyes got a court to order a second election). Green is not a flashy person so he isn’t in the media that much (other than for always being on the aisle when the president enters the US House Chamber). But he does more than outstanding constituent work. I would be surprised if Garcia can beat him. (Prior to going to Congress Green was a member of the Texas House and Senate. He was a printer by trade.) Garcia was the Harris County Sheriff before he resigned to run for mayor of Houston. When he began the race he was the favored candidate, but he wound up not making the run-off.

    Helen Madla, who is opposing State Sen. Carlos Uresti, is a San Antonio School Board member. Uresti defeated her late husband, Frank Madla, in a tough contest in 2006. Madla later was killed in a house fire ignited from some burring Xmas candles. Uresti was backed by the trail lawyers who objected to Madla’s votes on tort reform issues. Both Madla and Urseti had been members of the Texas House of Representatives before being elected to the Texas Senate.

    Uresti was recently the subject of a somewhat misleading video “expose” produced by the Phoenix Foundation and posted on this blog by the Troll. It is not clear whether the alleged moral issues it tried to raise will be used against him in this election.

    • Indiana Pearl

      “. . . was originally drawn for a Hispanic” . . . grabs my attention.

      • WUSRPH

        It means that the boundary lines were specifically chosen in order to concentrate as many Hispanic voters as possible in the expectation that the district would elect a Hispanic. Sort of “positive” gerrymandering. The same was done for Black districts in Houston and Dallas and for another Hispanic district in South Texas/Rio Grande Valley. It was part of a concentrated effort—-in compliance with federal Voting Rights Act—to increase minority representation to closer to their share of the population. All these districts, with the exception of the one Gene Green won, have been represented by minority group members ever since—even the two GOP controlled redistrictings of Congress since then had to leave them alone because of the VRA. Whether that will continue in the future depends on the outcome of the case the SCOTUS heard last week and whether it will be possible to continue to use the weakened VRA in the future to protect the interests of minority voters.

        • Indiana Pearl

          I understand the meaning, but question the concept.

          • Jed

            minority opportunity districts – or the relative paucity thereof – are the reason for the ongoing court battles over texas’s redistricting.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Time to go back to the drawing board on election procedures . . .

          • Jed

            yes, there are certainly better ways to get representatives that look like us.

            a lottery of all citizens, for example.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The voters are decidedly white in Texas . . .

          • Jed

            voters, yes. population, no.

          • Indiana Pearl

            So true. How to fix it is the question?

  • Did it upset dems when republicans and democrats supported Menendez?
    So much for reaching across the aisle/bi-partisan support. Dems won’t tolerate a moderate dem.

    • Vik Verma

      I guess you tolerate moderate Republicans

      • Unwound

        He’s been whining about Republicans electing Democrats (ie Straus) for years.

        • Vik Verma

          Yeah I know. That’s what makes his comment hilarious

      • There are no moderate dems none zip nada, but there are a plethora of moderate republicans.
        Because dems won’t tolerate them.
        Do I hafta explain everything…..

        • Vik Verma

          Well, if you get to make up the definitions, then you are always right

        • Unwound

          you hate moderate republicans like straus.