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ben bius

Ogden files for reelection; Bius to stay in race

Dec 3, 2009 By Paul Burka

I wonder if this is going to be a repeat of the 1980 race, when Brazos County had a powerful state senator who was defeated by an upstart. Bill Moore, known as “The Bull of the Brazos,” was up for reelection that year. Moore was one of the most powerful…

Gattis out, Ogden in

Nov 30, 2009 By Paul Burka

An amazing development. Gattis has spoken openly of his desire to be president of the United States some day. Now he is out of politics, not even running for reelection to the House. It's a double whammy, a talented member gone and the dreadful Milton Rister as a possible successor. This is more fallout from Hutchison's decision not to resign her Senate seat. It is safe to conclude that Ogden would not run for the Senate again if he were not confident of retaining the chairmanship of Senate Finance. He can have that confidence only he knows that Dewhurst will remain as lite gov and not run for Hutchison's seat if and when she were to resign. Indeed, the purveyors of the conventional wisdom around the Capitol believe that she will serve out her term to the bitter end, December 31, 2012. So why did Gattis decide to drop out? This is one case when the "need to earn a living" and "spend more time with my family" is for real. Gattis was telling colleagues that the campaign had hurt his law practice. The district is huge, going all the way into upper East Texas. Gattis had a very active opponent in Ben Bius, of Walker County (Huntsville). The Bius camp contends that the real reason Gattis dropped out was that the race was not going well for him, that they had knocked on 15,000 doors in Williamson County, that they had been running radio spots for several weeks, that Gattis was having trouble raising money from business interests that didn't like his support for legislation backed by trial lawyers. They were getting ready to send out a mailer slamming Gattis for offering what they claim is a state "public option" for health insurance, HB 2470, which established the Texas Mutual Health Benefit Plan Company. The company's board of directors would be comprised of the Executive Director of the Employees Retirement System (ERS), the Executive Director of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS), and seven members appointed by the Governor. The Executive Directors of ERS and TRS would be co-presiding officers of the board.

The Gattis-Bius race and TLR

Oct 23, 2009 By Paul Burka

The conventional wisdom is that Gattis is a heavy favorite in this Senate race, and I have to agree. He comes from the biggest county in the district, and he has been running hard for some time, especially in Brazos County, the second largest county. Still, I have heard an…