Legislative Updates

Each week during Texas legislative sessions, TDCAA recaps the most important news and events. Look to this page for current and past issues of TDCAA’s Legislative Updates.

For information concerning legislation filed during the 86th Regular Session or any other past session, visit the state legislature’s web site. For all other legislative inquiries, e-mail Shannon Edmonds, Director of Governmental Relations, or call him at (512) 474-2436.

Updates

Primary Election Recap: March 2020

March 5, 2020

(Updated March 6, 2020 – corrections and additions marked by *)

As a courtesy to our members who may not have access to local election results throughout the state, we thought we would send out this special update focusing on prosecutor-related elections. This is information that we have obtained from a variety of sources (internet news, personal reports, carrier pigeon delivery, etc.), but we reserve the right to make mistakes based upon the secondhand nature of the information we have received.

National Super Tuesday recap

As usual, the 24-hour cable news cycle is going bonkers over the presidential race (with an assist from social media). As near as we can tell, despite the best efforts (and coffers) of a grey-haired 78-year-old billionaire ex-mayor, the “blue” race is boiling down to a battle between a 79-year-old senator vs. a 78-year-old former senator, and the third (now ex-)candidate who could swing the nomination in either direction is another 71-year-old senator, all of whom hail from a part of the country’s geography that could fit inside the borders of Texas with room to spare. Meanwhile, the victor gets to take on the sitting 73-year-old president from that same part of the country in what has the potential to become what one Austin-based social media pundit has christened “Malapropapalooza.” Is this a great country, or what?

Elsewhere, every incumbent member of Congress who was challenged in a primary survived (as usual). People may claim to hate Congress, but they sure seem to like *their* representative, don’t they?

Statewide recap

In the high court races, one Court of Criminal Appeals judge (Bert Richardson, R-San Antonio) was primaried thanks to an interesting back story—what would politics be without revenge?—but he prevailed. No other CCA judges or Texas Supreme Court justices faced primary opposition. Interestingly, though, every contested Democratic primary for a seat on either court was won by a woman—a trend also observed in many local courthouses.

In the state legislature, several incumbents faced primary challenges and while none lost outright, a few were put to a run-off. Those legislators still fighting to maintain their seats in May are: State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) and State Reps. Dan Flynn (R-Van), J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville), Harold Dutton (D-Houston), Lorraine Birabil (D-Dallas), and Anna Eastman (D-Houston). (The latter two recently won special elections to fill unexpired terms but the struggle continues.) Overall, though, the big fight in the state legislature will happen in November, when Democrats try to pick up enough seats to take over the state House (and perhaps pick the next speaker) and gain ground in the state Senate.

Local prosecutor races

We’ll share the details below, but the overall results (pending corrections of our data) include:

  • Of the approximately 330 offices on the ballot this cycle, 30* sitting prosecutors faced primary opponents; 12 of them were defeated, and two are in May run-offs.
  • Four open-seat primaries are still to be resolved via May run-offs, with two of those winners also facing general election opponents in November.
  • As of now, we know of at least 24 new county attorneys or district attorneys who will take office in January (including three former elected prosecutors and seven assistant prosecutors), with several more races to be decided in May run-offs or November’s general election.

District Attorney races

The following are results for contested felony prosecutor primary races, with incumbents in bold and retiring prosecutors listed after their office. (To conserve space, this list does not include uncontested races, even if there is a contested race in November’s general election.)

29th DA (Palo Pinto County) (R)*: Kriste Burnett defeated Kristina Massey; no D opponent.

34th DA (El Paso/Hudspeth/Culberson Counties, Jaime Esparza) (D): Asst. DA James Montoya will face Yvonne Rosales in a run-off; the winner will be unopposed in November.

53rd DA (Travis County) (D): Margaret Moore is in a run-off with Jose Garza, co-executive director of the Workers’ Defense Project; winner faces Martin Harry (R) in November.

63rd DA (Val Verde/Kinney/Terrell) (R): Michael Bagley lost to Del Rio City Attorney Suzanne West; no November opponent.

69th DA (Dallam/Hartley/Moore/Sherman Counties, David Green) (R): 84th ADA Erin Lands won the primary; no D opponent.

79th DA (Brooks/Jim Wells Counties) (D): Carlos Omar Garcia won re-election; no November opponent.

83rd DA (Pecos/Brewster/Jeff Davis/Presidio Counties) (R): Sandy Wilson lost to former Pecos CA Ori White; no opponent in November.

97th DA (Archer/Clay/Montague Counties) (R): Casey Polhemus won re-election; no D candidate.

100th DA (Collingsworth/Carson/Childress/Donley/Hall Counties) (R): Luke Inman won re-election; no D candidate.

105th DA (Nueces County) (R): 79th ADA Jon West defeated San Patricio ACA James Gardner; will face Mark Gonzalez (D) in November.

123rd DA (Shelby County) (R): Former 123rd DA Karren Price defeated Stephen Shires; no D candidate.

142nd DA (Midland County) (R): Laura Nodolf won re-election; no D opponent.

145th DA (Nacogdoches County, Nicole Lostracco) (R): ADA Andrew Jones defeated Rey Morin; no D opponent.

229th DA (Starr/Duval/Jim Hogg Counties) (D): Gocha Ramirez defeated Omar Escobar; no Republican opposition in November.

253rd DA (Liberty County) (R): Cleveland (TX) city councilmember Jennifer Bergman defeated Logan Pickett; no November opponent.

286th DA (Cochran/Hockley County) (R): Angela Overman won re-election; no D opponent.

293rd DA (Maverick/Dimmit/Zavala Counties) (D): Bobby Serna prevailed over former ADA Alberto Rodriguez by a razor-thin margin; there is no R opponent.

329th DA (Wharton County) (R): Dawn Allison won re-election; no opponent in November.

369th DA (Leon County, Hope Knight) (R): Leon CA James Caleb Henson defeated former DA Whitney Smith; no D opponent.

Harris County DA (D): Kim Ogg defeated three opponents without a run-off and will face Mary Huffman (R) (who defeated two opponents) in November.

Navarro County CDA (R): Former 1st Asst. CDA Will Thompson defeated appointee Will Dixon to fill an unexpired term; no D opponent.

Wood County CDA (R): Appointee Angela Albers defeated 8th ADA Jodi Cox to fill an unexpired term; no D opponent.

Aransas County & District Attorney (C&DA) (R): Kleberg & Kenedy Counties ADA Amanda Oster defeated Kristen Barnebey; no D opponent.

Ellis C&DA (Patrick Wilson) (R): 1st Asst. C&DA Ann Montgomery defeated Julissa Martinez; no D opponent.

Lavaca C&DA (Stuart Fryer) (R): Asst. C&DA Kyle Denney defeated Jim Reeves; no D opponent.

Milam C&DA (R): Bill Torrey defeated Cameron Police Chief Lonnie Gosch; no D opponent.

Willacy C&DA (D): Annette Hinojosa is in a run-off with former C&DA Bernard Ammerman (another former C&DA, Juan Angel Guerra, finished third); no R opponent.

County Attorney races

Brazos County (Rod Anderson) (R): Earl Gray defeated ACA Eric Quisenberry; will face Freddie Medina (D) in November.

Coleman County (Joe Rose) (R): Hayden Wise defeated Sara LeMoine Knox; no D opponent.

Dallam County (R): Whitney Hill defeated Jon King; no D opponent.

Fort Bend County (Roy Cordes) (D): DFPS attorney Bridgette Smith-Lawson and Sonia Rash are in a run-off; the winner will face Steve Rogers (R) in November.

Hansford County (R): Cheryl Nelson defeated Wil McCloy; no D opponent.

Harris County (D): Christian Menefee defeated Vince Ryan; will face John Nation (R) in November.

Hood County (R): Matt Mills defeated Stuart Neal; no D opponent.

Hunt County (Joel Littlefield) (R): Scott Cornuaud and 1st Asst. DA Calvin Grogan will face off in a run-off; no D opponent.

Llano County (Becky Lange) (R): Dwain Rogers defeated 33rd & 424th ADA Camille Reasor; no D opponent.

Maverick County (D): Former appointed CA Jaime “A.J.” Iracheta defeated current appointee Gloria Hernandez; no R opponent.

Midland County (R): Russell Malm defeated ADA Rebecca Patterson Linehan; no D opponent.

Nueces County (Laura Garza Jimenez) (D): Rene Flores defeated Carlos Vela; will face ADA Jenny Dorsey (R) in November.

Palo Pinto County (R)*: Appointee Maegan Kostiha defeated Cynthia Ince; no D opponent.

Reagan County (R): Michele Dodd defeated Chad Elkins; no D opponent.

Travis County (David Escamilla) (D): ACA Laurie Eiserloh and Austin City Councilmember Delia Garza are in a run-off; no R opponent.

Trinity County (R): Anderson Asst. CDA Colton Hay defeated Joe Warner Bell and Jim Squyres; no D opponent.

Wheeler County (R): TDCAA Board member Leslie Standerfer defeated Misty Walker; no D opponent.

Again, we have cobbled together this information from a variety of sources but we can’t always guarantee its accuracy, so if you have a correction or addition to share with us, please send it to [email protected]. Thanks!

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