TX Attorney General: Majority of Republican House Delegation Backs Branch; Smitherman Poll is Junk

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When he announced for Attorney General, State Sen. Ken Paxton (R) was eager to provide the media with a list of 23 sitting members of the Texas House who would be endorsing him in his primary election. Not to be outdone, State Rep. Dan Branch (R) released his own list of sitting Representatives who are endorsing him for Texas Attorney General in 2014.

The kicker is Dan Branch's list of supporters is more than twice the size of Sen. Paxton's with 53 supporters, over half of the Republican caucus.

Previously, it was noted Sen. Paxton's list of supporters read like a list of Tea Party Caucus members. Rep. Branch's list, however, resembles a list of establishment voices, including many of the more moderate members of the Republican Caucus. Among Rep. Branch's supporters are several committee chairmen including: John Davis, Charlie Geren, Todd Hunter, Lois Kolkhorst, Linda Harper-Brown, Jim Keffer, Jim Pitts, Larry Phillips, and Allan Ritter.

Additionally, like Sen. Paxton was able to pull the entire Collin County delegation, Rep. Branch pulled most of the Dallas County Republican delegation, the holdout being Stefani Carter, who is running for Railroad Commissioner, meaning she is unlikely to endorse. There remains 18 Republican Representatives who have not endorsed for Attorney General, including Speaker Joe Straus, Speaker Pro Tem Dennis Bonnen, Former Speaker Tom Carddick, and rabble-rauser David Simpson.

No member of the Texas Senate has publicly endorsed in the race for Attorney General at this time.

Click after the jump to see a complete list of Representatives who have endorsed in the race for Texas Attorney General, as well as those who are still up for grabs.Meanwhile, Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman (R) released a poll claiming he had the highest name ID among announced candidate for Texas Attorney General. However, there are many issues that call this poll's relevance into question. Among the list of problems; first, the poll was done in mid May, two months before Rep. Branch or Sen. Paxton declared; second, it uses a likely voter method more than nine months out, assuming it knows who will be voting; and third, the entire poll was not released so it is impossible to tell if any lead in questions were asked to influence the results. However, the general premise of this poll is silly. Since when has name ID been the deciding factor in who wins a high profile election? If name ID was the deciding factor, Democratic nominee Sam Houston would have won 2008's race for Texas Supreme Court, Place 7. Either way, Commissioner Smitherman is in last place when it come to money currently sitting in his bank account, and the gap between him and the other candidates seems likely to grow.

Endorsing Sen. Ken Paxton are the following Representatives:

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione

Rep. Tony Dale

Rep. Pat Fallon

Rep. Dan Flynn

Rep. James Frank

Rep. Craig Goldman

Rep. Bryan Hughes

Rep. Phil King

Rep. Stephanie Klick

Rep. Matt Krause

Rep. Jodie Laubenberg

Rep. Jeff Leach

Rep. Rick Miller

Rep. Charles Perry

Rep. Scott Sanford

Rep. Matt Schaefer

Rep. Ron Simmons

Rep. Jonathan Stickland

Rep. Van Taylor

Rep. Ed Thompson

Rep. Steve Toth

Rep. Scott Turner

Rep. Bill Zedler.

Endorsing Rep. Dan Branch are the following Representatives:

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock

Rep. Cecil Bell

Rep. Dwayne Bohac

Rep. Greg Bonnen

Rep. Cindy Burkett

Rep. Angie Chen Button

Rep. Bill Callegari

Rep. Travis Clardy

Rep. Byron Cook

Rep. Drew Darby

Rep. John Davis

Rep. Sarah Davis

Rep. Gary Elkins

Rep. Marsha Farney

Rep. Allen Fletcher

Rep. John Frullo

Rep. Charlie Geren

Rep. Lance Gooden

Rep. Patricia Harless

Rep. Linda Harper-Brown

Rep. Dan Huberty

Rep. Todd Hunter

Rep. Jason Isaac

Rep. Kyle Kacal

Rep. Jim Keffer

Rep. Ken King  

Rep. Susan King

Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst

Rep. John Kuempel

Rep. Lyle Larson

Rep. George Lavender

Rep. JM Lozano

Rep. Doug Miller

Rep. Jim Murphy

Rep. John Otto

Rep. Chris Paddie

Rep. Diane Patrick

Rep. Larry Phillips

Rep. Jim Pitts

Rep. Four Price

Rep. John Raney

Rep. Bennett Ratliff  

Rep. Debbie Riddle

Rep. Allan Ritter

Rep. Kenneth Sheets

Rep. J.D. Sheffield  

Rep. Ralph Sheffield

Rep. Wayne Smith

Rep. Phil Stephenson

Rep. Jason Villalba

Rep. Paul Workman

Rep. John Zerwas

No sitting Representative has endorsed Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman

The following Representatives have not endorsed for Texas Attorney General:

Speaker Joe Straus

Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson

Rep. Trent Ashby

Rep. Dennis Bonnen

Rep. Stefani Carter

Rep. Tom Craddick

Rep. Brandon Creighton

Rep. Myra Crownover

Rep. Larry Gonzales

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran

Rep. Tryon Lewis

Rep. Geanie Morrison

Rep. Rob Orr

Rep. Tan Parker

Rep. David Simpson

Rep. John Smithee

Rep. Drew Springer

Rep. James White

It is unlikely Speaker Straus, Rep. Carter, and any other Representatives who decides to run for a statewide office in 2014 will endorse in the race for Texas Attorney General.

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About Author

Joseph Vogas

Joseph was raised in Friendswood, Texas in North Galveston County. He went on to graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After working for multiple campaigns, Joseph was able to work in the 83rd legislature in Austin in 2013. While retired from professional campaign work, Joseph enjoys sharing his knowledge of campaign data how to win elections in naturally unfriendly turf with others. Joseph is an avid archer and enjoys all things geek including Star Wars and DC Comics.

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