Michael Quinn Sullivan and the Republican Primaries

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Now that the filing deadline to be on the ballot in the 2014 election cycle is in the rear view mirror we can evaluate who's in, who's out, and who's out of control. It will be an interesting primary season, particularly for Republicans where 22 current Republican seats are being challenged from in their own Republican primary.

With the exceptions of Stefani Carter, who declared her candidacy for Railroad Commissioner and then backed out, and Sarah Davis – the one Republican nay vote on HB 2, the infamous abortion legislation, every single Republican woman who has a challenger is being challenged by a male: Susan King, Angie Chen Button, Myra Crownover, Diane Patrick, and Linda Harper Brown. Patricia Harless, Cindy Burkett, Stephanie Klick, Jodie Laubenburg, and Lois Kolkhorst are the only Republican women without primary opposition.

With all this faction in the Republican party, it is natural to think of Michael Quinn Sullivan, someone who has actively been attacking and changing the face of the Republican majority in the Legislature since 2006. With MQS's two Political Action Committees, Empower Texans and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, he has actively campaigned against and critiqued Republicans for not conforming to a very narrow set of report card like standards.

Click below the jump to read more about Michael Quinn Sullivan's ethics violations and what Republicans in the Texas Legislature have primary opposition.As I reported last week, Michael Quinn Sullivan's lawyer wrote a long commentary about how registering as a lobbyist is a limit to free speech. After this public display of shameless self righteousness, notable lawyer and long time lobbyist Steve Bresnen submitted deposition documents to Quorum Report, noting that MQS testified before a judge in San Antonio in October, yet he defiantly refused to testify in front of the Texas Ethics Commission the next month.

Bresnen released the deposition papers and a memo outlining the various ways MQS has broken the law. On MQS's failure to testify before the ethics commission he commented:

“One of several obvious reasons for Mike not to testify may be fear of a defendant's worst possible result: A charge of perjury if testimony under oath in his Bexar County suit contradicted his testimony to the Commission. Another obvious reason: If he testified to the Commission consistently with his Bexar County deposition, it would substantially support the allegations against him and Empower Texans being pursued by the Commission.”

Bresnen's memo can be found here:

The deposition can be seen here.

MQS's report card of Texas State Legislators can be seen here. Notice the names of Republicans who scored low on the report card yet curiously have well funded primary opponents.

One man who has apparently come out of this relatively unscathed so far is Representative Charlie Geren. Despite being one of the original legislators behind the ethics complaint, and carrying an ethics bill to the House floor despite a strange Senate and MQS objection, he has no primary opponent.

The sitting Republicans in the Texas Legislature with primary opposition are as follows:


George Lavendar  (HD 1)

Lance Gooden  (HD 4)

Matt Schaeffer  (HD 6)

Byron Cook  (HD 8)

Travis Clardy  (HD 11)

Kyle Kacal  (HD 12)

John Otto  (HD 18)

Ralph Sheffield  (HD 55)

J.D. Sheffield  (HD 59)

Jim Keffer  (HD 60)

Myra Crownover  (HD 64)

Susan King  (HD 71)

Drew Darby  (HD 72)

Charles Perry  (HD 83)

John Frullo  (HD 84)

Jonathan Stickland  (HD 92)

Diane Patrick  (HD 94)

Stefani Carter  (HD 102)

Linda Harper Brown  (HD 105)

Angie Chen Button  (HD 112)

Bennett Ratliff (HD 115)

Joe Straus  (HD 121)

Sarah Davis  (HD 134)

Debbie Riddle (HD 150)


Bob Deuell (SD 2)

John Carona (SD 16)

Joan Huffman (SD 17)

Donna Campbell (SD 25)

Kel Seliger (SD 31)


About Author

Chaille Jolink

Chaille Jolink was born and raised in Austin, Texas and has more than a decade of experience working in Texas politics. Her interest began when she was a Senate Messenger in 2003, and she's since worked for several different legislators and candidates. She started reporting in 2007 for GalleryWatch.com, and has been a contributor to several different publications. Chaille is a graduate of the University of Texas and enjoys fashion, baseball, and playing any team sport. Chaille tweets @ChailleMcCann.

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