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Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 00:00 PM CST
Traditional newspapers often offer endorsements of candidates their editorial boards prefer before a contested election is held. Now, on the second day of early voting for our primary election, several Texas papers have decided to make their voices heard. Newspapers that have issued endorsements for statewide elections include The Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Austin American-Statesman, The San Antonio Express-News, The Beaumont Enterprise, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The El Paso Times chose not to issue any endorsements for statewide races in this year's primary. To date, The McAllen Monitor has issued no endorsements of any kind for this election.
Texas newspaper endorsements, when compiled as a whole, can be a useful voters guide
Regretfully, this roundup will be incomplete. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times has made their endorsements, but their article is behind a paywall and the information is privatized. With the exception of Lieutenant Governor, I will not be reporting on their preferences. Additionally, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal appear satisfied with their current list recommendations and will not endorse in every statewide race. In the case of The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, their primary recommendations appear biased against voicing their opinion in contested Democratic primaries where they omitted three of the the four Democratic races while only omitting one contested Republican primary. Lastly, the Austin American-Statesman is still issuing endorsements even though voting has begun. The Statesman has only endorsed in four of the twelve non-judicial statewide primaries to date.
After the jump, I will break down who leads in the Texas newspaper endorsements.
|US Senate (R)
John Cornyn ran the table in the endorsement race against his primary challengers. All papers agreed, Cornyn is the only credible Republican running for the office of US Senate. The Austin American Statesman has not endorsed in this race.
US Senate (D)
The race for the Democratic nomination for US Senate is much more contentious than is the case for the Republicans. Of the seven papers publicly endorsing, David Alameel leads with four endorsements compared to Maxey Scherr's two. Of these endorsements, many are not glowing for either candidate. Both the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Dallas Morning News were not impressed with any candidate running, but chose Alameel because they felt he would force Sen. Cornyn to campaign and earn his potential re-election this year. Meanwhile, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal endorsed Ms. Scherr because she was most similar to a generic liberal rather than someone who's individuality impressed them. The Austin American-Statesman has not endorsed in this race.
Attorney General Abbott is ready to make his nomination official. He has received five endorsements to date while his hapless primary opponents have collected none. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal have not endorsed in this race.
Sen. Wendy Davis is also ready to be nominated for Governor. She has also collected all five endorsements that have been issued to date. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal have not endorsed in this race.
Lieutenant Governor (R)
Incumbent David Dewhurst has retained his support among the establishment; Dewhurst has collected five of the eight endorsements to date; a majority, barely. Meanwhile, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has collected endorsements from Beaumont and Dallas while Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has collected the only endorsement I can report from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. State Senator Dan Patrick has no endorsements; in fact, the Houston Chronicle originally issued an editorial pleading with voters to choose any candidate not named Dan Patrick.
Attorney General (R)
State Rep. Dan Branch leads in the fundraising and he leads in newspaper endorsements. With five endorsements to date, the not-crazy-extreme-but-still-very-conservative Republican has a clear majority of Texas papers backing him. Surprisingly, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal decided to back Barry Smitherman, head of the Texas Railroad Commission. State Senator Ken Paxton has earned no editorial endorsements to date. The Austin-America Statesman has not endorsed in this race.
The Republican State Senators running statewide finally get an endorsement: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Glenn Hegar for Comptroller, making that the only endorsement a Republican Texas Senator who is running for higher office has received this primary cycle. Meanwhile, State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran received the other five endorsements issued to date. The main reason the newspapers are breaking for Rep. Hilderbran can be found in the editorial from the Houston Chronicle, stating he seems interested in the office his running for and is not using the office of Comptroller to run for an even higher office in the future. Meanwhile, no papers endorsed Debra Medina or Raul Torres. The Austin American-Statesman has not endorsed in this race.
Land Commissioner (R)
It is unsurprising the well-financed George P. Bush leads in endorsements in the race for Texas Land Commissioner, but it is surprising he did not sweep the endorsements. The Austin American-Statesman endorsed Bush's opponent David Watts, stating they found both candidates to be "weak."
Agriculture Commissioner (R)
Former State Representatives Tommy Merritt and Sid Miller as well as Joe Cotten have struck out when it comes to editorial endorsements. Instead, former Texas Republican Party Executive Director and rancher Eric Opiela and Uvalde Mayor and farmer J. Allen Carnes are splitting the endorsements from Texas papers. The Austin American-Statesman and Fort Worth Star-Telegram have not endorsed in this race.
Agriculture Commissioner (D)
Only four papers have endorsed in this race, but it is a clean sweep for rancher and water-conservationist Hugh Fitzsimons. No paper found humorist Kinky Friedman to be a serious candidate and many could not get a hold of Jim Hogan. The Austin American-Statesman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal have not endorsed in this race.
Railroad Commissioner (R)
For Texas Railroad Commissioner, venture capitalist Malachi Boyuls and oilfield engineer Ryan Sitton have impressed the editorial boards with two and three endorsements each. Neither has been elected to public office before, unlike their fellow candidate Wayne Christian, a former Texas Representative. Christian and geologist Becky Berger have earned no editorial endorsements to date. The Austin American-Statesman and Fort Worth Star-Telegram have not endorsed in this race.
Railroad Commissioner (D)
Former Fort Bend County Chair Steve Brown has swept the endorsements from Texas papers over former nominee Dale Henry. The Austin American-Statesman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal have not endorsed in this race.
You can review all the candidates running statewide in Texas in our Burnt Orange Report Statewide Candidate Tracker.
You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.
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