Texas Senate District 28, above
In May, Sen. Robert Duncan announced he would resign from the Texas Senate to take over as the new Chancellor of Texas Tech. Sen. Duncan followed through with his resignation in early July officially triggering the special election. Friday, August 1 was the deadline to file for the special election and the candidate list became official via Texas’ Secretary of State office on Thursday afternoon.
The final candidate list shows six filed for the special election, including four Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian.
These six candidates will face each other in a jungle primary on September 9. Should no candidate receive over 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be held at a future date between the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation.
Charles Perry, who is currently serving his second term in the Texas House, is considered by many to be the front runner to succeed Sen. Duncan. Perry had already filed for re-election and won his contested primary before Sen. Duncan announced his resignation. Perry may choose to resign from the House to focus on the Senate special election, but he may continue to run for re-election to the House if he chooses. His recent elections have given Perry a financial head start and built-in name recognition. Perry also has a record of being an extremely conservative legislator. Young Conservatives of Texas endorsed Rep. Perry on Monday citing his support for zero-based budgeting for state funded agencies authoring several amendments to prevent legislators from accessing the Rainey Day Fund.
Former Rep. Delwin Jones, Republican
Delwin Jones left the Texas House in 2010, however he did not leave of his own choosing. He lost renomination in 2010 to the TEA Party fueled Charles Perry. Now, at age 90, Jones is attempting to return to the Texas legislature via the Senate special election. Jones lost also lost, this time badly, to Perry in the 2012 Republican primary. In fact, Jones a third time back in 1972 in the Democratic primary to eventual Speaker Pete Laney.
Jodey Arrington, Republican
Arrington has never run for office before but he has been involved in the political process for a long time. In 1996, Arrington worked for George W. Bush in the Governor’s office and followed Bush to Washington after the 2000 election. Arrington worked inside the White House and served as the chief of staff for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In 2007, Arrington returned to Texas and served at the Chief of Staff for the Texas Tech University System. Arrington later became the Vice Chancellor of Texas Tech. Arrington stands a good chance of being a strong competitor because of his financial ties to Washington and the Texas Tech family.
Greg Wortham, Democrat
Wortham was the Mayor of Sweetwater, Texas until he opted to run for the Texas Senate. State law forces municipal officials to step down if seeking state office. Wortham is known for pushing wind energy development through the panhandle, a practical solution to create a vibrant economy across the wide open plains and desert. As an energy executive with a record as a small town mayor, Wortham may sound like a candidate ready to win the district, but his partisan affiliation may be too big of an obstacle. President Obama received 25.0% of the vote in District 28 in 2012. Wortham may be able to make the runoff if his opponents split the conservative vote.
E.M. Garza, Republican
While Garza has run as a Republican in the past, and several media outlets list him as one, and he clearly identifies as conservative, the Secretary of State office does not list a party affiliation for Garza. This may be an oversight on their part, or he may have filed without party affiliation. Garza challenged Duncan in the Republican primary in 2012. Garza could best be described as a “some dude.”
Kerry Douglas McKennon, Libertarian
McKennon is running as the Libertarian nominee in both the Senate District 28 special election and in the regular election for House District 88.
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