TX-Sen: Rick Noriega Blasts Cornyn, Endorses/Promotes Bill White

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Former U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega laid out an attack on Cornyn while endorsing/promoting Bill White in a Facebook note this morning:

Our elected members of Congress are once again making us look bad in Washington D.C. From ThinkProgress, via TPMDC, we learn that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) called Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) out during a markup session in the Finance Committee.

ROCKEFELLER: This is a very very important amendment, and it’s a very very bad amendment. If there’s anything which is clear, it’s that the insurance industry is not running this markup, but it is running certain people in this markup. […]

CORNYN: With all due respect, senator, I don’t know what amendment you’re referring to —

ROCKEFELLER: I’m referring to yours.

CORNYN: — you’re certainly not referring to my amendment


You’ve got to see it to believe it:

Surely there’s someone in this state who will go to Washington and represent us, instead of the corporations and lobbyists. Oh yeah, there is. [link goes to Bill White's home page]

Perhaps I've missed it, but I think this is the first indication Noriega has given anyone on whom he supports for the Texas Senate. Interesting development on a Friday morning.

White's been raising his stature, as of late. In addition to making the rounds in East Texas — getting good press from smaller local papers like the Cherokeean Herald, the Chandler & Brownsboro Statesman, and the Ceder Creek Pilot — he was recently attacked (for a second time) by the National Republican Senate Committee in a post the Houston Chronicle titled, “National GOP targets Bill White.” White, to his credit, goes after Republicans quite consistently — which is welcome to see in a statewide candidate. Perhaps that's why the NRSC is focusing on him…or they just see him as the bigger force to confront.

To recap Bill White's month of September:

  • Endorsement from 34 State House Representatives
  • Endorsement from Rick Noriega
  • The NRSC is attacking him
  • John Sharp is attacking him
  • A 300+ person event at The Belmont here in Austin (compared with what I was told was about a 25 person event for John Sharp at the same venue)

It's a good month, especially for a race whose election date is still ucnertain.

According to the Austin Chronicle, John Sharp is planning on the election happening soon:

Sharp's strategy is pretty clear: If Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison stands down and there's a special election, it could be in as little as 37 days. As he noted, that means early voting could start in 11 days…

He argued that he has better name recognition, and that will translate into votes at the state level faster than it could for “some regional candidate” (naming no names).

That strategy seems flawed, especially since Senator Hutchison has declared that she won't resign from D.C. until after the health care voting is done, which — as we can all tell — isn't going to happen immediately. As for the “some regional candidate” line…

You're either punching up or you're punching down in politics. It's always better to punch up — which may explain why John Sharp is attacking Bill White while Bill White is attacking Republicans.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. A CSPAN video clip
    revealing Cornyn is a true pawn for insurance is contained in the link below.   It is simply amazing.  Thanks goodness for others in the Senate who will call out Cornyn for his pandering.


    Unfortunately I could not locate the embed code to upload the video.    

  2. Bill White Campaign
    I completely understand your “punching up, punching down arguement,” however I completely disagree with Bill White's campaign strategy. In the last quarter Bill White's burn rate was about $620,000. That's completely ridiculous for an election that technically doesn't even exist yet. Bill White is doing an excellent job raising money, but the problem is that he's already spending all of it. His antics are typical of someone that has never run statewide before. His biggest problem is that when this election is actually called, and there are 37 days to campaign, he will have no money, while Sharp will be sitting on a couple million dollars. Also, it doesn't help that the majority of the people that typically vote in any special election are associated with the older age demographic, the one definite area where John Sharp holds a significant advantage over Bill White. If only all of these young progressives were the ones who actually voted in special elections..

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