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BOR Endorsements

Burnt Orange Report Endorses Darlene Ewing for Dallas County Democratic Party Chair


by: Burnt Orange Report

Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:30 PM CST

Darlene Ewing has a proven record of success electing Democrats in Dallas County. We enthusiastically endorse her for re-election as chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party.

Darlene Ewing has been chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party since 2005. Under her leadership, the county party has become organized, focused, and seen remarkable electoral success. As the Dallas Morning News pointed out, "Since she took office in 2005, Democrats have taken control of Dallas County politics and have not lost a contested countywide race to Republicans." Her efforts have broadened and strengthened the Democratic base in Dallas County, building critical infrastructure for long-term Democratic success.

Her opponent, First Assistant to the Dallas County District Attorney Heath Harris, has argued that low primary turnout is reason enough for voters to pick him. However, we do not see this as a compelling enough reason for Dallas County voters to abandon Ewing's proven record of general election success.

In her time as Dallas County Democratic Party Chair, Darlene Ewing has turned the county party into a force to be reckoned with, establishing a strong Democratic presence in Dallas. We enthusiastically endorse her for re-election, and we urge you to support her campaign.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Steven Kirkland for Harris County 113th District Court Judge


by: Burnt Orange Report

Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 06:00 PM CST

Judge Steven Kirkland is has a proven legal record and is the most qualified candidate for District Court Judge. We unanimously and enthusiastically endorse him for 113th District Court Judge.

Judge Steven Kirkland is the clear choice to serve as 113th District Court Judge. He previously served as Municipal Judge for the City of Houston from 2001-2008, and then as the 215th District Court Judge from 2008-2012. This proven record makes him the best qualified to serve the 113th District.

In 2012, Kirkland was the only incumbent judge who faced a primary challenger, and he lost. He was subject to a smear campaign that targeted him for being gay and accused him of being an alcoholic. This year, Harris County voters have the opportunity to right this wrong and return a dedicated public servant to the bench.

Steven Kirkland is a dedicated legal advocate who is best qualified to serve Harris County. We unanimously endorse him for 113th District Court Judge.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Erika Beltran in SBOE District 13


by: Burnt Orange Report

Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 03:00 PM CST

Erika Beltran is a promising young leader with a strong background in education policy. We unanimously and enthusiastically endorse her for election in State Board of Education District 13.

SBOE District 13 is an open seat this year after current board member Mavis Knight announced she will not seek a fifth term. Of the three candidates running to replace her, only one has the expertise and dedication to continue to be a leader on the State Board of Education--that candidate is Erika Beltran.

Beltran is a former teacher with an inspiring story and a history of activism on education policy. She is the daughter of non-English speaking immigrant parents who overcame many challenges to build a successful career as an educator and advocate. Beltran is currently the director of the Dallas-based nonprofit Teaching Trust, which works on leadership development for teachers. Last year, she led a group of educators to the Capitol to testify on HB 5, the bill that reduced the required number of end-of-term tests for students. Her knowledge of policy issues and her experience as both a teacher and an advocate make her the clear choice to represent SBOE District 13.

Beltran's opponents are Dallas ISD administrator Andrea Hilburn and teacher A. Denise Russell. Both the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have pointed out that Andrea Hilburn seems not to know much about many current education policy issues, such as HB 5 and the CSCOPE curriculum. Russell, on the other hand, has a great deal of experience as a teacher, but lacks Beltran's level of policy knowledge.

The winner of the Democratic primary in SBOE District 13 will face no Republican opposition in November.

Erika Beltran is a dedicated advocate whose passion and expertise give her the potential to make a tremendous impact on public education. We unanimously endorse her for election in SBOE District 13, and urge you to support her campaign.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Herb Evans for Travis County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5


by: Burnt Orange Report

Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 05:00 PM CST

Burnt Orange Report enthusiastically and unanimously endorses Herb Evans for Justice of the Peace Precinct 5.

Evans is a hard-working public servant who voters would be wise to return to the court. He capably executes the office of Justice of the Peace, which handles small civil claims and minor criminal misdeeds. It is the branch of county government that citizens are most likely to interface with, and we believe that his experienced hand is best suited to continue in this role.

Evans is a familiar face to Democratic activists in Travis County, owing to his tireless work to deputize voter registrars. We support him over his opponent, who appears to be using his campaign to advocate for federal and legislative law changes that are vastly beyond the purview of a justice of the peace.

Voters should re-elect Herb Evans to JP-5.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Travis County voting locations can be found HERE.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Ramey Ko for Travis County Treasurer


by: Burnt Orange Report

Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 03:00 PM CST

County Treasurer is an obscure office, and if it cannot be reformed to advance progressive goals, it should be eliminated. Burnt Orange Report endorses Ramey Ko as the ideal candidate to accomplish this.

The county treasurer is the chief custodian of all county funds. The treasurer disburses county funds as directed by the commissioners court and can act as the chief liaison between the county and all depository banks. In this day and age -- and especially here in Travis County -- the position has become all-but-invisible. Several counties have already eliminated their office of County Treasurer. An automatic check-signing machine handles the bulk of the labor in this position.

Travis County deserves a County Treasurer who will look for the ability to innovate the office and see if it can be used proactively to advance progressive goals. If not, we advocate for the Treasurer to go to the Legislature and seek elimination of the office.

Ramey Ko is the best candidate to accomplish these goals -- both in terms of modernizing the office and potentially eliminating it. He has a long history of community activism here in Central Texas, and is part of a national network of young Asian-American leaders. He will bring vigorous energy to the position of County Treasurer and offers Travis County voters the best option to revitalize the office, or if that cannot be done, to eliminate it.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Travis County voting locations can be found HERE.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Sarah Eckhardt for Travis County Judge


by: Burnt Orange Report

Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 02:00 PM CST

Burnt Orange Report enthusiastically endorses Sarah Eckhardt for Travis County Judge, owing to her public service experience and knowledge of how to put progressive policy ideas into practice.

The race for Travis County Judge has seen more activity this cycle than it has in 16 years. That's because two local, relatively high-profile Democrats are vying to replace the retiring Sam Biscoe, and the race has taken on an engaging dynamic. The experienced former Precinct 2 County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt faces Andy Brown, a well-connected Democratic political strategist with a penchant for campaigning. His campaign has many high-profile endorsements from elected officials and Democratic clubs across the county. There's no doubt about it: he's got the appearance of a rising star.

Don't let it distract you; of the two, Sarah Eckhardt would make the far better Travis County Judge. This is the office of the lone county-wide elected official who sets the agenda for the county's executive board of commissioners.

While serving as county commissioner, Eckhardt improved the salaries of those working on county contracts while writing new policy for awarding tax rebates to businesses that begin operating in Travis County. She has expanded the homestead exemption for Travis County seniors and the disabled to $70,000 without placing an unsustainable burden on the rest of the community.

In its recent endorsement of Eckhardt, the Austin American-Statesman wrote that Eckhardt "did her homework and has accurately been described as a policy wonk" both as commissioner and as candidate. Her grasp of Travis County's needs has shown through in her campaign, as she routinely impresses at forums when discussing ways the county can address transportation, water needs, and the need for economic stimulation in disadvantaged areas. Brown, on the other hand, often appears at a loss. While some of his ideas are good ones, he hasn't backed them up with plans for execution -- something almost anyone paying attention to the race will tell you.

Travis County and the Central Texas region are rapidly growing. This presents serious governing challenges. Residents deserve a county leader whose priority and passion is finding policy solutions so that Travis County moves forward adeptly.

That leader is Sarah Eckhardt.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Travis County voting locations can be found HERE.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Margaret Gomez for Travis County Commissioner Precinct 4


by: Burnt Orange Report

Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 00:00 PM CST

Burnt Orange Report endorses Margaret Gomez for re-election as County Commissioner, Precinct 4.

Travis County voters don't have much of a choice in Precinct 4, and have no real option but to re-elect the incumbent over Del Valle ISD trustee Darla Wegner. Wegner has failed to mount much of a campaign against the incumbent, nor has she advocated much of a reason to change representation. It is unclear what she would do if elected, and has given us no reason to support her.

Gomez's support for a tens of millions of dollars to be spent on a driveway for the Formula 1 race track while communities struggle for basic access to water is troubling.

In 2010, we offered no endorsement in Precinct 4, hoping at the time to have two strong candidates to choose from in 2014. Unfortunately that has not come to pass. Meanwhile, Precinct 4 remains home to tremendous numbers of disadvantaged residents that deserve a stronger, more passionate advocate for their needs.  

Voters must choose, and so must we, so we endorse a vote for Margaret Gomez, and hope to have the privilege of considering more exciting candidates in 2018.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Travis County voting locations can be found HERE.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Marco Montoya in CD-25


by: Burnt Orange Report

Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 05:00 PM CST

Marco Montoya is working hard in his campaign for Congressional District 25. We unanimously endorse him in the Democratic primary.

It is a good sign of enthusiasm among Democratic voters that two individuals have stepped up to challenge Republican incumbent Roger Williams in CD-25. The gerrymandered monstrosity runs from Hays County to Tarrant County, and was drawn by the Republican legislature to send former Secretary of State Roger Williams to Congress, where he has done... well... not much.

Williams has primarily advocated for the defunding and repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Otherwise his main accomplishment seems to be the creation of the Congressional Baseball Caucus. We like baseball as much as the next group of Astros fans, but Texas deserves better representation.

Montoya is a veteran and has lengthy experience working in federal government. He also has a strong background in education and understands the challenges that other immigrants face in trying to make a better life in America. He is also a strong, spirited campaigner with an enthusiasm that belies his age.

Owing to his experience and energy, Montoya is the best choice to give Roger Williams heck on the campaign trail this fall.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Eddie Bernice Johnson in CD-30


by: Burnt Orange Report

Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 04:00 PM CST

While we are no major fans of Eddie Bernice Johnson, we narrowly endorse her for re-election rather than offer no endorsement.

We do not believe her challenger, former State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway offers a compelling alternative. Since voters must make a choice, so shall we.

Johnson has long been at the center of an ethical cloud regarding scholarships she awarded to family members. She earned a Dishonorable Mention on the non-partisan ethics group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's "Most Corrupt Report."

We hope that Johnson considers retirement such that her constituents may elect a member of Congress that represents all of their needs.  


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorses Marc Veasey in CD-33


by: Burnt Orange Report

Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 03:00 PM CST

Marc Veasey is a progressive champion. We enthusiastically and unanimously endorse him in CD-33.

Veasey, a former legislator who was elected to Congress in 2012 after escaping a crowded primary and contentious run-off, has proven himself a staunch supporter of Democratic ideals and an effective leader with a commitment to constituent services.

District 33, which bridges Dallas and Tarrant counties, faces high poverty, low educational attainment, and less-than-desirable health outcomes for many residents. Veasey has been a tireless champion of these issues. He took the SNAP challenge, brought an undocumented immigrant to the State of the Union to address the need for comprehensive reform, and has led the charge in our courts against the Republicans' photo ID voter suppression scheme.

Marc Veasey is a tireless champion of progressive causes, a fearless Democrat, and by far the best choice for voters in CD-33, who could hardly ask for a better advocate for their many needs in Congress. We urge you to endorse and support him in this Democratic primary.


Early Voting: February 18-February 28, 2014 | Election Day: Tuesday March 4
Photo Voter ID is required to vote. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of ID.

Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff with any conflict of interest in a given race abstain from voting on that race.

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