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BOR Elections Weekly Round Up, September 12 - 22: Sen. Davis Sets a Date, Rep. Lewis Retires

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

Welcome to our first weekly round up of election news in the state of Texas! It has been a big week, with the launch of our candidate trackers. Burnt Orange Report is currently watching 223 of the partisan races that will appear on the November 2014 general election ballots throughout the state of Texas. Every Monday morning, this column will recap all the changes made to our elections charts and other significant elections news we covered in the previous week.

The big news last week: Sen. Wendy Davis announced October 3rd will be the date when we find out what office she will seek in 2014. Previously, Sen. Davis had said she had limited her options to Governor or re-election to the Texas Senate. In ten short days, we will finally know!

On Friday afternoon, State Rep. Tryon Lewis (R-Odessa) announced he would retire from the Texas House at the end of his current term. Rep. Lewis will have only served three terms in the Texas House and currently serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence. Before his election in 2008, Rep. Lewis was a State District Judge for over twenty years. This means, House District 81, where President Obama got 24.18% in 2014, will be open in next year's general election.

Click after the jump to see the 44 other changes made on the ratings charts this week, including the 23 lawmakers Burnt Orange Report confirmed are seeking re-election in 2014.

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HD-133: Jim Murphy Launches Dirty Attacks to Get "His Seat Back"

by: Phillip Martin

Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:57 PM CDT

Ed. note: To learn more about the race read the Texas Political Report - HD 133: Rep. Kristi Thibaut (D) vs. Jim Murphy (R).

Jim Murphy is bitter that the voters in HD-133 took away "his seat." His strategy to take back "his seat" is to launch a series of dirty attacks that have been thoroughly discredited by partisan Republican and former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector -- and staunch Jim Murphy supporter -- Paul Bettencourt.

State Representative Kristi Thibaut has worked her entire life to fight for Texas families. She's fought to lower utility rates, insurance rates, and college tuition. She's championed job creation and worked hard to protect homeowners from foreclosure. She is a State Representative who is trying to improve the lives of Texas families. Jim Murphy, on the other hand, is a partisan hack who resorts to dirty attacks to hide the fact that he supports public policies that harm Texas families, Texas workers, and Texas children.

Murpyh's attacks are utterly predictable -- slinging mud about the fact that Rep. Thibaut  worked as a (hold your breath) lobbyist for ACORN. I know, I know -- the horror. Except for the fact that Paul Bettencourt has said ACORN is a legitimate operation.

Two Houston Chronicle stories from 2008 make it clear as day. First, "ACORN sign-ups in Harris seem legitimate":

Although nearly 40 percent of the 35,000 voter registration applications submitted in Harris County by a community-organizing group accused of fraud in other states were rejected, there is no evidence of intentional manipulation of the voter rolls here, according to the county's voter registrar.

One more time, from Bettencourt in a story titled, "Voter fraud not rampant at ACORN":

Voter fraud is a perennial political boogeyman of the Republicans, similar to the way fears of rigged elections, registrars purging voters and ballot-stealing voter machines are employed by Democrats. Like a good rumor, they persist because they're based on a kernel of truth.

But large-scale conspiracy this does not appear to be. These paid canvassers, many low income folks themselves, are more likely motivated to pad their stacks to collect a paycheck than to join in a sinister plot to swing an election.

But even if investigations in other states do turn up evidence of a coordinated effort to commit fraud, Harris County apparently has nothing to fear.

"There's no Dallas Cowboys football team. President Roosevelt has not been re-registered. We've done a cursory check," says Paul Bettencourt, Harris County voter registrar.

In fact, Bettencourt, a Republican, says he has a healthy relationship with ACORN. When there's a problem, he meets with the group's officials to work it out. And there have been problems this election cycle.

So the extremely partisan-Republican former Harris County Tax-Assessor Collector who supports Jim Murphy says there is no problem. A factual evaluation of the voter registration rolls show there is no problem. What, then, is Jim Murphy actually talking about? Why is he in the gutter slinging mud like just another typical politician?

While Jim Murphy tries to take back "his seat" that the voters stole from him, Rep. Thibaut will continue to proudly do the work her campaign has always done: fight for the real issues that matter to Texas families.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

HD-133: Kristi Thibaut (D) vs. Rep. Jim Murphy (R)

by: Phillip Martin

Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 01:30 AM CDT

STATE OF THE RACE: Lean Murphy (Republican hold)

Candidate Page: Kristi Thibaut
Candidate Page: Jim Murphy

House District Map: District 133
District History: 2006 Election Results

Click here to return to the Burnt Orange Political Report home page.

30-Day Out Campaign Finance Report:

HD-133: Thibaut vs. Murphy
Contributions Expenditures Cash on Hand
Democrat Kristi Thibaut
$86,065.10 $64,682.63 $102,982.02
Republican Jim Murphy*
$87,401.18 $77,687.36 $169,293.56
Murphy's Advantage $1,336.08 $13,004.73 $66,311.54

*Friends of Jim Murphy PAC

This is a rematch of last year's race, where Thibaut ran a strong race but couldn't close the overwhelming partisan gap in the district. She's showing much, much stronger fundraising this year, though, and Murphy's record in the House isn't anything to brag about in a year of Republican failures.

However, for now, we do not have enough information on the race to know if she has gotten close enough to Murphy in the polls to flip the seat. Right now, Thibaut is the "last Democrat in" the "lean Republican" category -- but a strong Democratic tide atop the ticket and in Harris County could still put her over the top if she is able to make enough contacts in the next three weeks.

We hope to have more with this race later in the week, once we have some final interviews with Harris County activists.

Here are some other links that previous coverage of the race on Burnt Orange Report:

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Texas Parent PAC Endorsements

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 10:11 PM CDT

So far, the Texas Parent PAC has made a string of endorsements in Texas House races. Those include Ellen Cohen in Houston, Juan Garcia in HD-32 (a TexRoots endorsed candidate), Joe Heflin in Pete Laney's old seat, Kristi Thibaut in HD-133 (Houston).

This morning they endorsed Demcorat Allen Vaught in HD-107 in Dallas. I've received a media advisory putting us on notice for a pending endorsement in San Antonio. Assuming they are going to keep with this Democratic string, that probably means one thing- Joe Farias is next up in HD-118. Faris is running to retain Carlos Uresti's seat now that he's the next Senator from SD-19.

Also, word has it that Parent PAC will be making a suprise Austin area endorsement tomorrow. Of course, that can mean only one thing and I think that thing is called Valinda Bolton.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

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