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Sean Hubbard

Texas Senate Showdown: Dewhurst vs. Cruz, Sadler vs. Yarbrough

by: Ben Sherman

Thu May 31, 2012 at 04:02 PM CDT


On Tuesday, Texas voters added another round to this Senate brawl. Ted Cruz's gambit to ride a wave of corporate Tea Party money (don't worry; that's not a contradiction anymore) all the way to a runoff against Dewhurst worked. The Lt. Governor was held at 44.6%, which is 5.4% fewer than what he needed to avoid a runoff.

Let more dogs out. Dewhurst previewed his runoff strategy at his morning-after press conference, telling reporters that Cruz is just "another lawyer funded by Washington special interests," and framing the race between "a lawyer who talks, a businessman who does." Dewhurst added: "If you like Texas, you're going to love what David Dewhurst is going to do for you in Washington," he said. Referring to himself in third-person is not the best strategy for a candidate who has almost no human characteristics, but at least Dewhurst knows he must inject some energy into his runoff candidacy.

Cruz told reporters that his strategy of "reaching out 18-hours a day, seven days a week to the grass roots activists of Texas" will not change for the runoff. He challenged Dewhurst to five debates before the July 31 runoff election. Dewhurst responded, "I don't know why Mr. Cruz would limit debating me. Is he scared? I'm not going to limit the debates I have with Mr. Cruz to only five." Cruz said he's fine with Dewhurst wanting to "up the ante" but added that the questions should come from voters, not "hand-picked moderators." We can expect a new round of ads and angles of attacks from both campaigns very soon.

Watch your head for the next nine weeks; Republican mud is about to be slung all over Texas.


For months, this series ignored Grady Yarbrough, who's running as a Democrat for Senate. On Tuesday, Yarbrough surprised many and gained enough votes to place second, earning him a spot in the runoff against Paul Sadler. Yarbrough is a perennial candidate who has run as a Democrat and a Republican before. He has no funding, nor an apparent website. His is not a serious candidacy, and so he did not earn the attention of this series or just about any other coverage of the Democratic primary.

How did he win 25.8% of the vote? Well, many may have wrongly assumed he's related to Ralph Yarborough, a progressive Texas senator from the mid-twentieth century. Second, none of the Democratic candidates had much money to communicate any sort of message. Many Democrats no doubt went into the booth and selected a name from their party's ticket. Addie Allen, a female candidate with similarly nonexistent money and messaging, earned 22.9% of the vote, with an undoubtedly significant component of that support coming from her female name. Sean Hubbard ran a worthy campaign with what resources he had, earning the endorsements of BOR and several other voices in Texas progressive politics, but ended up with only 16.1% of the vote.

Sadler vs. Yarbrough is no contest at all, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't come out and vote on July 31 for Sadler, a progressive expert on public education exponentially better prepared than any of the Republicans to be a worthy Texas senator.

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Roundup of Democratic and Republican Primary News

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue May 22, 2012 at 03:00 PM CDT

Lots of press releases and news stories coming in with election day only one week away.

Democratic Primary:

CD-33: Tensions have flared in the Metroplex after former State Rep. Domingo Garcia attacked State Rep. Marc Veasey and former Congressman Martin Frost for conducting a press conference with men and women who work at the General Motors assembly plant in Arlington. Garcia accused Veasey of standing with "Wall Street Corporations," while Veasey and other Metroplex media organizations have pushed back against Garcia for attacking a major area employer. Today, Veasey sent out a release asking his opponent to stop mudlinging and focus on educational opportunities:

"Working families in North Texas have neither the time nor the desire to wade through all this mudslinging," said Veasey. "Schools in DFW are literally closing down, the ladders of education opportunity are being pulled out from under our children.  I would rather talk about how we reverse course and focus on improving our schools rather than engaging in petty political attacks."

US Senate: In the UT/TT poll released yesterday, Paul Sadler led the field with 29%. Sean Hubbard came in second with 25%. Addie Allen had 19% and Grady Yarborough had 11%. 15% said they don't know. Results here.

HD-90: Lon Burnam's campaign is touting a poll showing him with a 54%-27% lead over challenger Carlos Vasquez. The poll was conducted by Jeff Smith of Opinion Analysts. Vasquez seems to be coming apart on the trail in the last few weeks of campaigning as he has lashed out at Burnam and apparently exhibited some odd behavior at candidate forums.

HCDP: At the Harris County Democratic Party's BBQ event last weekend, attendees participated in a straw poll in a wide range of races, from President to County Chair. Click here to see the results!

SD-14: Not really primary news, but congrats to Preston Watson, son of Senator Kirk Watson, who graduated from UT last weekend with a degree in history.

Additionally, all candidates on the ballot would like to urge you to vote early this week. Early voting ends Friday. Election Day is next Tuesday, but since it's right after the three-day Memorial Day weekend, you might forget. Vote now!

Republican Primary:

There's lots of muck on the other side of the aisle and plenty of money to sling it with.

US Senate: Sarah Palin endorsed Ted Cruz, then apparently sent a robo-call to voters in Florida and Kansas to tell them about it. Ah, it makes me think back to four years ago, when Republicans -- or at least the one they nominated for the Presidency -- wanted her to be one heartbeat from the Oval Office.

Railroad Commissioner: Roland "Don't Pee on the Electric Fence" Sledge claims to have earned the endorsement of primary opponent Beryl Burgess, which should certainly shake up the race. Sledge is also touting a long list of conservative blog endorsements. Pfft. Blog endorsements.

CD-4: The Campaign for Primary Accountability is spending $100K on mail, TV, and radio against Ralph Hall in the 4th district. Hall has two challengers, Steve Clark and Lou Gigliotti. Will it be enough to force a run-off or unseat the incumbent?

HD-19: Republicans James White and Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton were paired together in redistricting and are now fighting a brutal primary against each other. Last Friday, Hamilton released records showing that White was "admonished for inappropriate sexual references" while he was a teacher at Livingston HS. He was reprimanded and later resigned. From Quorum Report:

According to the documents obtained by the Hamilton Campaign through Open Records requests, White was first notified of the student and parent complaints in August of 2006. Both he and the principal of Livingston HS signed a letter documenting their conversation about his behavior that resulted in student complaints including, "What is more intimate... sharing your credit scores or having sexual intercourse." And "other comments such as 'girls are used as a utility for guys.'"

"Further discussion took place in regard to student/parent complaints about comments such as 'after a man and a woman have sex... then their undergarments are mixed together in the same washing machine."

In his response, White called the attacks a "desperate lie."

White, the African-American Tea Partier, is considered the favorite over Hamilton. It kind of cracks me up that Tea Party wackos are about to elect someone who lost their job for making inappropriate sexual comments about large household appliances.

Referendum on Hawaii Statehood: In case you missed it, BOR PAC released a poll of likely Republican primary voters, which asked them if they believe the President was born in the United States. 60% said no. 21% "aren't sure." And these are the folks who are deciding the eventual winners in our statewide races. Yikes.


PACS, Man! The Texas Tribune put together a really handy interactive guide to the various PACs that have endorsed. Scariest is probably the YCT's endorsing in SBOE races. That can't end well. And by "well," I mean "with educated Texans." But hey, all the better for the YCT membership drive, I suppose.

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Burnt Orange Report Endorsements: US Senate: Sean Hubbard

by: Burnt Orange Report

Sun May 13, 2012 at 07:15 PM CDT

Sean Hubbard does a better job of firing up the Democratic base. We endorse him in the Democratic US Senate primary.

Here's the sad reality of our US Senate race this year: Democrats won't be winning it in November, no matter who we nominate. Jesus Christ himself could not pick this one up if he was running on the Democratic ticket (which he would), not with the civilization-hating Republicans vowing to bring Texas's special brand of dysfunction to Washington D.C. As a result, our endorsement is about choosing the candidate who will best inspire new Democratic voters to head to the polls, and in the opinion of our staff, that person is Sean Hubbard.

If we were actually endorsing someone in this race to be a Senator, we'd endorse Paul Sadler, as his decades of experience and body of legislation passed speak to his tremendous abilities as a statesman. Of everyone filed for the race in any party, Sadler would actually be the best Senator. However, if Democrats were actually in a position to win this race, we hope we'd be choosing between a more exciting field of candidates. Sadler is a staunch progressive and is running a capable campaign, and if he does win this primary, we'll be glad to have him on the ticket. However, Sadler has not inspired us on the campaign trail, and frustratingly, sufficient financial support for his campaign has not materialized.

Meanwhile, Hubbard does the better job of firing up the Democratic base and inspiring new people to vote. Yes, he's young -- but as he pointed out, he's older than Joe Biden was when the now-VP was first elected to the Senate. His most recent debate performance was polished and sharp, and he demonstrated that his time on the campaign trail has vastly improved his skills as a candidate. He is knowledgeable on the issues -- ask him about his proposal for a modernized Glass-Steagall Act -- and he's passionate about progressive ideas and legislation. Hubbard is an unabashed progressive who gives Texas Democrats an opportunity to vote for someone who will never shy away from his beliefs no matter how poorly they may poll in our conservative state.

Democratic victories depend on mobilizing and exciting the next generation of Democratic voters here in Texas. We are excited to see so many younger Democrats running for Congress and State House. In that vein, we think Hubbard is better suited to reaching out to younger voters and engaging them this election cycle.

We endorse Sean Hubbard for US Senate, in the hopes that he can engage a new generation of voters and play a role in turning Texas blue.

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 employed by campaigns abstain from voting on those races.
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Republican Senate Candidates Try To Patronize Women Into Voting For Them

by: Katherine Haenschen

Fri May 04, 2012 at 00:45 PM CDT

I hope I wasn't the sole woman in Texas tuned in to last night's US Senate debate. The Republican war on women was on full display as candidates battled to take the most regressive stance on women's health issues. What was clear from the Republican candidates' answers is that all four are staunchly out of touch with what women and Texans think about Planned Parenthood and the Women's Health Program.

As my colleague Ben Sherman reported earlier, the debate was a fairly staid format in which the four leading Republican candidates (David Dewhurst, Ted Cruz, Craig James and Tom Leppert) and the two leading Democratic candidates (Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard) sat down for a one-on-one with the moderator before engaging in some short Q&A and a bit of brief back-and-forth on the issues of the day. It was during the Q&A that two questions in particular emphasized the degree to which women's reproductive rights and basic access to healthcare have become a political football kicked around like so much special teams practice.

Candidates were asked how they plan to get women to vote for them, and to take a stand on a woman's right to choose. Evidently the Republicans' answer was to patronize women, deny them access to healthcare, and reiterate that women can't make their own medical choices. The responses from the Republicans ranged from laughable to infuriating, as all emphasized their hatred of Planned Parenthood and desire to defund the program that provides services to 40% of women enrolled in Texas's Women's Health Program.

Dewhurst stated that he was asking "all good Republicans to vote for me," which I guess means he's Ok with independent and Democratic women abandoning him over his whacktacular views on women's issues. He emphasized his work to both defund Planned Parenthood and find state money to continue the WHP without the provider (which is in violation of Federal rules regarding exclusion of qualified providers, but NBD, right?). Leppert followed up that he's also against funding Planned Parenthood, and has strong anti-choice viewpoints. He then actually gave a better answer than the rest of his knuckle-dragging Republican brothers when he noted that he was raised by a single mom and that women were concerned about the economy and job opportunities. Then he said something about women being concerned about career politicians? Eh, get your talking points in where you can, I guess. James emphasized his pro-life credentials. I didn't really take many other notes since his voice makes chunks of my brain drip out of my ears. Sorry.

Ted Cruz had perhaps the most laughable and awful answer, as he claimed that "a significant majority" of women are pro-life. Unfortunately for Cruz, the facts say otherwise: a Rasmussen poll (yes, Ras the Republican polling firm) conducted last month found that 51 percent of women identify as pro-choice, and only 40 percent pro-life. The pro-life tally dropped 3 points since Ras's previous January poll. Thanks for telling us what we ladyfolks think, Ted! Unfortunately you're wrong.

On the Democratic side, our candidates did women right on this issue, standing up for our ability to make informed medical decisions and choose our own healthcare decisions. Sean Hubbard, who had a solid debate performance on the whole, said that it was "embarrassing" that we're still discussing whether or not women can make their own healthcare decisions. He noted that his wife had gone to Planned Parenthood earlier in her life not for abortions, but cancer screenings. He said that Planned Parenthood provides "invaluable services to low-income women, women with no health insurances." Sadler also made clear that he supports choice and Planned Parenthood, and disagreed with the state's efforts to defund the entire Women's Health Program just because certain individuals don't like Planned Parenthood. "It's the wrong position that we're taking as a state."

Let's be really clear: Republicans' opposition to Planned Parenthood is out of touch with what Texas voters want. A PPP poll conducted in March showed that 59% of likely Texas voters oppose Governor Perry's efforts to kick the provider out of the Women's Health Program. Planned Parenthood itself enjoys enviably high support in public opinion polls. A Quinnipiac University poll found that 53% of voters nationally oppose cutting off federal government funding to Planned Parenthood. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll ound that 53 percent of Americans found it "mostly or totally unacceptable" to eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services. Republicans are going against the wishes of voters in Texas and nationally in their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

The participating candidates -- all male, as the females in both parties are apparently not considered viable candidates worthy of inclusion -- were also asked where they stand on reproductive choice. Unsurprisingly this broke down along party lines as well, with the men emphatically opposing a woman's right to make her own medical decisions, and the Democrats supporting it. Ladies, gird your loins, because one of these people will be voting on Supreme Court nominees. Cruz reiterated that he's strongly pro-life, from "conception to natural death." I'm unsure how that reconciles with the death penalty. Dewhurst said he's always been pro-life, and bragged about passing some of the worst anti-choice legislation of the last decade. Leppert said he was pro-life because of his faith. Perhaps the best answer was from Craig James of all people, who said that he was 100% pro-life, and declared that the morality in our country in decline! People used to open doors for women, and say "sir" and "ma'am!" He didn't mention anything about killing five hookers, instead immediately retiring to his fainting couch to clutch his pearls.

The Democrats, again, were a beacon of sanity in this portion of the debate. Hubbard stated clearly, "I trust women to make the right decisions about their reproductive health. A group of men in Washington, DC or Austin should not make decisions for them." Amen! Sadler noted that he is a person of faith, a Christian, and that he thinks a woman has the right to make this decision for herself, with her own counsel. He made clear that for him, there's room in his faith to disagree on this issue. It was a solid, nuanced answer.  

Women of Texas: the four leading Republican candidates for US Senate are all vehemently opposed to your right to choose, your ability to get healthcare from Planned Parenthood, and your knowledge of whether or not you can make your own reproductive decisions. Good times!

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Texas Senate Showdown: Two Parties, One Table

by: Ben Sherman

Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:30 AM CDT

Last night in Houston, all six major candidates came together on stage to face off. The format was less of a debate than a big interview of all of the candidates.

When Cruz was asked about the Dewhurst campaign's radio ad claiming that he stood up for Chinese copyright infringers, he came out strong: "The reason that he's lying," he said, "is because conservatives all over this state are uniting behind our campaign."

Calling another candidate a liar is no small act. With his gain in the most recent poll at his back, Cruz isn't (and shouldn't be) handling Dewhurst with kid gloves. With nutjobs like Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn now in his corner, Cruz's confidence is clearly increasing.

Dewhurst didn't respond to Cruz's charge, instead touting the "Texas model" for the rest of the nation. This week, the Texas Tribune published an extensive piece on Dewhurst's legacy and its core question - is he a skilled politician or a pushover? Democrats point out that whenever extremists want to push Dewhurst around in the Senate, he's caved. Dewhurst's advocates say he has a more subtle approach that has its success reflected in the dozens of influentially insane bills passed under Dewhurst.

Leppert and James gave their usual corporatist boilerplate. James made one particularly dumb, sellout suggestion: make the corporate tax rate 0 percent so we have manufacturers "running back to the country, setting up shop" and, of course, the U.S. goes bankrupt and slides into the third world. But in James' world, a few people would profit off of that, and that's just dandy.

Democrat Sean Hubbard emphasized his regular-guy-ness. "I am the only candidate in this race that understands how legislation and cuts affect average people, because I am the only one who is an average person," he said. Hubbard also talked about being older than Joe Biden when he first ran for Senate, in response to a question about his age. Sadler focused on education, criticizing the drastic underfunding of education under Republican leadership: "You have to be concerned with what's happening with funding in education in Texas, unless you've just been asleep," he said. "For the first time in the known history of our state, we're not covering enrollment growth."

The four Republican candidates do what children do: cover their ears and make nonsense noises. The Democrats are the only ones who take Texas seriously; not just as a profit machine for the 1% but as a place that deserves respect, planning, and honest representation. This contrast could not be more clear. If that clarity is reflected at the voting booth, it'll be a joyous day for our state.

Ed.: This article has been amended to include a quote from Sean Hubbard.

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Texas Senate Showdown: Watch the Senate Primary Debate Live!

by: Ben Sherman

Thu May 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM CDT

Tonight, there's a pretty excellent event going on in Houston. Democratic candidates Sean Hubbard and Paul Sadler will face off against the Republican candidates in a "Conversations with the Candidates" event hosted by the University of Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership, and Houston Public Media.

The best part? You can tune in to watch the debate livestreaming at texastribune.org at 7PM CT.

Here's hoping Hubbard and Sadler show their claimed gumption and take these corporatist Republicans on directly. We can assume that the candidates will be mostly focused on drawing contrasts with their primary opponents, but there should be some notable cross-party arguing as well.

Here's Sadler's email to supporters about the debate:

The campaign has swung into full gear this week with stops in Lubbock, Dallas and now Houston. Thanks to your support, the campaign is distributing yard signs and handouts across the state.  

Our campaign to return honesty, integrity and a powerful Democratic voice to Washington, D.C. has already been endorsed by dozens of respected Democratic leaders across our state, and now we've received another major endorsement!

That's right, the Dallas Morning News editorial board endorsed our campaign this week.  Paul is honored that they said it's time for Democrats to suport a candidate who is "smart, experienced and independent." With endorsements like this - and with your support - we'll take Paul's record of strong Democratic values and real accomplishments for our state to the U.S. Capitol.

But that's not the only exciting development in our campaign. Tonight - for the very first time - you can watch Paul take on David Dewhurst, Ted Cruz, Tom Leppert and Craig James, all at once.  Paul's ready to tell these failed Republicans the truth about the harm they've done to our state, and why they're pitiful records are wrong for the United States Senate.

You can watch the debate starting at 7 PM central time tonight.  You can visit www.texastribune.org and watch a live video. We hope you will tune in and watch for yourself.


Team Sadler

A statement about the debate from the Hubbard campaign could not be found as of posting time.

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Austin Progressive Coalition Makes 2012 Primary Endorsements

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:40 PM CST

Yesterday the Central Austin Democrats and University Democrats made endorsements in contested primary races here in Travis County. Candidates who earn the endorsement of both CAD and the UDems receive the coveted "Austin Progressive Coalition" endorsement, which comes with significant GOTV work on behalf of endorsed candidates.

Essentially, the results told the same story of the previous South Austin Dems and Central Labor Council endorsements -- there are clear frontrunners most of our local contested primaries. However, some of the intrigue at the meeting focused on two races where members present had serious reservations about both candidates.

Here are the endorsements. Incumbents are indicated with an asterisk. If there was no agreement between CAD and UDems, who both voted and caucused separately, then there was no APC endorsement. Thoughts on the meeting are below the jump.

2012 CAD / UDems / APC Endorsements
US SenatePaul SadlerPaul SadlerPaul Sadler
Travis Co. SheriffGreg Hamilton*John Sissonn/a
Travis Co. Tax Assessor-CollectorBruce ElfantBruce ElfantBruce Elfant
Travis Co. District AttorneyRosemary Lehmberg*Rosemary Lehmberg*Rosemary Lehmberg*
Travis Co. 167th District CourtEfrain de la FuenteDavid Wahbergn/a
Travis Co. Constable Pct 1Danny Thomas*Danny Thomas*Danny Thomas*
Travis Co. Constable Pct 2Adan Ballesteros*Did not consider -- see belown/a
Travis Co. Constable Pct 3Sally HernandezSally HernandezSally Hernandez
Travis Co. Constable Pct 4Maria Canchola*Maria Canchola*Maria Canchola*
Travis Co. Commissioner Pct 1Ron Davis*Richard Franklinn/a
Travis Co. Commissioner Pct 3Karen Huber*Karen Huber*Karen Huber*

Congratulations to all endorsed candidates. Analysis is below the jump. As always, we welcome your comments. Remember to disclose if you work for any of the campaigns or candidates involved!

There's More... :: (22 Comments, 1764 words in story)

A Conversation with Sean Hubbard, Democratic Candidate for US Senate

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM CST

This is the first in a series of profiles on the four Democratic candidates for US Senate.

There's a certain element of curiosity to the Sean Hubbard campaign for US Senate. Why is a thirty-year-old progressive who's working to make ends meet for his family mounting a grassroots campaign in the second-largest state in the country? Does he really think he can win in Texas with no money and a platform that represents the purest of progressive values?

When I spoke to Hubbard over the phone recently, it was clear that he isn't bothered by the naysayers who assume that he can't win. "We started this campaign with the idea that we wanted to prove that the average person still matters," he stated. "The Mr. Smith Goes to Washington myth is real -- we can all be part of our democracy." He continued, "I understand frustration on left with Obama, but remember that he did promise change, and when he got to DC, change was out-gunned and out-numbered. Texas need to send progressive Senator to DC to even up the odds."

Hubbard comes across as a genuinely proud progressive who wants to see the entire Democratic Party campaign on a more forward-looking agenda. From the DREAM Act to a modern-day New Deal to marriage equality, Hubbard is strong on core progressive values. His message is an organic fit for the thirty-year-old, who got started as a volunteer organizer for Barack Obama in Dallas during the 2008 primary season. Now, Hubbard is hoping that his grassroots experience and willingness to stump across the state will propel him to a victory in the primary and general election.

He presents himself as an "atypical candidate" -- in our conversation, Hubbard emphasized that he's a "working guy," holding down a regular job and getting a paycheck every week that helps support his family. (Hubbard is married and recently became a father.) He said his experiences make him better suited to serving working folks, and that the immense wealth of David Dewhurst prevents the current Lieutenant Governor from realizing the needs of average Texans. Hubbard said he never thought about running for office until the end of 2010, when he became frustrated by his sense that Democrats were too timid to stand up for progressive values, and were instead focused on just being what he terms "Republican lite." Watching the gridlock in Washington, Sean recognized that, as he puts it, "the Senate is the place where progressive legislation goes to die." Rather than stay frustrated, Hubbard decided to run for Senate, and has spent the last year organizing in support of his campaign in the hopes that if elected, one more progressive Senator can make a difference in D.C.

So why -- and how -- does he think he can win? Find out below the jump.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 710 words in story)

Ric Sanchez Drops Out of US Senate Race

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 09:01 PM CST

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez announced today that he will not file for the 2012 Democratic Party nomination for the United States Senate from Texas.  His statement is below:

"I am very grateful for the strong support and encouragement I have received from supporters across the country and the wonderful Texans I have met in every part of our great state. However, pressing personal challenges, coupled with the recent loss of our home due to fire and lagging fundraising numbers make a statewide election campaign impractical for me at this time.

"After extensive consultation with my family, Maria Elena and I have decided to put family first and I will therefore end my campaign for the 2012 U.S. Senate seat as of today.

"I am blessed to have made friends with so many great Texans on this journey.  Their personal stories and their love for our homeland will continue to inspire me as I look ahead and consider future opportunities for public service.  I remain steadfast in the desire to serve both my country and the State of Texas to help bring new, responsible, and fair-minded leadership to our government.

May God Bless Texas and May God Bless America."

A day after the Texas Democratic Party announced The Promesa Project, its leading Latino candidate declined to file, leaving none on the statewide ballot. As of the close of business today, the following are the only candidates filed for statewide office as Democrats. Grim.


Barack Obama
Bob Ely
Darcy Richardson


Sean Hubbard
Daniel Boone


Dale Henry




Keith Hampton

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