Texas House: Send Help whe Texas House of Representatives tradi ti onally tionally has been the place where good bills die and bad bills thrive and progressives need all the help they can get. Democrats hold a 91 59 majority, but remember that the Dems include such as Warren Chisum of Pampa. As a prac tical matter, progressives are lucky to round up 60 votes during a House floor debate enough to keep hope alive that they might somehow fashion a populist majority but not enough to cause business lobbyists a serious sweat. This year, out of 150 seats up for election in the Texas House of Representatives, half of the incumbents are unopposed for re-. election and there are primary races for only 46 of the remaining 75 seats, with 30 Democratic primaries and 16 Republican primaries. Eleven Democrats and four Republicans are giving up their seats. The 16 progressive Democratic incumbents who face primary challenges are Al Price of Beaumont, Vilma Luna of Corpus Christi, Irma Rangel of Kingsville, Sergio Munoz of Mission, Rene Oliveira of Brownsville, Eddie De La Garza of Edinburg, Betty Denton of Waco, Tony Parra of El Paso, Doyle Willis of Fort Worth, Roberto Alonzo of Dallas, Yvonne Davis of Dallas, Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, Sylvia. Ramo of San Antonio and Scott Hochberg, Kevin Bailey and Harold Dutton, all of Houston. They have the same advantages of incumbency as do conservatives, chief among them being the March primaries, which were designed to give the state more of a voice in the presidential nominating process but otherwise reduce challengers in statehouse races to a little .more than two months of campaigning between the holidays and the primary election. Then we wait eight months until the general election. To help you decide which candidate to vote for -or which candidate outside your own district might benefit from your financial support summaries of the House races follow; with the progressive scores from the 73rd legislative session, as detailed in the TO y/16/93 issue. Where there is a range the st score indicates all Observer-monitored votes and the second indicates other votes :;*hen the legislator was recorded. Endorsements include: AFL-CIO, the statewide labor federation; Citizen Action, a ‘consumer and environmental group; Les bian/Gay Rights Lobby; Sierra Club, an environmental group; Texas State Teachers In District 3: Rep. Pete Patterson, Brookston, populist streak, has TSTA support as he faces Lydia Bryant, Sulphur Springs business man ager, in the Democratic primary. In District 22, Rep. Al Price of Beaumont was 65-93 percent progressive and he received endorsements from the Texas AFL-CIO, Citizen Action and the TSTA, but he has a reputation as an ineffective legislator, largely because of his obstreperous nature. He faces a Democratic primary challenge from Stella Morrison, a Port Arthur lawyer who is perhaps even more obnoxious and who lost to Price in 1992, and Fernando Ramirez of Port Arthur. Maybe Ramirez’s strongest selling point, as one Jefferson County observer noted, is “he is neither Al nor Stella.” District 24: In the seat given up by Democrat Mike Martin, the Democratic primary features Louis Decker of Texas City, Craig Eiland of Galveston, Deborah JanuaryBevers of Galveston, a trial lawyer who received TWPC support; Jack Smith of Dickinson; and Seth Winick of Dickinson, who received AFL-CIO and Sierra support. District 26: Rep. Jim Tallas of Sugarland \(10of Sugarland in the Republican primary. District 27: Rep. Huey McCoulskey of AFL-CIO and TSTA support, faces Harry Johnson of Missouri City, a lawyer with Citizen Action support, in the Democratic primary. District 31: With Democrat Robert Earley running for Railroad Commission, the Democratic primary to replace him has drawn Dario Bargas Jr., a Sinton lawyer active in legal aid, Judy Hawley, a teacher in Portland, and Fletcher Kelly, a Sinton engineer who got the AFL-CIO endorsement. The Republican primary drew Nathan East of Portland and Wil Galloway of Beeville. District 33: Rep. Vilma Luna, Corpus Christi \(90 percent progressive after she was Citizen Action, TSTA and TWPC endorsement, faces Arnold Gonzales Jr. in the Democratic primary. District 35: Rep. Irma Rangel of Kingsville Citizen Action, Sierra, TSTA and TWPC endorsement, drew Tomas Sanchez Jr. of Kingsville in the Democratic primary. District 36; Sergio Munoz of Mission \(60 support drew Katus Blakey, a Santa Rosa business consultant, in the Democratic primary. District 37: Rep. Rene Oliveira of Brownsville Citizen Action, Sierra and TSTA support faces Philip Cowen in the Democratic primary. District 40: Eddie De La Garza of Edinburg Citizen Action and TSTA support faces Hector Villareal, an Edinburg trial lawyer and crimi nal defense lawyer, in the Democratic primary. District 43: Rep. Pete Nieto of Uvalde to the Republican Party, reportedly after he was passed over for a Clinton Administration job, will face the winner of the Democratic primary among Tracy 0. King of Uvalde, a hearing aid specialist who has TSTA support, Roy Luevano of Uvalde and Rene Agustine Salas Trevino of Carrizo Springs. District 46: In the race to replace moderate Democrat Libby Linebarger, the Democratic primary drew Chuck Sellers, Dripping Springs, an insurance company manager; Alec Rhodes of Dripping Springs, a businessman who got TWPC support; and Charles Soechting of San Marcos, a lawyer who got the AFL-CIO endorsement. District 50: In the east Austin race to replace progressive Democrat Wilhelmina Delco, the Democratic primary drew Jason Justice, who got Citizen Action and TSTA support, Dawnna Dukes,. who got the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus endorsement, and Todd Seidenschwarz, a law student with progressive interests. Justice, president of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, and Dukes shared AFL-CIO endorsements. The winner faces Republican Elton Singer of Austin. District 52: Georgetown Mayor Leo Wood, who had to go to district court to keep .the Williamson County Republican chairman from disqualifying him, is preferable to Rep. Mike Krusee of Austin \(10 percent progresDistrict 53: Rep. Harvey Hilderbran of TSTA support as he faces Cynthia Long of Cedar Park, who has-Citizen Action support, in the Republican primary. District 57: In the Democratic primary, Rep. Betty Denton, Waco \(75-78.9 percent proTSTA support, as she faces Roy Walthal, who lost to Denton in 1992. District 61: Rep. Ric Williamson of switched to the GOP and was welcomed with a primary challenge from David Kubosh. District 64: Rep. Jim Horn, R-Lewisville \(10 has TSTA support, in the Republican primary. District 71: Rep. Bob Hunter of Abilene, 15 percent progressive by our marks, drew a Republican primary challenge from Taylor County GOP Chair Gloria Goodrich, who said Hunter is “too moderate.” In that case, we’ll go with Hunter, who also has TSTA support. District 75: Rep. Tony Parra, D-Socorro, primary faces Gilbert Serna, a community Continued on page 25
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