The Eyes of Texas are on San Antonio & Attorney General Greg Abbott
The beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas has become the go-to place for high level Texas political leaders to make important announcements about their political future. This week, Texas Governor Rick Perry traveled to the Alamo city to announce he would not seek re-election to the office he has held since George W. Bush became President in 2001. Tomorrow, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will be traveling to San Antonio to announce his future political plans, and while he has not revealed the content of his announcement, most anyone with a political pulse is expecting he will announce his candidacy to succeed Perry as the next Governor of the great state of Texas.
TexasGOPVote will be in San Antonio for Abbott's announcement and will bring you complete coverage of the event. Following the announcement, I will sit down with Gen. Abbott for an exclusive interview to discuss his plans in more detail.
Thus the game of musical chairs that will be the Republican Primary of 2014 will have officially begun. While some announcements from others may already be known, we will have a huge field of candidates moving forward to announce their intentions for the upcoming political season. I am not sure if there has ever been quite this much potential for turnover in a Republican primary before, but regardless, this will be a very exciting set of races.
Many of the candidates I will discuss below have been strong political allies for many years while Texas Republicans have enjoyed exclusive control of state government. Now many of them will be facing off against each other. Many of us will know and be friends with multiple candidates seeking the same office. It will be very hard to pick sides in races with such well-qualified and tested candidates. This kind of election cycle could rip a party apart as candidates and their supportive followers square off against each other. Or, it could be a great opportunity for us, as Republican leaders, to show this election to be a party strengthening process that will bring us a slate of strong, sharp candidates prepared to take on the promised Battleground Texas Democrat machine.
Let's take a look at a some of the offices being vacated and the candidates who seek to serve the people of Texas...
Note: As we are in a rapidly changing state of flux with this at the moment, if I leave anyone out, it is not intentional and please let us know.
Presuming Gen. Abbott makes the anticipated announcement, he will join former Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken as the only two announced candidates for the top of the state-wide ticket ballot. Will anyone else throw their hat in the ring? Time will certainly tell...
Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has announced he will be seeking re-election to his office. He, perhaps, will be the only incumbent running for re-election in a statewide office. He has already been joined in this race by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and District 7 Senator Dan Patrick. This will be an extremely important race for Texas and for the Republican Party. With such a hotly contested race, it will likely help draw many new Republican voters to the primary election making the outcome even less predictable.
The Office of the Attorney General, being vacated by Gen. Abbott, is also becoming very crowded. Abbott has set the bar very high with the execution of his duties and in the defense of Texas sovereignty against an overreaching federal government. District 8 Senator Ken Paxton joins Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman and District 108 Representative Dan Branch as candidates to replace Abbott as AG.
District 102 Representative Stephanie Carter has announced she will seek the Railroad Commission seat being vacated by Chairman Smitherman. Expect some other surprises to be forthcoming in that race.
Control of Texas money is also up for grabs as Comptroller Susan Combs announced earlier this year she would not be seeking re-election. This race features a diverse line-up of candidates including District 18 Senator Glenn Hegar, former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina and former State Representative Raul Torres. These three fiscal hawks will bring an interesting discussion about the finances of this state and where we should be headed.
Former Republican Party of Texas Executive Director Eric Opiela has announced he will run for the Agriculture Commissioner seat being vacated by Commissioner Staples.
And finally, George P. Bush, grandson of President George H.W. Bush, son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush has announced he will seek the office of Texas Land Commissioner being vacated by Commissioner Patterson.
These actions open up a host of down ballot races. Former Harris County Tax Collector/Assessor, business owner and radio talk show host Paul Bettencourt has announced he will seek election to the SD-7 seat being vacated by Sen. Patrick. Expect a few other entries in this race.
The District 102 seat held by Stephanie Carter has drawn the attention of Adryana Boyne who currently serves as chairman and founder of Voces Action, a conservative Hispanic organization and as spokesperson for Voto Honesto, a Hispanic outreach arm of True the Vote.
There are many other races to be considered and announced over the next few months as we approach the upcoming primary season. Let's compete hard and compete fairly and remember the battle facing the Republican Party in Texas in the November 2014 general election! Follow TexasGOPVote for more information as we get closer to the primaries!