In a surprise announcement a week after the filing deadline, Sen. Kip Averitt (R-Waco) said that he is suspending his re-election campaign due to health reasons. According to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, it is too late for Averitt to take his name off the ballot. Republican Darren Yancy of Burleson is the only other candidate to file for the Republican primary. No Democrats filed to run although there are two Libertarians competing for the Senate District 22 seat. If Yancy wins the primary, he’ll be the only major party candidate in the race, and as such, would be the probable winner in November’s election. However, if Averitt wins the primary and then quits, the Republican and Democratic parties will each nominate a person for the general election ballot.
Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) no longer faces a contested Republican primary. Her opponent David Hall was disqualified by the Republican Party of Texas because he had filed for county precinct chair prior to filing for the Senate District 8 race. Hall becomes the second Republican disqualified from running for a legislative office due to a previous filing for precinct chair. Monte Mitchell was disqualified from running for the House District 95 seat currently held by Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Ft. Worth).
Governor Rick Perry along with Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus sent state agency heads a letter last Friday asking them to submit ideas to cut spending by five percent this year.
ESPN sportscaster and Collin County businessman Craig James has joined the board of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. James has said that he is considering a run for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat when it becomes vacant.
The controversy over the proposed addition to the Texas Governor’s Mansion seems to be over for the time being. The plan to build an addition onto the north side of the historic building has been withdrawn from further consideration.