The Mignon Memo

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Posted April 18, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Menendez new Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus Chair.

Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) has been appointed Chair of the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus. Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) resigned as she continues her campaign for Congress.  To read more…

Williams to HHSC.

Former Sen. Tommy Williams, currently Senior Advisor for Fiscal Affairs to Governor Abbott, is going over to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) after a Texas State Auditor’s report was critical of contracting practices. This is not the first time the agency has been under scrutiny in recent months. To read more…

TxDOT Tracker.

Planning a trip, or just want to get to work on time? The Texas Department of Transportation has updated and improved its Project Tracker with information on more than 11,000 projects across Texas. Information includes: project funding, schedule/length of project, and TxDOT contact information for specific projects. To read more…

Only in Austin…

This Saturday, April 21st, Texas Football makes its spring appearance inside the Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium for the annual Orange-White Game. Kickoff is at 6:30pm. To read more…

 

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Posted April 11, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Ryan not seeking re-election.

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) will not seek re-election. Speaker Ryan just wrapped up a fundraising stop in Texas raising $4 million.  This announcement could lead members of the Texas congressional delegation to seek positions in House leadership.  To read more…

Longoria appointed to LBB.

Rep. Oscar Longoria (D-Mission) has been appointed to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) by Speaker Joe Straus. The 10-member LBB recommends legislative appropriations for all agencies of state government, creating a starting point for the state budget. To read more…

Special election needed for Coastal Bend Congressional District.

Friday, U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) resigned, although he originally said he would serve the remainder of his term. Because it is too late to hold an election for Congressional District 27 on the next uniform election date (May 5th), Governor Abbott will need to call a separate special election to fill the seat for the rest of this term. A runoff for the Republican primary for this district is May 22nd. To read more…

Only in Austin…

Athena, the Wildflower Center’s resident horned owl, returned in February to nest near the entrance once again. In the last couple of weeks, two owlets have been spotted. These owlets will remain in the nest for 6-7 weeks before setting out as fledglings. It’s not too late to visit Athena and her owlets, but you’ll want to do it soon. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Posted April 11, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Combs to U.S. Department of the Interior

Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has been named acting assistant secretary for fish, wildlife, and parks. This appointment comes along as she awaits confirmation for another post at the Department of the Interior—assistant secretary for policy, management, and budget.  To read more…

San Antonio Senate campaigns heat up.

Since the indictment of Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), Senatorial aspirations have been growing, although Sen. Uresti currently holds his seat. Some have called for his resignation, which would trigger a special election. Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) has already declared his candidacy and former state representative and congressman Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) will formally announce his candidacy tomorrow.  To read more…

Online Voter Registration?

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia (San Antonio). In his ruling, he agreed with civil rights groups that Texas violated the federal National Voter Registration Act by failing to register residents to vote when they updated drivers’ license information online. One possible “fix” could be using online voter registration. To read more…

Only in Austin…

East Austin Succulents is a cactus and succulent nursery on the Eastside of Austin. Looking for cacti, succulents, or rare plant species—this is the place! You can find already made arrangements or make your own. With hotter and dryer weather headed our way, a water wise plant may be the answer to having a green thumb. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Posted March 28, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

From DC to UT?

Maybe. Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be a candidate for University of Texas System chancellor. The search for the next chancellor, replacing Chancellor Bill McRaven, is currently being conducted by members of the System’s governing board. To read more…

Are you a U.S. citizen?

That’s a question the U.S. Commerce Department has added to the 2020 census. Why does this matter? An accurate census is critical to the drawing of representative political districts and how to distribute federal funds for healthcare, education, housing, and transportation projects. This additional question could result in lower response scores.  To read more…

Spring has Sprung.

It’s that time of year where the state flower is blooming on roadsides and fields. So, is it illegal to pick a bluebonnet in Texas? Actually…no, there is no law against picking a bluebonnet. There are, however, laws protecting private property. So, don’t trespass to take home a floral souvenir. To read more…

Only in Austin…

Everything is bigger in Texas, even when it’s tiny. Village Farm is in its initial phase of development with 40 tiny home lots and an additional 112 planned for phase 2. Each house is 250-399 square feet, built with eco-friendly materials, and outfitted with solar panels and rainwater harvesting capabilities. Village Farm includes a general store, school, and other amenities that make it reminiscent of villages in the past. Anyone looking to downsize? To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Posted March 28, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Senate committee switch up.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has made some changes to Texas Senate committees. Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) has been named Chair of the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee, previously chaired by Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls). Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) will also sit on the Senate Finance Committee, replacing Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio).

New PUC Director

John Paul “JP” Urban has been named executive director of the Public Utility Commission (PUC). Urban previously served as director of government relations from 2011-2014. To read more…

In Otter News…

The Texas river otter population is doing well, and they are repopulating Texas waterways. Evidence of the return of these energetic and playful animals can even be seen in Houston’s urban Buffalo Bayou!  To read more…

Only in Austin…

Mayfield Park’s historic cottage and its two acres of cottage gardens are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A 21-acre natural area also surrounds the park and is home to plenty of wildlife. The park is also home to several showy peacocks. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Posted March 13, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

The results are in. 

In the first mid-term election in the country that is not a special election, all eyes are on Texas and the results of the Texas Primary are in!  Here are the fast and furious results of yesterday’s election.  For more detailed information, go to the Secretary of State’s website here. Primary runoff elections will be held May 22, 2018.

Early voting numbers were up in the largest counties, especially for Democrats. That trend, however did not keep up on election day. With almost 100% of precincts reporting, more than 1.5 million voters participated in the Republican Primary (close to 10% of registered voters) and roughly 1 million voters participated in the Democratic primary (short of 7% of registered voters).

U.S. Senate

Beto O’Rourke (D) received 61.8% of the vote and will face incumbent Ted Cruz (R) in the general election in November. Cruz defeated 3 primary challengers with 85.3% of the vote.

U.S. Congress

Eight open seats in the Texas congressional delegation made for an extremely competitive primary. Five of the eight are will be decided in runoffs.

Incumbents prevail against Primary challengers and runoffs

Louie Gohmert (CD-1), John Ratcliffe (CD-4), John Culberson (CD-7), Michael McCaul (CD-10), Mike Conaway (CD-11), Randy Weber (CD-14), Sheila Jackson Lee (CD-18), Pete Olson (CD-22), Will Hurd (CD-23), Kenny Marchant (CD-24), Michael Burgess (CD-26), Eddie Bernice Johnson (CD-30), John Carter (CD-31), Pete Sessions (CD-32), Marc Veasey (CD-33) all handily won their primaries.

Runoffs, new faces, and firsts

Out of a field of 9 Republican candidates, Kevin Roberts (33%) and Dan Crenshaw (27.4%) are headed to a runoff to replace retiring Ted Poe (R-Houston) in CD-2.

Outgoing State Senator Van  Taylor (R-Plano) won 84.7% of the vote in the Republican primary to replace retiring Congressman Sam Johnson in CD-3. Although a safely Republican seat, he will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff in November.

Outgoing State Representative Lance Gooden (29.9%) and Bunni Pounds (22%) are headed to runoff out of a field of 8 in the Republican primary to succeed retiring Jeb Hensarling in CD-5.

Ron Wright (45.1%) and Jake Ellzey (21.7%) are headed to a runoff in the race to replace retiring Joe Barton in CD-6.

CD-7: Democrats Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (29.3%) and Laura Moser (24.3%) have earned spots in a runoff and the winner will face incumbent John Culberson in November.

CD 10: Democrats Mike Siegel (40%) and Tawana Walter-Cadien (18%) are headed to a runoff. The winner will face incumbent Michael McCaul in November.

CD 16: Veronica Escobar (61.4%) easily avoided a runoff out of a field of 6 Democratic candidates in the race to replace Beto O’Rourke. She faces Republican Rick Seeberger in November although is a safely Democratic seat.

CD-21: Republicans Chip Roy (27.1%) and  Matt McCall (16.9%) are headed to a runoff out a field of 18 in the race to succeed Lamar Smith.

CD-23: Democrats Gina Ortiz Jones (41.3%) and Rick Trevino (17.4%) are headed to a runoff. The winner will face incumbent Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) in November. This is competitive/swing district.

CD-27: Republicans Bech Bruun (36.1%) and Michael Cloud (33.9%) are headed to a runoff in the race to replace Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi).

CD-29: State Senator Sylvia Garcia prevailed in the Democratic primary with 63.2% of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Although she will face a Republican in November, this is a solidly Democratic seat. She and fellow congressional democratic candidate Veronica Escobar will be the first Latinas elected to U.S. Congress from Texas.

CD-32: Democrats Colin Allred (38.5%) and Lillian Salerno (18.3%) head to a runoff out of a field of 7 candidates to challenge incumbent Pete Sessions.

Statewide Races

Governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Lupe Valdez (42.9%) and Andrew White (27.4%) are headed to a runoff. The winner will face Governor Greg Abbott in November.

Lieutenant Governor

Mike Collier (D) will face Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in November. Lt. Gov. Patrick defeated his primary challenger Scott Milder with 75.9% of the vote.

Comptroller

Incumbent Glenn Hegar (R) will face Democrat Joi Chevalier (51.9%) in November.

Land Commissioner

Miguel Suazo (D) will face incumbent George P. Bush in November. Commissioner Bush (58.2%) avoided a runoff between former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson (29.7%), Rick Range (5.3%), and Davey Edwards 6.8%).

Commissioner of Agriculture

Incumbent Sid Miller (55.8%) avoided a runoff against Jim Hogan (22.8%) and Trey Blocker (21.4%) and will face Democrat Kim Olson in November.

Railroad Commissioner

Roman McAllen (D) will face incumbent Christi Craddick (R) in November.

Judicial Races

Judge, Place 1, Court of Criminal Appeals: Sharon Keller (R) defeated David Bridges with 52.1% of the vote and will face Democrat Terri Jackson in November.

Judge, Place 8, Court of Criminal Appeals: in a race for an open seat Michelle Slaughter (52.8%) defeated Jay Brandon (30.7%) and Dib Waldrip (16.4%). There is no Democratic running.

Texas Senate

  • SD 2: incumbent Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) defeated Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) with 53.2% of the vote and will face Democrat Kendall Scudder in November. This is a solid Republican seat.
  • SD 5: Incumbent Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) successfully defended his seat from Harold Ramm and will face Democrat Meg Walsh in November.
  • SD 8 (open seat/Van Taylor running for Congress): Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) (54.4%) defeated Phillip Huffines (R-Plano) (45.6%) and will face Democrat Mark Phariss in November.
  • SD 10: Beverly Powell (61.6%) defeated Allison Campolo (38.4%) and will face incumbent Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) in November. This is a swing district.
  • SD 15: incumbent John Whitmire (D-Houston) easily defeated challengers Damian Lacroix and Hank Segelke with 74.9% of the vote.
  • SD 17: Incumbent Joan Huffman (R-Houston) defeated Kristin Tassin with 72.6% of the vote and will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff Fran Watson or Rita Lucido (D-Houston) in November.
  • SD 25: incumbent Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) (73.7%) defeated Shannon McClendon (26.3%) and will face Democrat Steven Kling in November.
  • SD 30: Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) defeated incumbent Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) and fellow challenger Craig Carter with 62% of the vote. Fallon will face Democrat Kevin Lopez in November.
  • SD 31: incumbent Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) narrowly avoided a runoff and defeated Mike Canon and Victor Leal with 50.5% of the vote.

Texas House

There are 13 open seats in the Texas House. All of these races will impact the race for Speaker to be voted on when the Texas Legislature re-convenes in January 2019. Six incumbents lost to challengers last night and two incumbents will have to continue their defense as they head into runoffs.

  • HD 2: incumbent Dan Flynn (R-Van) (51.7%) defeated Bryan Slaton (48.3%).
  • HD 4 (open seat-Lance Gooden running for Congress): Stuart Spitzer (45.8%) and Keith Bell (26.2%) are headed to a runoff out of a field of 5 Republicans.
  • HD 6: Matt Schaefer (73.3%) defeated Ted Kamel (26.7%).
  • HD 8 (open seat-Byron Cook retiring): Cody Harris (44.9%) and Thomas McNutt (39.5%) are headed to a runoff.
  • HD 9: incumbent Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) defeated Garrett Boersma with 63.9% of the vote.
  • HD 11: incumbent Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) defeated Danny Ward with 66.8% of the vote.
  • HD 13 (open seat-Leighton Schubert): Republicans Jill Wolfskill (38.5%) and Ben Leman (36.2%) are headed to a runoff out of a field of 6.
  • HD 14: incumbent John Raney (R-Bryan) defeated three challengers with 57.7% of the vote and will face Democrat Josh Wilkinson in November.
  • HD 15 (open seat-Mark Keough): Republican Steve Toth (78.4%) defeated Jackie Waters and will face Democrat Lorena Perez McGill in November.
  • HD 18: incumbent Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) defeated Emily Cook with 59.3% of the vote.
  • HD 23: Mayes Middleton (57.1%) defeated incumbent Wayne Faircloth (R-Galveston) (42.9%) and will face Democrat Amanda Jamrok in November.
  • HD 25: incumbent Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) (76.8%) defeated Damon Rambo (23.2%).
  • HD 27: incumbent Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) (61.4%) defeated Wilvin Carter (D) (38.6%).
  • HD 31: incumbent Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) defeated challenger Ana Lisa Garza with 55.4% of the vote.
  • HD 37: incumbent Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville) (48.4%) is headed to a runoff with Alex Dominguez (36.4%).
  • HD 41: incumbent Bobby Guerra (D-McAllen) easily defeated challenger Michael L. Pinkard, Jr. with 82.8% of the vote and will face Republican Hilda Garza DeShazo in November.
  • HD 45 (open seat-Jason Isaac running for Congress) Republican Ken Strange won outright out of a field of 5 with 54.7% of the vote, avoiding a runoff. He will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff between Rebecca Bell-Metereau (45.4%) and Erin Zwiener (30.7%) in November.
  • HD 46: out of a field of 6 to oust incumbent Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin), Chito Vela (39.6%) and Sheryl Cole (38.2%) are headed to a runoff. 209 votes separate the two.
  • HD 47: incumbent Paul Workman defeated challengers Jay Wiley and Patty Vredevelt with 59.5% of the vote and and will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff (Vikki Goodwin or Elaina Fowler) in November.
  • HD 52 (open seat-Larry Gonzales retired): Cynthia Flores won outright with 60.8% of the vote, defeating Christopher Ward and Jeremy Story in the Republican primary. Flores will face Democrat James Talarico in November. This is a possible swing district.
  • HD 54: incumbent Scott Cosper (R-Killeen) (44.6%) finds himself in a runoff with Brad Buckley (41.6%). 299 votes separate the two.
  • HD 55: incumbent Hugh Shine (R-Temple) defeated Brandon Hall and CJ Grisham with 60.2% of the vote.
  • HD 59: incumbent J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) defeated challenger Chris Evans with 57.9% of the vote.
  • HD 60: incumbent Mike Lang (R-Granbury) defeated challengers Gregory Risse and Jim Largent with 58.3% of the vote.
  • HD 62 (open seat-Larry Phillips is running for a district judge position): Republicans Reggie Smith (45.8%) and Brent Lawson 34.3%) are headed to a runoff.
  • HD 64: incumbent Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger) defeated challenger Mark Roy with 64.3% of the vote.
  • HD 65: incumbent Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) (83.3%) easily defeated challenger Kevin Simmons (16.7%).
  • HD 73: incumbent Kyle Biedermann (R-New Braunfels) defeated challenger Dave Campbell with 57.8% of the vote.
  • HD 75: incumbent Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint) defeated challenger MarySue Femath with 68.5% of the vote.
  • HD 87: incumbent Four Price (R-Amarillo) easily defeated challenger Drew Brassfield with 78.5% of the vote.
  • HD 88: incumbent Ken King (R-Canadian) narrowly avoided a runoff with Jason Huddleston with 50.5% of the vote.
  • HD 89 (open seat-Jodie Laubenberg retired): Candy Noble (R-Lucas) defeated John Payton with 54.2% of the vote.
  • HD 98: incumbent Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) defeated challenger Armin Mizani with 62.7% of the vote.
  • HD 99: incumbent Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) defeated challenger Bo French with 56.8% of the vote.
  • HD 100: incumbent Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) defeated challenger Sandra Crenshaw with 70.5% of the vote.
  • HD 102: incumbent Linda Koop (R-Dallas) defeated opponents Chad Carnahan and Scott Kilgore with 72%. She will face Democrat Ana-Maria Ramos in November.
  • HD 104: Jessica Gonzalez defeated incumbent Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas) with 62.5% of the vote.
  • HD 105: Terry Meza (D-Irving) will face incumbent Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie) in November. This could be a swing district.
  • HD 106 (open seat-Pat Fallon running for Texas Senate): Jared Patterson (Frisco) defeated Clint Bedsole with 54% of the vote in the Republican primary and will face Ramona Thompson (D-Frisco) in November.
  • HD 107: Republicans Deanna Metzger (45.3%) and Joe Ruzicka (27.4%) will face incumbent Democrat Victoria Neave in November. This is a swing district.
  • HD 108: Joanna Cattanach (D) will face incumbent Republican Morgan Meyer in November. This seat is being talked about as a possible pick up for Democrats
  • HD 109 (open seat-Helen Giddings retiring): out of a field of 4, Democrats Deshaundra Jones (44.7%) and Carl Sherman (40.2%) are headed to a runoff. No Republican is running for this seat.
  • HD 113 (open seat-Cindy Burkett running for Texas Senate): Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D-Rowlett) will face Republican Jonathan Boos in November. This is a possible swing district.
  • HD 114: incumbent Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) (46.9%) was defeated by challenger Lisa Luby Ryan (53.1%). Ryan will face Democrat John Turner in November. This is a seat Democrats could pick up.
  • HD 116: incumbent Diana Arévalo (D- San Antonio) was narrowly defeated by former state representative Trey Martinez Fischer (50.6%). 115 votes separated the two Democrats.
  • HD 117: incumbent Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) defeated challenger Terisha DeDeaux with 63.4% of the vote and will face Republican Michael Berlanga in November. This is a swing district.
  • HD 118: incumbent Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio) (42.7%) was defeated by challenger Leo Pacheco (57.3%) and will face Republican John Lujan in the general election.
  • HD 121 (open seat-Speaker Joe Straus retiring): out of a field of 6, Republicans Matt Beebe (29.5%) and Steve Allison (26.3%) will go to a runoff. The winner will face Democrat Celina Montoya in November.
  • HD 122: incumbent Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) defeated challenger Chris Fails with 59.5% of the vote and will face Democrat Claire Barnett in the fall, although this is a safely Republican district.
  • HD 124: incumbent Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) easily defeated challenger Sergio Contreras with 78.4% of the vote.
  • HD 126 (open seat-Kevin Roberts running for Congress): Republican Sam Harless defeated Gail Stanart and Kevin Fulton with 51.1%, avoiding a runoff. He faces Democrat Natali Hurtado in November.
  • HD 133: Democrats Marty Schexnayder and Sandra Moore are headed to a runoff. The winner will face incumbent Jim Murphy (R-Houston) in November.
  • HD 134: incumbent Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) defeated challenger Susanna Dokupil with 56.3% of the vote and will face Democrat Allison Lami Sawyer in November. This is a possible swing district.
  • HD 139: incumbent Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) defeated challenger Randy Bates with 60.4% of the vote.
  • HD 142: incumbent Harold Dutton (D-Houston) (65.3%) defeated challenger Richard Bonton (34.7%).
  • HD 144: Ruben Villarreal defeated former state representative Gilbert Pena in the Republican primary with 62.1% of the vote and will face incumbent Mary Ann Perez (D-South Houston) in November. This is a swing district.
  • HD 146: incumbent Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) defeated challengers Roy Owens and Ricardo Soliz with 64.7% of the vote.
  • HD 147: incumbent Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) easily defeated challenger Daniel Espinoza with 81.2% of the vote.
  • HD 150: incumbent Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) (80.1%) defeated James Wilson (19.7%).

State Board of Education

SBOE-2: Incumbent Ruben Cortez, Jr. (D) (52.3%) defeated Michelle Arevalo Davila (47.7%) and will face Charles “Tad” Hasse (R) (67.1%) in November.

SBOE-3: Incumbent Marisa Perez (D) easily defeated her challenger Dan Arellano with 75.9% of the vote. She has no Republican opposition in November.

SBOE-4: Incumbent Lawrence Allen, Jr. prevailed with 66.9% of the vote over his challenger Steven Chambers. He has no Republican opposition in November.

SBOE-11: Carla Morton (D) will face incumbent Pat Hardy in November. Hardy defeated Republican primary challengers Cheryl Surber (20%) and Feyi Obamehinti (24.3%) with 55.8% of the vote, avoiding a runoff.

SBOE-12: open seat. Democrats Suzanne Smith (48.1%) and Laura Malone-Miller (26.3%) are headed to a runoff and the winner will face Republican Pam Little in November.

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Posted March 13, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Early Voting is underway!

Early voting started Tuesday, February 20, 2018 and ends Friday, March 02, 2018. Primary Election Day is March 6, 2018. During early voting, you can vote at any polling location in your county. On election day, you may have to vote at a specific polling location. Locate your polling location here: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do.

Voting in the primary election is crucial. 64 candidates who win their primaries will face no major-party opposition in the general election. Of those 64 primary winners, 19 will be Republicans and 45 will be Democrats. For these races, THE race is March 6th. GO VOTE! To read more…

Paup to the Texas Water Development Board.

Governor Abbott has appointed Brooke Paup to the Texas Water Development Board. For the last four years, Paup has served as the director of legislative affairs for Comptroller Hegar. TWDB oversees planning and provides financial and technical assistance for the responsible development of water for the State of Texas. To read more…

New to the Texas Transportation Commission.

Governor Abbott has appointed former San Angelo Mayor Alvin New to the Texas Transportation Commission. In his first Commission meeting, New said he looks forward to working with everyone on getting food, fuel, and fiber to the population centers of Texas. The Transportation Commission oversees the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). To read more…

Only in Austin…

Feeling cheesy? Hyde Park is home to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop on Duval Street where self-proclaimed cheesemongers John and Kendall Antonelli share their love of cheese. Antonelli’s stocks Texas-made varieties from goat farms of the Hill Country and cattle farms out on the Plains. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Posted March 13, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Early Voting has started!

Early voting started Tuesday, February 20, 2018 and ends Friday, March 02, 2018. Primary Election Day is March 6, 2018. Get out the vote and take some friends with you! During early voting, you can vote at any polling location in your county. On election day, you may have to vote at a specific polling location. Locate your polling location here: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do

What do you need to bring with you to the polls to satisfy voter ID requirements?

The following is a list of acceptable photo IDs at the polling place:
• Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
• Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
• Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
• Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
• United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
• United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
• United States Passport (book or card)

You can also bring voter guides and handwritten notes with you.

Here is a link to the League of Women Voters Primary Election Guide. https://my.lwv.org/texas
Some local Leagues have more detailed guides including local races. https://my.lwv.org/texas/find-local-league

Only in Austin…

“Yippee Ki Yay” is complete and open to the public at Pease Park. The structures are made from locally harvested Texas ash, Ligustrum, and depression willow—much of it brought in from Hershey Ranch near Stonewall. It took 8 tons of natural materials, three weeks, and a team of volunteers to bring the vision of Patrick Dougherty to life. To read more…

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Posted February 14, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

6 days until early voting.

The first day of early voting in the Texas primary is February 20th. Curious about the most competitive primary races? Here is a rundown of some hotly contested races.  To read more…

Another Appellate Appointee.

 Andrew Oldham, currently Gov. Abbott’s general counsel, has been tapped for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Oldham previously served as deputy solicitor general, and only moved over to the Governor’s office after Jimmy Blacklock filled a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court. To read more…

8th Wonder has 9 Lives.

The Harris County Commissioners Court has approved a $105 million plan to renovate the Astrodome. The project will make changes to the stadium to use it for festivals and conferences. To read more…

Only in Austin…

Valentine’s Day is here! Here is a list of the best places to get Austin-made chocolates. From the tried and true Lammes Candies (opened in 1885) to the newest kid on the block, Maggie Louise Confections (opened in 2015). Nothing says love like chocolate.  To read more…

 

 

 

 

This Week in Texas: Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Posted February 14, 2018 in The Mignon Memo

Two transportation commissioners departing.

Transportation Commissioners Victor Vandergriff (Arlington) and Tryon Lewis (Odessa) have announced that they will be stepping down from the Texas Transportation Commission, the board with oversight of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Governor Abbott appoints all members of the five-person Transportation Commission. Appointments will go through confirmation by the Texas Senate when the Legislature reconvenes in January 2019. To read more…

Investigating HHSC.

Speaker Joe Straus has asked the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics to delve into the Health and Human Services Commission’s practices for contract oversight after a state audit report found practices by a managed care organization (MCO) violated its contract with the state. $29.6 million in bonus and incentive payments were paid out by the MCO. The Uniform Managed Care Manual specifically prohibits incentive payments. To read more…

Texans in Pyeongchang.

Three Texas athletes will be representing Team USA during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Jonathan Garcia (Houston) in long track speedskating, Sam McGuffie (Cypress) and Justin Olsen (San Antonio) in bobsledding. The much talked about Nigerian women’s bobsled team also has a Texas connection. Seun Adigun ran track for the University of Houston.  To read more…

Only in Austin…

Ruby’s BBQ, a UT campus staple for almost 30 years, will be closing February 20th. Ruby’s was named for the BBQ joint in Sidney Lumet’s, “The Fugitive Kind,” and not after its owner Pat Mares, although she’ll answer to Ruby. Go by and get your last plate of Ruby’s all-natural brisket and your favorite side before it’s too late. To read more…