This Week in Texas: September 16, 2009

Posted September 16, 2009 in The Mignon Memo

Retirements and campaign announcements were the big news around the Capitol this week. In case you are curious, there are 167 days until the March 2, 2010 primary election.

Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) announced that he will not seek reelection to his Senate District 5 seat. Ogden, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, did not rule out future runs for office. Rep. Dan Gattis (R-Georgetown) has announced that he will run for the Senate District 5 seat. Walker County businessman Ben Bius is also considering a run for the seat.

Rep. Kino Flores (D-Mission) announced that he will not seek reelection to his House District 36 seat. Sandra Rodriguez who ran unsuccessfully against Flores in 2008 has said she will run again in 2010. Sergio Munoz, Jr., an attorney and municipal judge in Palmview, will also run for the open seat.

Rep. David Farabee (D-Wichita Falls) will not seek reelection to the House District 69 seat that he has held for the past 12 years. Wichita Falls Mayor Lanham Lyne, a Republican, has announced his intent to run for the seat.

Add another name to the list of people interested in House District 52, currently represented by Rep. Diana Maldonado (D-Round Rock). In addition to Larry Gonzales, James Bernsen, a Williamson County small business owner, will also compete in the Republican primary for the seat.

Cindy Burkett will run as a Republican in House District 101. Burkett, a co-owner and vice president of a firm that operates five restaurants, preciously worked for Sen. Bob Deuell. House District 101 is currently represented by Rep. Robert Miklos (D-Mesquite).

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced several changes to his Capitol staff as well as his campaign staff. Blaine Brunson has been named Dewhurst’s Chief of Staff, replacing Rob Johnson who left during the summer to work for the Rick Perry campaign. Julia Rathgeber has been elevated from policy director to Deputy Chief of Staff. On the campaign side, Josh Robinson will serve as Managing Director of the David Dewhurst Campaign Committee and Vincent Harris will serve as Director of New Media.