This Week in Texas: July 20, 2011

Posted July 21, 2011 in The Mignon Memo

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst formally announced that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Other candidates include Republicans Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Ames Jones and Democrat Tom Leppert. Sen. Dan Patrick is also considering the race.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Eleanor Kitzman to be the next Texas Insurance Commissioner, replacing Mike Geeslin who announced earlier this year that he was not seeking re-appointment.
Kitzman was most recently the executive director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, an appointed position. From 2005 to 2007, she was head of the Palmetto State’s Department of Insurance.

Rep. Jim Jackson (R-Dallas) announced that he will not seek re-election and will retire at the end of his current term. Jackson, a former Dallas County commissioner, has served in the Texas House for eight years. Candidates to succeed Rep. Jackson include Republicans Matt Rinaldi and Bennett Ratliff, son of former Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced that he will run for Lt. Governor in 2014. Other Republicans who have expressed interest in the position include Comptroller Susan Combs and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

Governor Perry has set the special election for House District 14 recently vacated by former Rep. Fred Brown (R-Bryan) for November 8, 2011. Candidates must file for a place on the ballot by September 7. Two candidates, Rebecca Boenigk and John Raney, have designated campaign treasurers and have begun fundraising for the race.