This Week in Texas: March 14, 2012

Posted March 14, 2012 in The Mignon Memo

The filing period for the 2012 Texas primary election has closed. Thirty-one members of the Texas House will not return as the result of retirement or a decision to run for another office. Four members of the Texas Senate will not be returning and two members of the Texas Congressional delegation are calling it quits. Candidate lists are still being finalized due to the fact that some candidates file in their local county as opposed to their state political party.

There were a few notable last minute changes in Texas Senate races. Rep. Raul Torres (R-Corpus Christi) will run in Senate District 20 instead of running for reelection in House District 33.  He will face Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) in the general election if successful in the Republican primary.  Rep. Rodney Anderson (R-Plano) decided not to run in Senate District 9 after all leaving Rep. Kelly Hancock (R-Ft. Worth) and Rep. Todd Smith (R-Bedford) to compete in the Republican primary.  Anderson chose not to run for re-election to his House seat since he was paired with Rep. Linda Harper Brown (R-Irving).

The United States Department of Justice refused to grant preclearance to the Texas Voter ID law passed by the Texas Legislature last session. The DOJ is concerned the law would have a retrogressive impact on Hispanic voters who do not have a state issued ID card.  Texas is the second state to have its voter ID law challenged. The Justice Department previously blocked a similar law from taking effect in South Carolina.