Wendy Davis’s filing to run for Governor of Texas left an open seat to be filled by residents of Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth area). Five Republicans and three Democrats have filed to run for election to this Texas State Senate seat. Recently, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz weighed in on behalf of one of the Republicans in the race, Konni Burton of Colleyville, Texas.
In a speech at the Texans for Freedom and Liberty Rally held earlier this month in Allen, Texas, Sen. Cruz mentioned candidate Konni Burton, stating, “Konni Burton wakes up every day for liberty and fighting for every Texan – God bless you.”
The remarks came as part of a speech in which he was addressing the grassroots movement that brought him to his seat in the U.S. Senate. “In the last couple of years,” Sen. Cruz began, “we have seen something extraordinary, something transforming which almost none of the media covers. We have seen the rise of the grassroots.”
“We’ve seen it here in Texas – on the ground,” Sen Cruz continued. “You want to know why I am optimistic? You want to know why I am inspired? You inspire me!”
Despite the presence of three Democrats in the race, Texas Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) conceded in a speech before the Houston Realty Business Coalition on January 16th that Democrats will likely lose Wendy Davis’s seat to a Republican. This loss by the Democrats would bring the Texas Senate to a party split of twenty Republicans and eleven Democrats. Texas Senate rules require twenty-one votes to bring a bill to a vote on the Senate floor.
Konni Burton is joined in the Republican 2014 Primary Election by four competitors. Those candidates are former Texas State Representative Dr. Mark Shelton (who lost the race for this seat two years ago to Wendy Davis), former Colleyville City Council Member and businessman Mark Skinner, Arlington Independent School District Trustee Tony Pompa, and Dr. Jon Schweitzer.
A January 16th article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the five Republicans in this race to take back this senate seat have stockpiled more than $500,000 between them. Burton, Shelton, and Pompa lead the money list among the Republicans with between $150,000 and $191,000 in cash on hand according to state financial reports quoted in the Star-Telegram.
The Star-Telegram reported that all the candidates agree the seat should return to Republican hands but are obviously split on who that Republican candidate should be. “Battleground Texas will fight,” Mark Skinner said. “And we need a fighter… [who can go] toe-to-toe with anyone they put out there.”
The three Democratic candidates have only raised a little over $100,000 between them. Democrat community leader Libby Willis held more than $92,000 of that warchest. Mike Martinez, an energy executive, had little more than $20,000.