Around the Capitol / On the Move
Rep. Tan Parker has announced he will seek the Speaker’s position when the House convenes in January 2019. He is the third candidate to announce – Rep. Phil King and Rep. John Zerwas announced their interest last year.
Sen. Chuy Hinojosa has announced the following staff changes. Roxanne DeLaGarza who was his legislative director will now be Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor Desiree Castro will become his new legislative director. Paul Townsend, who was most recently with the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas will become Hinojosa’s new general counsel replacing Jenn Saenz, who left Hinojosa’s office earlier this year.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has announced a new Chief of Staff, Darrell Dávila, who will replace longtime COS Logan Spence. Dávila joined Lt. Gov. Patrick’s administration in January 2015 as general counsel. In addition to his role as chief legal counsel and ethics advisor, he also advised the lieutenant governor on state affairs policy and economic development.
Jordan Williford, who has been working with the Texas Star Alliance and before that for Sen. Van Taylor for three sessions, has gone to the Governor’s budget and policy office and will work on ERS, TRS, pensions and other financial institutions.
Jacquelyn Hill has been hired by Rep. Drew Darby as his new Legislative Director. Jacquelyn previously worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and for Rep. Four Price.
Kolby Manning, former Capitol staffer for Rep. Ina Minjarez, is the campaign manager for Kim Olsen, the Democratic nominee for Agriculture Commissioner.
Former Rep. Kenn George has been named by the Trump administration as ambassador to Uruguay. He served two terms in the House and ran unsuccessfully for Land Commissioner in 2002.
Dr. Tony Fabelo, former ED of the Criminal Justice Policy Council and until recently Director of the Research Division of The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, has joined the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute as Senior Fellow for Justice Policy.
Daniel Gonzalez, Director of Legislative Affairs for the the Texas Association of Realtors, is a candidate for the Lake Travis ISD, Place 2. The election is May 6th.
Royce Poinsett has started his own public affairs and law firm. Poinsett served as a senior advisor and legal counsel to former Gov. Rick Perry and then to former Speaker Tom Craddick. Most recently he was a government affairs attorney at Gardere Wynne.
Chandra Villanueva, previously one of the Center for Public Policy Priorities Senior Policy Analysts, has been named CPPP’s new Program Director of the Economic Opportunity Team. Before joining CPPP eight years ago, Chandra was the Manager of Advocacy and Public Policy at the Women’s Prison Association, where she led a team of full-time research associates.
State Agency News
Preston Streufert, most recently a policy staffer for Gov. Greg Abbott, has left that office to work at HHSC in their Governmental Relations Division.
Kara Belew, Deputy Commissioner of Finance for the Texas Education Agency, will be leaving that position in May. No information yet on her future plans.
Public Utility Commissioner Brandy Marty Marquez has resigned her position to pursue opportunities in the private sector. She served as former Gov. Rick Perry’s policy director during his successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign and was his chief of staff during Texas’ 83rd legislative session.
The Public Utility Commission named John Paul Urban as executive director. Urban, who served as the commission’s director of government relations from 2011-2014, replaces Brian Lloyd, who resigned earlier this year. The commission also gave new titles to executive team members Thomas Gleeson andStephen Journeay: chief operating officer and commission counselor for the Office of Policy and Docket Management, respectively. Finally, it tapped Andrew Barlow to be communications director. He previously worked in the press offices for Lt. Gov.David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry. (h/t The Texas Tribune’s The Blast)
Chris Bryan has been named Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s new Director of Communications and Information Services. He previously had served as the assistant director of communications.
Congratulations to Emily and Dustin Howell on the birth of their third son, Samuel Holliday, earlier this month.
Congratulations to Machree Garrett Gibson on the recent birth of her granddaughter, Mia Natalia Gibson.
Congratulations to Mattie and Gage Heith on the birth of their son, Lincoln Dean, earlier this month.
Congratulations to Chas and Carrie Semple on the birth of their son, George, earlier this month.
Congratulations to Fmr. Rep. Gene Seaman on his appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott to the OneStar National Service Commission.
Congratulations to Amy Blakely of Venture Alliance Group, and Molly Quirk, deputy director, state legislative affairs at the General Land Office, on being named as Directors of the Texas Lyceum.
Congratulations to Dana Harris of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Jo Cassandra Cuevas of AT&T and David Edmonson of the Austin Tech Alliance for being named finalists for the Austin Under 40 awards.
Denise Davis has been named as one of 5 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas.
29 — Frank Galitski, Rep. Dennis Paul
31 — Katrina Daniel
3 — Rick Bluntzer, Milton Rister, Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins
4 — Kirsten Voinis, Dale Laine, Alfred Stanley, Clint Smith, Julie Parsley, Fmr. Rep. Craig Eiland, Rep. John Raney
5 — John Pitts, Shanna Igo, Rep. Larry Phillips
6 — James Shearer, Cathy DeWitt, Karen Johnson
7 — Fmr. Sen. Rodney Ellis, Rep. Alma Allen, Cheryl Lively
8 — Mary Scott Nabers, Rep. Byron Cook
9 — Kate Raetz
10 — Michael Ramsey, Aaron Whitehead, Brent Whitaker, Frank Reilly
11 — Rep. Matt Rinaldi
12 — Blaine Brunson, MaryJane Manford, Blaine Bull
13 — Jennifer Banda, Rep. Ernest Bailes
14 — Crystal Ford, Russ Keene
15 — Jim Crow, Jason Embry, Sen. Connie Burton
16 — Will Holleman, Lauren Lumsden, John Esparza
18 — Bill Pewitt
19 — Craig Holzheauser
20 — Randy Lee, Annie Spillman, Don Green, Ronnie Volkening, Richie Jackson
21 — Richard Box, Rep. Helen Giddings
22 — Alex Hammond, Chad Wilbanks
23 — Rep. Andrew Murr, Rep. César Blanco
24 — Jonathan Connors
25 — Michael Garcia
26 — Richard Evans, Sen. Don Huffines
27 — Matt Russell
29 — Kyler Arnold, Brady Franks, Rep. Rodney Anderson
30 — Shannon Rusing, Rep. Kyle Biedermann
In Our Thoughts
Former Capitol staffer Patrick Redman passed away last week. He worked for the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission before becoming general counsel for two state senators, including former Sen. Peggy Rosson. Since 2004, Patrick worked for the Texas County & District Retirement System.
Former Rep. Homer Dear, who represented the Ft. Worth area, passed away earlier this month. Dear was a two term member in the mid-nineties.
Former Sen. Jack Ogg, a lawyer and conservative Democrat passed away earlier this month. Ogg represented the Houston area for 16 years, serving as a state representative from 1967-1973 and then as a state senator from 1973-1983. He lost a statewide bid for Texas attorney general in 1982 and returned to his law practice in Houston.
Chris Harris, son of former Sen. Chris Harris, passed away earlier this month. He was 42 and well known in the professional rodeo circuit.
The Texas Tribune has a comprehensive list of every race on the primary run-off ballot and general election ballot.
Texas Impact is tracking the endorsements of statewide organizations for House, Senate, and Statewide offices. They’ll be adding to it as they come across groups’ announcements, and statewide organizations can send Texas Impact their endorsements at firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Dates of Interest
Runoff election: May 22, 2017
Below are links to several podcasts on Texas politics and what’s happening at the Capitol: