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Around the Capitol / On the Move
Correction: Robert McVey is still with Rep. Ryan Guillen as his Senior Policy Advisor.
Former Rep. Jason Villalba has announced this week he is running for Mayor of Dallas. He is currently one of nine candidates. The election is May 4th.
Chloe Beck has taken a position as a Policy Analyst for the Senate State Affairs Committee. She has been at the Texas Star Alliance and before that with former Rep. Larry Gonzales.
The Texas House Republican Caucus has selected its Executive Committee for the 86th Legislative Session: Rep. Dustin Burrows, Chair, Rep. Stephanie Klick, Vice Chair, Rep. Craig Goldman, Secretary, and Rep. Dan Huberty,Treasurer.
Rep. Chris Turner continues as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Celia Israel will be the Vice Chair.
Mikey Paylor is the new COS for Rep. Sheryl Cole. Paylor previously was the COS for former Rep. Lance Gooden who was recently elected to Congress.
Rudy England is the new General Counsel and Legislative Director for Sen. Nathan Johnson. He previously worked at the General Land Office and was a House staffer for several committees.
Cicely Kay, former Legislative Director for Rep. Jessica Farrar, is now with Rep.Gina Hinojosa as her Legislative Director.
The newly formed House LGBTQ Caucus will be chaired by Rep. Mary Gonzalez.
Don Barber is the new Legislative Director for Sen. Paul Bettencourt. He previously was COS for former Rep. Paul Workman.
Rep. Justin Rodriguez has left the Legislature to become a Bexar County Commissioner. replacing former Rep. Paul Elizondo, who passed away in December.
Alex Hammond will be Sen. Carol Alvarado’s COS, the same position he held when she was in the House. Riccio Garcia will be Alvarado’s new General Counsel.
Rep. Kyle Biedermann announced his staff for the session: (h/t The Blast)
Chief of staff: Karin Dyer
District Director: Bryan Bennett
Legislative Director: Jonathan Silva
Environmental Policy Specialist: Larry Bailey
Administrative Aide: Nubia Devine
Sloan Byerly, who was Legislative Director for Rep. Lynn Stucky, is now Rep. Travis Clardy’s COS.
Melissa Alfarro is the Legislative Director for Rep. Julie Johnson. She previously worked for Rep. Rafael Anchia. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Ben Utley is the new Legislative Director for Rep. Kyle Kacal. Utley previously was the Legislative Director for former Rep. Jason Villalba.
Adrianne Fore is now the COS for Rep. Doc Anderson. She previously was with former Sen. Craig Estes‘ office.
Sharon Slover retired from the House after serving as district director for Reps. Allen Fletcher, Mike Schofield, and Tom Oliverson. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Brady Franks recently left The University of Texas system and is now with Gov. Greg Abbott. He will be focusing on higher education policy and budget.
Rep. Armando Walle has been added to the executive board of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Walle was named treasurer, replacing former Rep. Justin Rodriguez.
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services have announced Chris Traylor as Acting Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. Traylor previously served as the as the Executive Commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Kate Kuhlmann has left the Association of Texas Professional Educators and is at HillCo Partners now.
Shannon Johnson has started a new position as Public Affairs & Policy Advisor at Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
Rebecca Robinson has been promoted to Advocacy and Communications Manager for the Texas Restaurant Association. Robinson previously served as the Communications Manager at TRA. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Eric Backes is the new Executive Director for for Texas Transit Association. Backes previously worked as Deputy Director of Governmental Affairs for the Maryland Transit Administration in Baltimore. (h/t The Quorum Report)
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce board has announced Brian Cassidy, managing partner at Locke Lord, as the new 2019 Chair as well as Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch as Chair Elect. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Zach Flores, formerly COS for outgoing Rep. Ron Simmons, has joined the Texas Star Alliance.
Lisa Dawn Fisher, former chief school finance officer for the Texas Education Agency, will join the Texas State Teachers Association’s legislative advocacy team for the 2019 session
Tracy Morehead, former COS to Rep. Doc Anderson, is now with McGuire Woods Consulting in Austin as Assistant Vice President of Government Relations.
Lucy Nashed also recently joined McGuire Woods Consulting as Vice President of State Government Relations. Nashed most recently was Communications Director for Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR). She will continue have TLR as a client.
Jessica Follett, who was Assistant Vice President for Government Relations for McGuire Woods, is now the district affairs coordinator for Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
Ursula Parks will partner with Ancira Strategies, a public affairs firm in Austin. Parks is a former director of the Legislative Budget Board, and will work with clients on issues related to state budget and financing.
Ellen Troxclair recently joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation after leaving the Austin City Council. She will be a senior fellow for the Foundation’s Center for Local Governance.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation has announced David Balat as the director of the Foundation’s new national healthcare initiative, Right on Healthcare.
David Reynolds, principal at Reynolds Solutions, recently joined Congress Avenue Partners to lobby on healthcare, water, technology, and education issues. (h/t The Blast)
Don Forse, who left the General Land Office at the end of 2018 will be director of business development for the Tidal Basin Group, a disaster recovery firm that works with governments and the private sector.
Kelly Barnes recently joined HillCo Partners after working as COS for Rep. Travis Clardy.
Peter Salatich is now working for Anheuser-Busch after serving as senior policy analyst for the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Kathy Green, previously, Sr. Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the Central Texas Food Bank, is now Director for No Kid Hungry, Texas.
Cody Vaden, former campaign manager and district director for former Rep. Rodney Anderson, is now the Director of Public Affairs for the Arlington Board of Realtors.
Nicole Hudgens has been promoted to Senior Policy Advisor at Texas Values. Mary Elizabeth Castle has joined Texas Values as a policy advisor. (h/t The Quorum Report)
State Agency News
Texas Railroad Commissioner, Ryan Sitton, has hired Bryan Preston Director of Public Affairs. He previously served as Director of Communications at the General Land Office.
Jason Modglin has started a new position at the Railroad Commission as Director of Public Affairs for Commissioner Christi Craddick. Modglin previously worked as COS for Rep. Drew Darby.
Tanisha Adair is the Texas Department of Insurance’s Assistant Director of External Affairs. She previously worked for Rep. Tom Oliverson as his Legislative Director.
Carmen Cernosek will start a dual position at the Texas Water Development Board as Senior Advisor to the Executive Administrator and Director of Government Relations. The TWDB has two new hires, Bryan McMath, Governmental Relations Liaison and Claire Boyer, Governmental Relations Specialist. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Congratulations to Jen and Ryan Brennan on the birth of their son, John Peter Brennan.
Jan 19: Tyler Rudd
Jan 20: Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jill Warren
Jan 21: Kyle Ward
Jan 22: former Rep. Diana Maldonado
Jan 23: former Rep. Mike Millsap, Araminta Sellers, Bill Peacock
Jan 25: Harvey Kronberg
Jan 28: Brittany Eck
Jan 29: former Rep. Larry Gonzales, Rene Lara, Michael Stewart
Jan 30: Michelle Sneed, ML Calcote
Jan 31: Rep. Ben Leman
In Our Thoughts
Condolences to the family and friends of Allan “Bud” Shivers Jr., son of former governor Allan Shivers, who recently passed away.
Larry Temple, Executive Director of the Texas Workforce Commission since 2004, recently passed away at the age of 66.
Condolences to the family of Missy Warren, whose mother, Elizebeth “Betsy” Warren, passed away just weeks prior to her 103rd birthday.
Condolences to the family and friends of Kathy Grant on the passing of her father, Garnett S. Grant Sr.
Former Rep. Paul Elizondo, passed away in December. He served two terms in the Texas House before becoming Bexar County Commissioner in 1982.
Gov. Abbott has set the date of the special election to replace Sen. Carol Alvarado and former Rep. Joe Pickett for January 29th. The special election to replace former Rep. Justin Rodriguez will be February 12.
Deborah Ingersoll of Legislative Solutions has officially launched a new Online Lobby Guide.
Tanner Long, legislative affairs specialist for the Texas Association of Realtors, has launched a new podcast about the legislature called “Under the Pink Dome.” You can find it on your favorite podcast source. (h/t The Blast)
Dates of Interest:
Friday March 8 — last day for unrestricted filing of bills
Monday May 27 — last day of regular session
June 16 — last day for governor to act on bills
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 512-431-5385 to let us know of other moves, birthdays, lobby sign ups, birth announcements, events, and happenings that you and your Capitol colleagues would like to read about.