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Around the Capitol / On the Move
Democrat Art Fierro won the special election for HD 79 replacing former state Rep. Joe
Pickett. Pickett stepped down late last year due to health issues. Veteran Capitol staffer
Toni Barcelona is Fierro’s Chief of Staff.
In the elections to fill the last two vacancies in the House, both elections will have run-off
elections. In the election to replace Sen. Carol Alvarado, Democrats Christina
Morales and Melissa Noriega advanced to a runoff. In the election to replace former
Rep. Justin Rodriguez, Republican Fred Rangel, and Democrat Ray Lopez will meet in a
Jeff Stokes is the new Committee Director for the House Committee on Homeland
Security & Public Safety. He previously was a Capitol staffer and Director of Legislative
Affairs for the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.
Texas House Republican Caucus Chairman Rep. Dustin Burrows announced the
appointment of Rep. Jim Murphy as the Caucus Floor Leader for the 86th Legislative
Session. Murphy will be joined by the following members who will serve as Deputy Floor
Leaders: Reps. John Raney, Kyle Biedermann, Cole Hefner, Justin Holland, Tony
Tinderholt, and Bill Zedler.
Melissa Cook O’Reilly is the Legislative Director for Rep. Tracy King. She previously
worked as Corporate Counsel for several health care related IT companies.
Katherine Munal was recently named the House Republican Caucus Policy Director.
She’s a former Chief of Staff for Rep. Scott Sanford.
Carolyn Merchan Saegert has returned to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s office as Fiscal
and Tax Counsel. She previously had her own government affairs firm, and had worked
for Patrick as his tax policy advisor before that.
Steve Munisteri, will advise the Texas Senate Republican Caucus in a consulting
capacity for the 86th Legislative Session. Munisteri formerly served as Chairman of the
Republican Party of Texas.
Legislative committee News:
Kory Curtis is the new Clerk for the House Committee on State Affairs. He previously
worked in the Capitol as an Assistant Committee Clerk and a bill analyst for the
Jeff Miller has left the General Land Office to become Committee Clerk for the House
Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Tiffany White is the new Committee Director for Senator Bob Hall, Chairman of the
Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture. (h/t Quorum Report)
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has hired Marina Hench as its
new Senior Government Relations Director in Texas. Hench served for more than a
decade in government affairs and public policy roles for several organizations including
Cigna – HealthSpring and the Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice. Hench
replaces Cam Scott who recently took a position with the Nurse Family Partnership in
Parker McCollough has a new position as Senior Vice President at Mercury Public
Former Rep. Clint Hackney has hired John Pouland, of HeLP/B2G to assist with
business development in the public sector.” Eric Woomer, of Policy Solutions, will team
with Clint Hackney in Austin. (h/t Quorum Report)
Amy Beard has joined its Government Solutions Practice Group of Foley Gardere in its
Austin office as Senior Public Affairs Advisor. Beard was the founder and President of
Amy Beard Consulting, LLC., and has been involved in Texas politics for over 14 years
working with Cammack & Strong as well as serving as an Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms in
the Texas Senate.
David Reynolds has recently joined Congress Avenue Partners. He previously had his
own firm and had worked with the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association and the Texas
Dr. Charles Aki is now the Director of Economic and Fiscal Research at Premiere
Legislative Consulting. He previously worked at the Comptroller’s Office where he
provided economic forecasts and revenue estimates. He also worked with TEA as a
financial modeler. (h/t Quorum Report)
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recently appointed
Cindy Walker Peach as Chief Product Development Officer. She most recently served
as Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) Program Director at the National Science Foundation
(NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia.
Jonathan Connors has left the Capitol to take a position with Delisi Communications.
Connors was the Director of the Senate Health and Human Services Commission and a
former staff member for former Speaker Joe Straus.
State Agency News
UT Interim Chancellor Kenneth Shine has announced a promotion for Amy Thomas to
Vice Chancellor and Counsel for Health Affairs, providing oversight and guidance for the
six UT System health institutions. She has been serving as the Vice Chancellor for
Academic and Health Affairs.
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed former Rep. Ron Simmons to the Texas Mutual
Insurance Company Board of Directors.
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Wes Hambrick Director of the Office of StateFederal Relations. He previously served as the Interim Director as well as the Deputy
Director and Legislative Liaison.
Jason Hassay is the new Senior Legislative Counsel at the Texas Association of
Counties. He previously served as special counsel to Sen. Sylvia Garcia and was the
Chief of Staff to former Sen. Carols Uresti.
Congratulations to Malika Te and Mike Erwin on their recent engagement.
Feb 19: Eric Woomer
Feb 20: Rep. Lynn Stucky, fmr. Rep. Jerry Madden, Carl Mullen
Feb 21: Rep. Dan Flynn, Sen. Dawn Buckingham, Charlotte Blakemore, Russ Tidwell
Feb 22: Rep. Drew Darby, Leonard Spearman, Lisa Anderson
Feb 24: Carol Frost Treadway, Johanna Kim, Mona Taylor, Carrie Kahn, Clay Robison
Feb 25: Michelle Wittenburg, Willie Chapman
Feb 27: Dwight Clark
Feb 28: Rep. Phil King (birthday on the 29th), Cory Kennedy, fmr. Sen. Bob Glasgow
In Our Thoughts
Condolences to the family and friends of Rob and Gordon Johnson, whose mother,
Judith Johnson, recently passed away in her home in Dripping Springs.
Former Speaker Jimmy Turman has passed away. Turman served as a Democratic
member in the Texas House of Representatives from 1955 to 1963 and in 1961 he
served as Speaker of the House
Condolences to the family and friends of John Duncan who passed away recently.
Duncan worked for Lt. Governor Bob Bullock when Bullock was Comptroller and for two
Public Utility Commissioners.
Former Supreme Court Justice and Rep. C.L Ray passed away in December. Ray served
two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and in 1980 was elected to the
Supreme Court of Texas, where he served until his retirement from the Court in 1990.
Deborah Ingersoll of Legislative Solutions has officially launched a new Online Lobby
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)
House members office and phone list
Senate members office and phone list
House Chief of Staff List
Senate Chief of Staff List
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.