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Around the Capitol / On the Move / Campaign Season
Sen. Royce West is scheduled to make an announcement on July 22 about whether he will challenge US Senator John Cornyn.
Former Rep. Ron Simmons is considering running for his old seat in HD-65. Currently, it’s held by Rep. Michelle Beckley.
The following Senators have announced they are running for reelection:
Sen. Brian Birdwell, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Sen. Carol Alvarado
The following House members have announced they are running for reelection:
Rep. Gina Calanni , Rep. Justin Holland, Rep. Rick Miller, Rep. Joe Moody, Rep. Sarah Davis, Rep. Armando Walle, Rep J.D. Sheffield, Rep. Morgan Meyer, Rep. Charlie Geren, Rep. Dade Phelan , Rep. Ed Thompson, Rep. Angie Chen Button
Rep. Dan Huberty has not yet indicated if he’s running for re-election.
The following House members have announced they are not running for reelection:
Rep. John Wray and Rep. Jonathan Stickland.
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced November 5th as the date for a special election to fill the seat previously held by former Rep. Eric Johnson who was elected Mayor of Dallas.
Stephen Chang, former press staff for Gov. Greg Abbott, is the new communications director in the Texas Secretary of Sate’s office. He replaces Sam Taylor, who is now serving as communications director to U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington. (h/t The Blast)
Ana Yañez-Correa has a new position with Harris County Commission and former Sen. Rodney Ellis. She is now the Policy Director having served as the Director of Community Relations/ Engagement for just over a year.
Brigette Dechant, COS to Rep. Sarah Davis, is leaving that position to attend law school at South Texas School of Law.
Susie Buda will be leaving her position as the education staffer for the Senate Finance Committee to take a position at the Texas Taxpayers And Research Association.
Aisha McClendon has left her position as COS to Rep. Toni Rose to join the Beto O’Rourke Presidential campaign as director of African-American outreach.
Speaker Dennis Bonnen has created Texas Leads, a PAC to assist Republican House members win reelection.
Travis Broussard, COS for Sen. Jane Nelson, has left that position to pursue other opportunities.
Sara White, communications director for Rep. Tony Tinderholt, has left that position to join The Texan, a new conservative news media outlet. (h/t The Blast)
The Texas Realtors Association announced recently that Mark Lehman will retire as the association’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs after more than two decades of service. Lehman will officially step down from the role on December 31, 2019.
Former Speaker Joe Straus announced he has launched a new PAC, Texas Forever Forward, starting with a $2.5 million investment. “We are launching this effort because I believe Texas needs leaders who are forward-looking and dedicated to bringing creative, problem-solving ideas to the new challenges our state faces as our population rapidly grows,” Straus said in a statement. “It’s time to unite Texas in civic participation and ensure our next decades are the very best in our long, proud journey.”
Dustin Cox and Andrew Cates have started a new public affairs firm – Salient Strategies. Cox will be leaving his position as Director of External Relations at Harmony Public Schools and Cates will be leaving his position as General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for the Texas Nurses Association. The firm will provide strategic advice, communications/PR and government affairs services to the political and business community at the local and state level.
Christopher Kaiser, Director of Public Policy and General Counsel for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault is leaving his position to move to New Orleans. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Angela Hale, previously at Red Media Group, is now acting CEO of Equality Texas. She takes over from Interim ED Samantha Smoot. (h/t The Quorum Report)
The Schlueter Group has added longtime corporate and independent lobbyist Richard Evans to its government affairs team. Before moving into a corporate role as State Government Affairs Director for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals three years ago, Evans operated Texas Lobby Solutions representing corporate and trade association clients.
Michelle Smith has a new position at Raise Your Hand Texas. She is now the VP of Policy and Advocacy, having previously served as Director of Government Relations.
Laura Atlas Kravitz, has joined joined the Texas State Teachers Association GR team. She previously worked for Sen. Nathan Johnson as communications director and policy analyst. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Former US Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, has been named President and CEO of Texas 2036, a nonprofit organization focused on planning for the state’s future growth. Dallas lawyer and longtime public education advocate Tom Luce is the founder of Texas 2036. (h/t The Blast)
State Agency News
Aaron Peña, Jr. is starting a new position as Government Relations Specialist at Texas General Land Office.
Former Rep. Wayne Christian has been elected chair of the Texas Railroad Commission.
Gene Acuña, communications director for Speaker Dennis Bonnen, is returning to the Texas Education Agency in August. (h/t The Blast)
Congratulations to former Rep Diane White Delisi on her recent marriage.
Congratulations to Lawrence Collins on his recent engagement.
Congratulations to Kandace Karla and Lee Parsley on their recent marriage.
Congratulations to the Zaffirini family and especially Carlos Zaffirini and his wife Audrey on the birth of their son, George William.
July 19 – Chris Cutrone, Jody Richardson
July 20 – Ryan Marquess
July 21 – Sen. Bryan Hughes, Brady Vaughn
July 22 – Rep. Bowers, Ben Utley
July 23 – Greg Macksood, Pete Havel
July 24 – Geoff Connor, Jennifer Sarver
July 26 – Dustin Meador, Jason Steele, Ana Yanez Correa
July 27 – Rep. Hugh Shine
July 28 – Dinah Smith Welsh
July 29 – Nick James
In Our Thoughts
Our condolences to Richard Seline on the recent passing of his mother, Delores Lewis Seline.
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.