Saturday, January 31, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


NO MORE's Official Super Bowl Ad: 60 Second

Auschwitz: Drone video of Nazi concentration camp

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Couple Surprised by One-In-A-Million Pregnancy - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Couple Surprised by One-In-A-Million Pregnancy - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

News You Can Use - Escaping Duct Tape

5 Speaking Habits That Weaken Women's Leadership | Womens eNews

5 Speaking Habits That Weaken Women's Leadership | Womens eNews

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Perry spends $1 million in campaign funds for lawyers, KVUE 5:12 p.m. CST January 16, 2015

LSP Video: One Less Problem

For first time, Obama to deliver State of the Union address to Republican-led Congress | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

For first time, Obama to deliver State of the Union address to Republican-led Congress | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

New report shows majority of U.S. students are low-income | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

New report shows majority of U.S. students are low-income | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

SAT JAN 17, 2015 AT 10:42 AM PST The Texas 2015 Legislative Session. Texans should be afraid, very afraid by Libby

Thursday, January 15, 2015

In Lak’ech: You are my Other Me via @AnnenbergInst via @sharethis

Letter of noncompliance:

Arizona Education Officials Say It's Illegal To Recite This Poem In School

Club Nouveau - Lean on me (LP version) HD 16:9

St John Ambulance The Chokeables advert: save a choking baby

Gov. Rick Perry delivers farewell speech to Texas Legislature Bye Y'all: Texas Gov. Perry capping record 14-year term with final Texas Legislature address Author: The Associated Press Published On: Jan 15 2015 08:46:25 AM CST

Marc Veasey Sees a Future for Texas Democrats

Marc Veasey Sees a Future for Texas Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On a day when many Democrats back in Austin might have been eyeing the hemlock, U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey offered a shred of optimism about his party’s future in the Lone Star State.

A reinforced Republican-dominated legislature was taking office in Austin just as the Fort Worth Democrat — a week into his second congressional term — sat down for an interview with The Texas Tribune in his Washington office. 

Certainly, the state House and Senate appear more conservative than ever, the new lieutenant governor is pushing an unabashed Tea Party agenda and Wendy Davis' Democratic star has all but vanished since her gubernatorial bid ended in a thrashing.

But things will get better, Veasey said. 

“There’s no question about the fact that for Democrats, Texas is a tough place. It just is,” he said. “It seems like the Republicans are winning everything, but things are changing." 

Thanks to immigration patterns, Democrats like Veasey have reason to hope that their political standing will improve in the coming years, or even possibly decades. 

“Now does that mean we should just sit back and wait for demographics to change?” he said. “No, absolutely not.”

The political world has not seen the last of Davis, Veasey insisted.

“In my estimation, we’ll see Wendy Davis return in some capacity,” he said. “And we need her to return in some capacity, because she just is a dynamic woman and a very intelligent individual.

As for his own political future, the prospects are foggier. The oddly drawn nature of his district means there are no assurances he will win re-election.

The 33rd district snakes across the Metroplex from north and east Fort Worth into West Dallas. With a heavy Hispanic and Dallas-based population, a viable primary challenge could emerge from either — or both — of those worlds. And former state Rep. Domingo Garcia, Veasey’s rival from the 2012 Democratic primary, is the most closely watched potential challenger. 

For now, Veasey expressed confidence about his chances for a third term.

“I’ve had two tough primary challenges,” he said “I’ve had two well-funded primaries, but now, particularly during a non-election year, [I have] to focus on legislative priorities.”

On a legislative front, he said the three issues that are most important to him are education, jobs and health care.

His impoverished district has a sizable uninsured population, and he said part of his job is to encourage his constituents to enroll for health care. 

But he also said he hopes the state Legislature and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott will take up Medicaid expansion.

“Abbott has said that he’s not going to be a clone of Perry,” Veasey said. “I think that if he really wants to show Texas that there’s going to be change and that there’s going to be compassion, that would be the first thing that he could do." 

In Washington, Veasey displayed rebelliousness within his own house Democratic caucus last week, when he and five other Texas Democrats crossed party lines and voted for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

“It was huge for labor,” he said, and, despite what environmentalists might say, the safest way to transport oil.

Much like U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, Veasey said he is calm about declining oil prices. 

“While low gas prices are good, I think that eventually everything is going to stabilize,” he said. “But I think the good thing since the mid-'80s, too, we’ve diversified our economy so much." 

He pointed to the pricing of $70 per barrel as the sweet spot for Texans. “Everybody can have low gas prices and all these guys can go to work at the same time,” he said.

Even as he is confident that Texas will weather the economic impact, he recalled the last oil bust in the 1980s, when he was an eighth-grader at Monnig Middle School in Fort Worth.

“It was a very mixed-income school,” he said. “I can literally remember like yesterday kids whose parents … were living it up and everything came to a crawl.”   

“You would hear stories of people that lost their houses,” he added. “I remember people who had their whole lives turned upside down.” 

“I think people did learn lessons from the '80s.” 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Day One of the 84th Legislature

TEXPLAINER: What Really Happens During the 5 Months of Session?

Activists Line Up to Support Openly Carrying Guns

Activists Line Up to Support Openly Carrying Guns

Gun rights activists lined up at a press conference on Thursday to voice support for legislation that would allow Texans to openly carry handguns without a license.

That practice, which proponents call "constitutional carry," is allowed to varying degrees in 10 states. It is one of several gun rights issues lawmakers may address this session. House Bill 195 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, would bring constitutional carry to Texas.

“If you don’t need the government’s permission to practice your First Amendment rights, why should you need the government’s permission to practice your Second Amendment rights?” said National Association for Gun Rights President Dudley Brown. 

It is embarrassing for Texas not to have constitutional carry, Stickland said in a prepared statement read by his chief of staff (the lawmaker could not attend the press conference because he was on the House floor).

Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, called on his colleagues in the Senate to help pass Stickland's proposal. 

Asked about an incident at the Capitol on Tuesday in which a lawmaker escorted out of his office supporters of Stickland's proposal, Huffines said he did not know the specifics. State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, told The Texas Tribune that he asked the advocates to leave his office after they grew increasingly confrontational. 

 “I don’t know exactly what happened with some of those actions, but the best approach is a civil, respectful, peaceful discourse,” Huffines said. 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

In Last Hurrah, Perry to Encourage Compromise

In Last Hurrah, Perry to Encourage CompromiseIn

In a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas Legislature on Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry intends to emphasize bipartisanship and encourage lawmakers to work across party lines.

"There is room for different voices, for disagreement," he plans to say, according to prepared remarks provided to The Texas Tribune. "Compromise is not a dirty word if it moves Texas forward." 

Perry will deliver his speech at 2:30 p.m. in the House chamber, which played host earlier this week to the first contested vote for speaker since 1975. Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, who easily survived a challenge from state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, expressed a similar sentiment in his victory speech, saying, "You can not effectively govern this House by dividing it."

Thursday will mark the final time Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, speaks publicly to lawmakers from his current position, though he is considering and preparing for a possible presidential bid. 

In 2011, his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination was memorably unsuccessful, but in the run-up to the 2016 race, he has adopted a more statesman-like image and tone than his previous effort.

On Thursday, Perry also plans to reflect on at least one issue on which his views have evolved. Over the years, he came to sense that the state's approach to nonviolent drug offenders was, according to the prepared remarks, "flawed."

He will tout the success of the state's drug courts and diversion programs in lowering crime rates.

"We must remember when it comes to the disease of addiction, the issue is not helping bad people become good, but sick people become well," he plans to say. "Turning to diversion programs hasn't made us soft on crime. It's made us smart on crime."

As he does in most speeches, Perry will highlight the state's job growth during his tenure. He will say the state's economic expansion also contributed to a "creative and cultural arts boom." And he will make the case that Texas has "expanded our economy while protecting our environment."

One Texan whom Perry will cite as reaping the rewards of his approach is his successor, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

"In keeping with my philosophy that you don't spend all the money just because you can," Perry plans to say, "I am leaving the next governor more than $100 million in unspent funds from trusteed programs and other funds managed by my office."

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Texas Tribune 39 mins · We’re livestreaming Gov. Perry’s farewell address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature. You can watch at

Roque Planas Become a fan Email Teachers Of Banned Mexican-American Classes Push To Expand Ethnic Studies Posted: 01/12/2015 6:38 pm EST Updated: 01/12/2015 6:59 pm EST

Family Detention Center In Texas Is 'Utterly Unnecessary,' Says Immigration Attorney via @LatinoVoices

Contaminated Sushi Caused Parasites To Take Over Man's Body

Humble High grad set to star in third Super Bowl ad - Your Houston News: News

Humble High grad set to star in third Super Bowl ad - Your Houston News: News

Champions Against Bullying: Too Late

Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Email The Bad Old Days: Abortion in America Before Roe v. Wade Posted: 01/15/2015 12:27 pm EST Updated: 1 hour ago

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2016 Presidential Hopefuls Have Deep Ties to Texas

2016 Presidential Hopefuls Have Deep Ties to Texas

Of the two dozen or so politicos floated as serious presidential contenders, an uncanny number have a legitimate Texas connection — whether it's having lived or worked in the state.

Some stayed in the Lone Star State for just a few months, often on a campaign job. Other contenders were born here. Still others were educated here or moved to Texas for a job. And one — well, let's just call it the hug seen 'round the world.

Here's a look at the ties to Texas among the early 2016 presidential field: 


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at



The Selma and Montgomery Civil Rights Battles

SELMA talk with Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Common (comp...

Selma Movie - Official Trailer

Ava DuVernay: Who Am I | #OWNSHOW | Oprah Winfrey Network

Inside Texas Politics: Budget, Quakes and Local Control by John Jordan Jan. 11, 2015

Inside Texas Politics: Budget, Quakes and Local Control

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, host Jason Whitely, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy and Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey talk about the 84th Texas Legislature. Lawmakers convene on Tuesday for the biennial session with some uncertainty on the impact that plunging oil prices will have on the budget they must pass. Texas' diverse economy is less vulnerable than in years past, but a decline in oil and gas revenue will not only affect spending — it could slow tax relief efforts near and dear to many legislators' hearts.

Also: Jason, Bud and Ross look at the issue of local vs. state control, which in some ways mirrors Texas' own battles against perceived federal overreach; Jason and Bud talk to state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, about the upcoming session; Jason interviews Eva DeLuna Castro from the Center for Public Policy Priorities about what programs could feel the pinch from fewer dollars in the general revenue fund; what's behind the recent spate of earthquakes in North Texas is debated from the left and right; and one comedian suggests those quakes might be aftershocks from the hug heard 'round the world.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Dan Patrick and the Two-Thirds Rule: A Primer

Dan Patrick and the Two-Thirds Rule: A Primer

In 2007, a Republican state senator from Houston chose the first day of his first legislative session to mount a charge against one of the Texas Legislature’s most storied traditions.

Conservative talk radio host Dan Patrick had made a campaign issue out of attacks on an almost 70-year-old custom requiring two-thirds of the 31 senators to approve before bringing any bill to the floor for debate — a rule that, until then, members of a chamber that prides itself on gentility had seldom questioned. 

"We should have simple majority vote,” Patrick said during a brief floor speech. "What happened to majority rule? What about Jefferson and Madison and Monroe? It was all right for them."

It took his colleagues 15 minutes to shut him down 30 to 1, choosing to emphasize their disdain for what was viewed as an ill-mannered and misguided move by holding a roll call vote on his motion. But that did not deter Patrick, who would become the Legislature's most vocal opponent of the so-called two-thirds rule over the next eight years.

Enacted at the start of the session, the rule works by placing what is called a “blocker bill” at the beginning of the Senate’s daily calendar, where it sits for the rest of the session. No other bill can be passed unless at least two-thirds of the senators agree to "suspend the regular order of business" and skip over the blocker. 

The procedural gambit has stymied legislation on abortion, private school vouchers, voter identification and gun restrictions in the last decade. It has also inspired legendary political maneuvers. In 2007, late Houston Democrat Mario Gallegos, recovering from a liver transplant, had a hospital bed installed in a room next to the Senate chamber against the orders of his doctor so he could be there to help block consideration of a voter ID bill. When Republicans were in the minority, they used the rule’s leverage to knock a redistricting map into friendlier federal courts in 2001.

As Patrick takes the dais as lieutenant governor later this month — presiding over a chamber that has turned over by almost half since his drubbing in 2007 — he will likely have the votes to finally dump it. 

If that happens, the shift will mark a new era for the Senate, and reshuffle the dynamics of political negotiations for parties in both chambers.

Here’s a primer to get you through:

1. Depending on where you stand, the two-thirds rule leads to good governance or abuse of power. Patrick and others who oppose the rule argue that it allows a minority of senators to wield excessive control over the legislative agenda and keeps debate from public view. Proponents, including Republican Sens. Kevin Eltife of Tyler and Kel Seliger of Amarillo in the past, say it encourages members to avoid partisanship in favor of compromise, ultimately improving legislation. The rule has the practical effect of forcing Republicans to earn the support of one or two Democrats to get a bill through the chamber — and of shielding moderates in both parties from difficult votes. It also can protect minority interests in situations where the divide is not partisan, such as on issues where regional rather than political allegiances come into play.

2. The senators vote, but the lieutenant governor appoints. Patrick said at a Thursday news conference that while he's been clear about his feelings on the rule, it will be the "prerogative of the Senate" whether to keep it, a statement consistent with others he made during his campaign for lieutenant governor. But that doesn't mean Patrick doesn't hold sway in the matter — the rules vote will come before Patrick names committee chairmen, and a new crop of senators less inclined to bow to tradition now make up more than half of the Republican caucus.

3. It's about modifying — not eliminating — a supermajority requirement. Patrick has said in the past he favors a system where a simple majority could bring a bill for consideration. But more recently, during his campaign for lieutenant governor, he has advocated an approach mirroring that of the U.S. Senate, where three-fifths of the chamber must give approval to debate a bill. With the current makeup of the Senate, that would mean Republicans could bring bills to the floor without a single vote from one of the chamber's 11 Democrats. But to reach the three-fifths threshold, legislation would still need to earn the support of 19 senators — three votes on top of a simple majority — to be considered. 

4. There are always exceptions. Even with the two-thirds rule in effect, senators have sometimes opted to go around it, a process that under the rules of the Senate only requires a majority vote. Or they’ve passed the two-thirds rule with “special orders” bracketing out specific issues exempted from it, as they did in 2009 and 2011 to help get a voter ID law through the chamber. It’s possible that the 2015 rule could carve out areas like that. And if the two-thirds rule blocks a key piece of legislation during the regular session, the governor can always call lawmakers back for a special session — where the chamber typically operates without invoking the rule.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

4th graders allegedly plotted to kill their teacher 3:59 p.m. CST January 8, 2015 Three 4th-graders cooked up a plan to kill their teacher in Elba, New York, according to the sheriff's department there.

Two Men Attempted to Buy Toddler From Mother For $100: Police The men complimented the mother and child while in the check out line at a Covina market. By Kelly Goff

Texas Latinas Protest at Fifth Circuit Court [Video] Andrea Grimes by Andrea Grimes, Senior Political Reporter, RH Reality Check January 8, 2015 - 10:19 am

Texas Latinas Protest at Fifth Circuit Court

DPS urging Texans to prepare for wintry weather Web Meteorologist Steve Newton, KVUE 4:57 p.m. CST January 7, 2015

Tucson schools go ahead with Mexican-American studies, risking $14M in state funds By Aalia ShaheedPublished January 09, 2015Fox News Latino “Ethnic studies programs, from a Mexican-American point of view or and African American point of view, are not about teaching hatred or teaching distrust against any group of people… it’s a matter of appreciating the contributions of African American and Latino people,” Sánchez said in a press conference this week.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Roque Planas Become a fan Email Teaching Hip Hop Illegally Promotes Ethnic Solidarity, Arizona Official Says Posted: 01/05/2015 6:40 pm EST Updated: 01/05/2015 8:59 pm EST


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Centralia - full documentary

Monday, January 5, 2015

Big week ahead for Texas laws over abortion, gay marriage 12:05 a.m. Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 | Filed in: State

Texas truancy law handcuffs kids' future By Deborah Fowler | December 26, 2014 That's it. Incarcerate. Not educate. Either a money maker or education killer.

The Texas Weekly Newsreel: Abbott Priorities, DHHS, Charter Schoolss

Political Roundup:

Video: A Bid to Attract More Mental Health Workers

Video: A Bid to Attract More Mental Health Workers

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

A Conversation With Senate Caucus Chairs Watson and Huffman

A Conversation With Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

Inside Texas Politics: Looking Ahead by John Jordan Jan. 4, 2015 1Comment Comment Republish Email Tweet Recommend On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy and Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey share some political predictions for 2015 with host Jason Whitely. Watch:

The Texas Tribune 83RD LEGISLATIVE SESSIONBILLS Do Search Senate Bills: Health…/bil…/senate/by/subject/Health/

The Texas Tribune 83RD LEGISLATIVE SESSIONBILLS Do Search 83rd Legislative Session Bills Texas lawmakers file thousands of bills during each biennial legislative session — and sometimes hundreds more during special sessions. Use this application, which is updated daily, to explore those filings by searching for specific bill numbers — or their captions, subject categories or authors. Confused? Watch a tutorial video. Bills by Subject

Dalea Lugo Political Blogger :: The Brief: A Trifecta of Special Elections on Ta...

Dalea Lugo Political Blogger :: The Brief: A Trifecta of Special Elections on Ta...: The Brief: A Trifecta of Special Elections on Tap by John Reynolds , The Texas Tribune ...

The Brief: A Trifecta of Special Elections on Tap

The Big Conversation

Three special elections are on tap for Tuesday, including two contests to find replacements for a pair of San Antonio Democrats (Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Rep. Mike Villarreal) who have opted to run for mayor. Also, Central Texas voters east of Austin will be selecting a replacement for a state representative, Lexington Republican Tim Kleinschmidt, who is leaving for a job at the agriculture department.

For a complete rundown of the candidates in all three contests, check out the write-up from the Tribune's Alexa Ura and Bobby Blanchard.

Drawing the most attention is the Senate District 26 contest where two other sitting legislators — state Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer and José Menéndez — are the highest profile candidates in the field seeking to succeed Van de Putte. Interestingly enough, tort reform group Texans for Lawsuit Reform has emerged as a major factor in the race.

It's uncommon for TLR to become involved in an intraparty Democratic contest but the group has a special dislike for Martinez Fischer. And it's putting Menéndez in a tight spot, writes Gilbert Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News.

Menéndez’s prospects have been aided over the past week by a withering TV attack ad blasting Martinez Fischer, bankrolled (to the tune of nearly $150,000) by the Texans For Lawsuit Reform PAC, a group which champions tort reform and routinely backs conservative Republicans.

Menéndez is never mentioned in the ad, but as Martinez Fischer’s chief adversary in the five-candidate race, he’s the prime beneficiary. At the same time, he knows that his fellow Democrats despise TLR. So even if TLR is the enemy of his rival, Menéndez doesn’t want to appear too friendly with the group.

The Day Ahead

•    Gov.-elect Greg Abbott visits Austin High School, which has installed new wheelchair-accessible installations. Abbott will be joined by the Austin High senior who raised funds for the project.

Trib Must-Reads

Louie Gohmert Announces Challenge to Speaker Boehner, by Abby Livingston

Texas Perspective: Water, by Justin Dehn and Alana Rocha

Revisiting Tenure of Texas' Longest-Serving Governor, by Texas Tribune Staff

Rediscover the New Salaries Explorer, by Ryan Murphy


Herman: Rick Perry looks back, Austin American-Statesman

Perry farewell speech set for Jan. 15, Houston Chronicle

Texas lawmakers to feds: Leave us alone, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Declining revenue might cause crunch in legislative session, El Paso Times

Texas school start date debate pits educators against tourism industry, The Dallas Morning News

Governors’ inaugurals fueled by political donors, The Associated Press

Meet Ted Cruz's Twitter whisperer, CNN

Republican contest for 2016 race is heating up quickly, Washington Post

Quote to Note

"The gun business is a paper-intensive deal."

— Gun store owner Jim Pruett on federal government requirements that records of gun sales be kept in a way that they can't be easily searched

Today in TribTalk

Telling the real story of Laredo, by Raul G. Salinas

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Senate Caucus Chairs Kirk Watson and Joan Huffman on Jan. 12 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With House Public Education Chair Jimmie Don Aycock on Jan. 22 at The Austin Club

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Elections for Central Texas Seats Draw Crowded Field

Elections for Central Texas Seats Draw Crowded Field

With a state senator and two state representatives pursuing other political ambitions, voters in Central Texas will return to the polls on Tuesday to fill three vacant posts in the Legislature just a week before it convenes for the upcoming session.

Opting for local politics over a return to the Texas Capitol, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and state Rep. Mike Villarreal, both Democrats, are resigning their respective San Antonio-based seats to run for mayor of the Alamo City. Republican state Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, meanwhile, is vacating his House District 17 seat to take a job as the agriculture department’s general counsel.

None of the three seats are considered up for grabs for the opposing party, but the vacancies have attracted the attention of several challengers regardless, leaving a crowded field for voters to choose from during a truncated voting period.


The Senate District 26 contest will pit five candidates against one another in a race to replace Van de Putte, who is hoping to trade her longtime Senate seat for the top city office in San Antonio after a failed bid for lieutenant governor. The district has long been under Democratic control, which the party is hoping to maintain to keep its count of 11 members in the Republican-led Senate.

Among those candidates: 

Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio attorney and Democratic firebrand in the Texas House, where he has served since 2001. Martinez Fischer is chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

José Menéndez, who, like Martinez Fischer, has served in the Texas House since 2001. Menéndez, a Democrat, is the vice president of a local licensing firm and serves as chairman of the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs.

Alma Perez Jackson, a Republican who is the retired owner of a day care center. A member of the State Republican Executive Committee, Perez Jackson ran unsuccessfully for the HD-125 seat in 2012, taking home 37 percent of the vote. 

Al Suarez, who describes himself as a moderate Democrat, and is the four-term mayor of Converse, Texas. Suarez previously served on the Converse City Council and wants to reduce unfunded municipal mandates enacted by the Legislature.

Joan Pedrotti, a Republican and former Bexar County courts administrator. This is Pedrotti's first run for elected office. 


HD-123, which has six contenders, is the second San Antonio seat up for grabs as a result of the local mayor's race. Shortly after being re-elected in November, Villarreal announced that he was leaving his seat to run for mayor. Democrats have controlled HD-123, which stretches from downtown San Antonio to the northern edge of the city, since Villarreal won the seat in 2002.

The candidates are: 

Diego Bernal, a Democrat and former San Antonio city councilman. Bernal is focused on expanding education funding, and the civil rights advocate has worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. 

Melissa Aguillon, the president and CEO of Aguillon & Associates, a San Antonio-based public relations firm. The Democrat's campaign centers on issues like education and equal pay for women. 

Walter Martinez, who served a single term in the Texas House in the 1980s. Martinez, a Democrat, also sat on the San Antonio City Council from 1985 to 1992. Like other candidates, he has listed education and job creation as important issues to address if elected. 

Nunzio Previtera, the only Republican running for the seat. Previtera is running on a hallmark conservative agenda, including opposition to tax increases and abortion. He runs an insurance agency with his wife.

Roger V. Gary, a Libertarian who works in sales and marketing. Gary previously sought his party’s nomination for the 2012 presidential race, and is a former state chairman of the Libertarian Party of Texas.

Paul Ingmundson, a San Antonio-based sleep disorder specialist. Ingmundson, the Green Party candidate in the race, ran for HD-123 in the 2014 election. He lost with 13.7 percent of the vote. His platform promotes “clean energy and clean government.”


HD-17, which spans five counties east of Austin, opened when Kleinschmidt announced he was leaving his seat for a job in the agriculture department. Kleinschmidt had easily kept the district under Republican control since being elected in 2009.

Voters will have their pick of five candidates to replace him on Election Day: 

John Cyrier, the president and CEO of a construction company in Austin. Cyrier, a Republican, previously served as a Caldwell County commissioner and county judge pro tem. He has a wide range of endorsements, including that of outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

Brent Golemon, a local businessman who previously worked for various management companies. Golemon, a Republican, previously served on the Bastrop County Water District board. His platform includes opposition to abortion and regulations on guns.

Shelley Cartier, a realtor who previously ran as an independent candidate for Bastrop County Judge. In this race, she's running as a Democrat. 

Ty McDonald, a Bastrop pastor who worked as a legislative director in the 1990s for state Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, and as a campaign coordinator for former comptroller John Sharp. The Democrat is the former president of the Bastrop Independent School District.

Linda Curtis, the founder of Independent Texans and the only third-party candidate in the race. She was involved in the movement to bring single-member districts to the Austin City Council and helped found the League of Independent Voters of Texas.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Check out @TexasTribune's new and improved Government Salaries Explorer

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

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