Endorsements offered in state primary races
by Chip and Jeff Latcham
May 16, 2012 | 1991 views | 4 4 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Early voting began Monday (May 14) in the Texas Democratic and Republican primary elections, which were delayed by the courts this year until May 29. It continues through May 25 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays in Room 109 at the courthouse.

Because of the lengthy ballots, we offer our recommendations here in the contested races at the state and district level.

Democratic ballot

For U.S. president, most newspapers around the state are endorsing the re-election of Barack Obama. Yet, because of his opposition to oil and gas drilling (cap and trade and the Keystone pipeline) and pushing Obamacare, the wasteful stimulus, increased taxation and federal spending, and now gay marriage, we are advocating ABO, anyone but Obama.

For U.S. Senator, Paul Sadler has been praised statewide for serving six terms in the Texas House and distinguishing himself as an effective leader who worked across party lines, including with then-Gov. George W. Bush on educational initiatives.

For U.S. Representative, District 34, Filemon Vela has been active in law, public service and politics for more than 20 years. His father served as a U.S. district judge for more than 20 years in Brownsville, his mother was mayor there and his wife is Rose Vela, justice on the 13th District Court of Appeals. He says he would offer a pragmatic voice for South Texas and work together with others to solve our problems.

For State Board of Education, District, 3, Michael Soto is running for re-election. He currently serves on the board’s Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund. A public school parent, Soto is an associate professor of English at Trinity University in San Antonio.

For State Representative, District 43, Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles of Alice is a familiar candidate, having served three terms in the Texas House and frequently attending events in Bee County. An attorney, she has valuable experience in the agricultural and energy sectors of this district’s economy.

Most Democrats will prefer to vote yes on the three propositions involving college education tuition and fees and legalizing casino gambling.

Republican ballot

For President, Mitt Romney has, for all intents and purposes, clinched the party’s nomination. Perhaps not the favored conservative choice, he is all that stands in the way of another four years of runaway spending, higher taxes and an anemic economy.

For U.S. Senator, David Dewhurst, the state’s lieutenant governor, is the establishment’s choice and should win in November. He carries enough conservative credentials and would continue the tradition and voting record of Kay Bailey Hutchison.

For U.S. Representative, District 34, Adela Garza would be an ideal choice, a conservative businesswoman/leader from the Valley. She would stand up for our values in Washington, a vocal advocate for fiscal responsibility and job creation – and a welcome change.

For Railroad Commissioner, Warren Chisum understands energy issues. He is a small businessman and energy producer from Pampa. He has served in the state House since 1989. He served as chairman of the House Committees on Appropriations and Environmental Regulation and is an active member in Energy Council, an organization of legislators from energy-producing states and countries.

For Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term, Barry Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission in July 2011. After a career in the banking industry and as a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s office, in 2004 Gov. Perry appointed Smitherman to the Public Utility Commission, where in 2007 he became chairman. A conservative, he has a background in budgets, free markets and the energy industry.

For Justice, Supreme Court, Place 2, Don Willett was appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas in August 2005 and elected to a full term in November 2006. Before that, Willett was a deputy Texas attorney general, serving as chief legal adviser to Attorney General Greg Abbott on the complete array of major legal issues confronting Texas.

For Justice, Supreme Court, Place 4, David Medina, a former Harris County state district judge, succeeded Wallace B. Jefferson in Place 4 after Jefferson’s appointment to be chief justice. Gov. Perry appointed Justice Medina, who was the governor’s general counsel since January 2004.

For State Representative, District 43, it was a tough choice between J.M. Lozano of Kingsville and Bill T. Wilson II of Portland. However, we join state GOP leaders and the Texas Farm Bureau in endorsing J.M. Lozano, the incumbent who switched parties. Elected as a conservative Democrat, he soon found he was out of favor with the liberal Democrats in Austin. He is a small business owner and social conservative. We believe he has the best chance to win in November.

For Justice, 13th Court of Appeals, Place 4, Jaime Tijerina is by far the best candidate. The Kenedy County attorney, who has been endorsed by many GOP leaders (including Attorney General Abbott), has encountered an interesting challenge in this campaign. An Army reservist, he was deployed to Afghanistan for the remainder of 2012, but his brother assures us he will be back in time to assume office. For his love of country, as well as his education and experience, we are pleased to offer our support.

Republican voters, no doubt, also will want to vote yes on five referendums, including repealing Obamacare, supporting a balanced budget amendment and allowing the Legislature to redraw the court-imposed lines for districts.

– Chip and Jeff Latcham

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May 18, 2012
It is disappointing to see such a great paper endorse JM Lozano. He voted conservatively on one major issue during his first and only unmemorable term. He offers weak excuses for his other party line votes with the democrats that are not believable. For example, he says he voted against voter ID because it wasn't strong enough. Sure that is really believable coming from someone who was a democrat at that time. Additionally, the way he behaved during his 2010 primary was a real shame, parading around with his opponent's estranged husband during a bitter divorce to campaign events and all. He claims he switched parties because of his principles. He switched parties precisely because he has none! He switched parties less than one week after the new redistricting maps changed his district from majority democratic to majority republican.
May 17, 2012
You guys have not done your due diligence!

Adela Garza is not a conservative as a matter of fact, she is and has been a Democrat. Check her voting record in the 2010 Primary.

The Democrats here in the Valley were shocked when she ran on the Republican side!

Please watch any of the Forums that she has attended and you will see that she is totally inept on the issues and responds like a "deer in the headlights"!