Elections 2020IssuesState HouseThe Back MicThe Back Mic: Bloomberg Block Walks for Texas Democrat, Lang Faces White Settlement Hero, and Bonnen Updates

This week — more presidential candidates campaign in state legislative races, the battle for Rep. Mike Lang's seat heats up, and Bonnghazi continues.
January 3, 2020

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“The Back Mic” is a weekly look inside Texas politics and policy presented by The Texan. In just a few bullet points every Friday, you’ll know about the critical developments from the candidates, elected officials, and policies that impact Texans everywhere.

In House District 28, Mike Bloomberg Block Walks for Eliz Markowitz and Gary Gates Launches TV Ad

The race to fill the seat left vacant after Rep. John Zerwas’ retirement has been marked by big bucks and big names as the final two runoff candidates vie to represent the Fort Bend County district. 

  • Democrat candidate Eliz Markowitz, who’s been supported by a myriad of national special interest groups and figures like Beto O’Rourke and Wendy Davis, hosted a block walk with former New York City mayor and presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg this week. 
  • Notably, Bloomberg told reporters that O’Rourke was the one to connect him with Markowitz’s campaign and asked him to come support the Texas House candidate.
  • Republican Gary Gates launched a new TV ad showcasing endorsements from private citizens, including his adopted daughter, in the district and citing his endorsement from Governor Greg Abbott.

The runoff election will take place on January 28th.

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House District 60 in Light of the White Settlement Shooting and New Endorsements

After Rep. Mike Lang decided against running for reelection for the second time in favor of running for Hood County commissioner, a newer candidate raked in hefty endorsements and developments in the commissioner’s race muddied the waters for the outgoing state representative. Here’s the rundown:

  • Lang will face off against three Republicans in his campaign for commissioner, including Jacque Gordon, Terry Stamper, and Jack Wilson, whose name reverberated around the country after he released a single headshot that killed the shooter responsible for the White Settlement shooting earlier this week.
  • Jon Francis, businessman and Wilkes family member, entered the House District 60 Republican primary and has boasted several high profile endorsements since, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller
  • Jeremy Boreing, who co-founded The Daily Wire with conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, also tweeted out his support of Francis. The Wilkes family helped fund the conservative media company from its inception.
  • Other candidates for House District 60 include veterinarian Glenn Rogers, mayor of Mineral Wells Christopher Perricone, and attorney Kellye SoRelle.

Bonnen and the General Investigating Committee 

After a committee report was adopted by the Texas House General Investigating Committee that said Speaker Dennis Bonnen “likely violated” the law in his meeting with grassroots leader Michael Quinn Sullivan, committee leaders left the embattled speaker’s fate up to the House.

  • A week after the report was adopted, Reps. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) and Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth), who serve as chair and vice-chair of the committee, sent a letter to members of the Texas House.
  • The letter ended by stating, “the House may determine what, if any, further action should be taken as it relates to violations of the Texas Constitution, any state law, or the House Rules.”

No action has since been taken by members of the Texas House to impeach the speaker or employ disciplinary action.


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McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.