Elections 2020IssuesState HouseState SenateThe Back MicThe Back Mic: Special Election Field Finalized, Pro-Choice Group Issues Endorsements, Abbott Releases Coronavirus Response Ad

This week — the Senate District 14 field is set, new endorsements are issued, and Governor Abbott releases an ad touting his coronavirus response.
May 15, 2020
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Senate District 14 Field Finalized

After Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) announced his retirement, candidates began positioning themselves for potential runs. The filing deadline for the July 14 special election came and went this week, finalizing the field vying for the seat. Ultimately, two Democrats, two Republicans, and two third-party candidates filed.

  • Sarah Eckhardt (D), former Travis County Judge
  • Eddie Rodriguez (D), state representative for House District 51
  • Waller Thomas Burns II (R), attorney
  • Don Zimmerman (R), former Austin City Council member and House District 47 candidate
  • Pat Dixon (L), former Lago Vista City Council member
  • Jeff Ridgeway (I), physician

Watson won his reelection bid with 72 percent of the vote in the 2018 general election.

Emily’s List Issues New Texas House Endorsements

Known for their advocacy of pro-choice women candidates, Emily’s List issued a list of 13 new endorsements of Texas House members or candidates. 

  • Eliz MarkowitzHouse District 28
  • Erin ZwienerHouse District 45
  • Vikki GoodwinHouse District 47
    • Rep. Goodwin (D-Austin) took back her district for Travis County Democrats in 2018, defeating Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin). Her Republican opponent will be decided in the July runoff election.
  • Angela BrewerHouse District 64
    • Brewer, an educator, is set to challenge incumbent Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Denton) in November.
  • Sharon HirschHouse District 66
    • Hirsh will face Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) in one of the most competitive Texas House Districts, as Shaheen won reelection with 50.3 percent of the vote.
  • Lydia BeanHouse District 93
    • Bean will challenge incumbent Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth). Her mother, Nancy, ran against Krause in 2018.
  • Elizabeth BeckHouse District 97
    • Beck, a veteran and lawyer, will challenge Rep. Craig  Goldman (R-Fort Worth).
  • Terry MezaHouse District 105
    • Rep. Meza (D-Irving) defeated then-Rep. and current Dallas County GOP Chair Rodney Anderson in 2018, and will be challenged by Republican Gerson Hernandez this cycle.
  • Brandy ChambersHouse District 112
    • Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson) narrowly held her seat when challenged by Chambers in 2018, and the two are set for a rematch.
  • Rhetta BowersHouse District 113
    • Rep. Bowers (D-Garland) defeated Republican Jonathan Boos in 2018, turning the seat previously held by Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) blue. She will be challenged by Republican Will Douglas in November.
  • Natali HurtadoHouse District 126
    • Hurtado, who’s endorsed by the Houston Chronicle, is mounting a challenge against Rep. Sam Harless (R-Spring).
  • Gina CalanniHouse District 132
    • In what was one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 general election, Rep. Calanni (D-Katy) defeated then-Rep. Mike Schofield (R-Katy) by just over 100 votes. The two will face off again in November.
  • Ann JohnsonHouse District 134
    • Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) has warded off challengers from both within her own party and across the aisle, though Johnson seeks to take this seat for the Democrats in 2020.

Abbott Releases COVID-19 Response Spot

Governor Abbott issued an ad this week detailing his response to COVID-19, featuring positive testimonials from prominent business owners throughout Texas and statements from state leaders in support of his plans to reopen. 

Mattress Mack of Gallery Furniture, Beaver Alpin of Buc-ees, and Juan Meza of Juan in a Million all appeared on camera with statements of support. 

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McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor serves as Operations Manager 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.