The Back MicThe Back Mic: Tarrant County Redistricting Fallout Continues, Rinaldi Announces Re-Election, New Senate Committee Chair Named

This week — Tarrant County legislators spar over redistricting, the Texas GOP chairman announces his re-election bid, and Sen. Brandon Creighton is appointed to chair another committee.
March 25, 2022
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Fort Worth Redistricting Tiff Rages On

At a campaign debate Wednesday, state Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) said her colleague, Rep. Jeff Cason (R-Bedford), apologized to her for criticizing her role in the redistricting plan that made his district Democratic-heavy.

“Let me be clear,” Cason said on October 1 shortly after the House approved its redistricting plan. “These maps were created with the approval of Craig Goldman and Stephanie Klick.”

Reached Wednesday, Cason told The Texan he apologized to Klick for “[his] premature comment.”

“But her vote on my amendment shows that she didn’t hold up her agreement,” he added. Klick was one of 119 members who voted against Cason’s amendment that would have made his House District (HD) 92 Republican-favored, as well as keep Klick’s district at R-60%.

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Cason, who is not seeking re-election after the redistricting change, said that after back and forth with his colleague, Klick agreed she would support any map that kept her district above that line.

“But as things developed, ultimately she was complicit in turning HD 92 into a Democratic district by voting against my amendment,” he added.

Klick is facing a primary runoff fight against challenger David Lowe.

Texas GOP Chair Matt Rinaldi Announces Re-Election Bid

True to his promise made when first elected to the position last year, Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Chair Matt Rinaldi formally announced his bid for re-election this week.

Rinaldi, who took over after former chair Allen West who jumped into the GOP gubernatorial primary, said, “I’m proud of the work we have done over the last eight months building momentum for the 2022 election and growing our party around a platform of border security, fiscal responsibility, healthcare freedom, law and order, and parental rights.”

“I look forward to continuing that work in my next term. Republicans I talk to are excited, energized, and eager to defeat liberal Democrats in November and secure more conservative victories in the next legislative session.”

In his release, he also announced the support of over two-thirds of the party’s State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). The next chairman will be decided by delegates to the RPT convention set for June 16 through 18. No alternative candidate has yet declared against Rinaldi.

Below are the SREC members currently supporting Rinaldi versus those who are not:

Endorsed

  • Rhonda Anderson, Senate District (SD)-1
  • Jerry Fisher, SD-2
  • Donnie Wisenbaker, SD-2
  • Emily Cook, SD-3
  • Gwendolyn Withrow, SD-4
  • Walter West, SD-4
  • Jo’ Miller, SD-5
  • Bill Fairbrother, SD-5
  • Dawn McDonald, SD-6
  • Chris McDonald, SD-6
  • Deborah Kelting, SD-7
  • Tom Nobis, SD-7
  • Maggie Whitt, SD-8
  • Jim Pikl, SD-8
  • Anne Gebhart, SD-9
  • Dan Tully, SD-10
  • Tanya Robertson, SD-11
  • Peter Lauzon, SD-11
  • Jill Glover, SD-12
  • David Wylie, SD-12
  • Dawn Elliott, SD-13
  • Roy Morales, SD-13
  • Olga Lasher, SD-14
  • Gail Stanart, SD-15
  • Rolando Garcia, SD-15
  • Susan Fountain, SD-16
  • Matthew Patrick, SD-16
  • Rebekah Green, SD-17
  • Edee Sinclair, SD-18
  • Joe Walz, SD-18
  • Kelly Perry, SD-19
  • Fernando Garcia, SD-19
  • Carmen Calderone, SD-20
  • Naomi Narvaiz, SD-21
  • Terry Harper, SD-21
  • Devvie Duke, SD-22
  • Jon Ker, SD-22
  • Leslie Thomas, SD-23
  • Stephen Broden, SD-23
  • Mary Jane Avery, SD-24
  • Andrew Eller, SD-24
  • Kris Coons, SD-25
  • Chris Byrd, SD-2
  • Marian Stanko, SD-26
  • Francisco “Quico” Canseco, SD-26
  • Morgan Graham, SD-27
  • Rey Gonzalez, SD-27
  • Steve Evans, SD-28
  • Robyn Cooper, SD-29
  • Mark Dunam, SD-29
  • Deon Starnes, SD-30
  • Britton Brooks, SD-30
  • Carroll Precure, SD-31

Not Endorsed

  • Russ Langas, SD-1
  • David Covey, SD-3
  • Steve Atwell, SD-9
  • Susan Wright, SD-10
  • Fernando Trevino, SD-14
  • Sean Cheben, SD-17
  • Grace Jones, SD-20
  • Robin Hayes, SD-28

This section has been updated with new endorsements released by Rinaldi.

Creighton Appointed to Chair Public Education Committee

A new head of the Texas Senate’s Education Committee was appointed this week when Lt. Governor Dan Patrick named Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) as chair of the committee.

“Now more than ever, we must examine education needs as a continuum, from the earliest grades through post-secondary education,” Patrick said in a statement.

“The vast majority of jobs in Texas require students to continue their education beyond high school and there should be a seamless path throughout the educational experience.”

Creighton, who also chairs the body’s Higher Education Committee, replaces Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) who is not seeking re-election.

Paxton said of Taylor, “I also want to thank Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, once again for his diligent work as Chair of Education the last 8 years. As a previous Education Chair myself, I know the work that is required on both of these committees.”

Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) will serve as vice-chair. Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) was added to the committee, also a member of the Higher Education Committee.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.