Elections 2020Statewide NewsThe Back MicThe Back Mic: Texas House Members Endorse Colleague, Abbott Endorses in a Runoff, Black Caucus to Hold Town Halls

This week — seven House members endorse one of their own, Abbott involves himself in a GOP runoff, and a black legislative caucus sets town hall dates.
June 12, 2020

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This week, some state representatives endorse in a special election, the governor makes an endorsement in a runoff election, and a caucus announces virtual roundtable discussions on race and policing.

House Members Throw Support Behind Texas Senate Candidate

Seven Texas House Democrats endorsed their colleague Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) in his run to fill the Senate District 14 (SD 14) seat left vacant by retired Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin).

  • Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston)
  • Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston)
  • Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth)
  • Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas)
  • Rep. Shawn Thierry (D-Houston)
  • Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio)
  • Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Garland)

Rodriguez is facing former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt (D), attorney Waller Thomas Burns II (R), former Austin City Council member and House District 47 candidate Don Zimmerman (R), former Lago Vista City Council member Pat Dixon (L), and physician Jeff Ridgeway (I) in the SD 14 special election slotted for July 14.

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Abbott Endorses in GOP Primary Runoff

Wading into the House District 47 Republican primary, Governor Abbott announced his endorsement of Justin Berry, an Austin police officer.

“Justin will work hard to protect public safety, strengthen our education system, and promote free markets,” said Abbott in a press release.

Berry was one of two candidates who secured enough electoral support to make it to the runoff. He will face off against Jennifer Fleck, an Austin attorney, on July 14. 

Meanwhile, Fleck took part in a live-streamed town hall discussion hosted by Young Conservatives of Texas, an organization that has also endorsed her candidacy this election cycle.

Texas Black Legislative Caucus to Hold Town Halls

On Tuesday, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus (TLBC) announced that they would hold multiple, virtual town halls focused on “racism, criminal justice, and policing in the black community” entitled “From Protests to Policy and Progress.”

In a press release, the group mentioned Governor Abbott’s recent discussions on criminal justice reforms and that “not one Texas African American legislator was invited to participate or even included in those discussions.”

Chaired by Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), the TLBC will hold these meetings for different areas in the state, and end with one statewide town hall on June 19.


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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.