By Charley Wilkison
CLEAT Public Affairs
Surprisingly, CLEAT members won big on Texas primary election night. Proven elected leaders and promising new candidates wound up carrying the evening.
Elected leaders who had committed to supporting your retirement and keeping your rights and benefits in place were backed by CLEAT PAC. Many candidates seeking to unseat some of the dead wood of Texas politics also received our support.
In the Texas Senate, there were several victories by CLEAT backed candidates including Kelly Hancock in Tarrant County. CLEAT also endorsed and supported Representative Larry Taylor and Representative Charles Schwertner who were victorious as well. CLEAT and San Antonio Police Officers Association supported Senator Jeff Wentworth who is now in a run-off.
In the House of Representatives, CLEAT sent two direct mail pieces into Speaker Joe Straus’ district in San Antonio against radical anti-law enforcement candidate Matt Beebe, and we’re pleased with the results of a 64% victory for the Speaker at home.
CLEAT and Arlington Police Association members worked for a huge victory for Representative Chris Turner who was challenged by former State Representative Paula Pierson, but in the end, he won handedly. The shocker of the evening was when newcomer and CLEAT backed Chris Paddie, mayor of Marshall, Texas, defeated longtime legislator Wayne Christian. Other victories of the evening included Sid Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, who fought a hard battle to come in first place, but will face a runoff in his home district. Another surprising turn of events was the defeat of Chairwoman Vicki Truitt, Chair of Pensions, Investments and Financial Services, who was the author of the hated anti-pension measure, House Bill 2731. CLEAT OR OUR LOCAL DID NOT ENDORSE REPRESENTATIVE TRUITT. She was defeated by Giovanni Capriglione by 55%. Other CLEAT victories included Representative Doc Anderson in Waco, Representative Marisa Marquez in El Paso, Representative Lon Burnam in Fort Worth, Ton Dale in Cedar Park, Justin Rodriguez in San Antonio, Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles in Alice, Representative Dwayne Bohac in Houston, Representative Dan Huberty in Houston, and Rene Oliveira in Brownsville. These are just a few of the CLEAT victories from election night.
Another great victory was the Parnell McNamara race for McLennan County Sheriff. CLEAT PAC endorsed this retired US Marshall who vowed to help us end privatization of county jails. His victory has statewide implications for CLEAT.
Going forward into the runoff, CLEAT PAC is re-upping and recommitting to our friends on the ballot. In some of the areas where we did not previously endorse, now that the field has narrowed, CLEAT PAC will be issuing new endorsements in many of these races.
However, the threat to your retirement, your rights and benefits has never been more real. This election was a huge victory for CLEAT, its local associations and law enforcement in general. The runoff elections are just as important and in some ways have more strategic interest for us.
Now is the time for local members and local associations to remain unified so that we can make the positive changes to the political landscape.
I want to personally thank our local association presidents, PAC chairs, PAC boards and all our leaders for remaining connected to CLEAT PAC and for staying unified during such stressful political times. It was a huge victory. Now, we’re on to the runoff and the general election in November.
Runoff Election Day July 31, 2012
Early voting begins July 23, 2012
The last day to early vote is July 27, 2012