State Representative Todd Smith appears to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. After deciding not to run for the Texas Senate against one or more conservative colleagues, Smith’s re-election outlook for his current position in the Texas House doesn’t look so good, either.

Incumbent State Rep. Todd Smith (R - Bedford)

State Rep. Todd Smith announced yesterday he’s no longer considering a run for Texas Senate in SD 9, currently held by Senator Chris Harris. Harris, who announced in September that he will not seek re-election, was already set to be challenged by State Rep. Rodney Anderson. Anderson was named a Taxpayer Champion for his work in the Texas House in 2011, earning him our endorsement.

While the district maps are still not finished, it is possible State Rep. Kelly Hancock – currently running in SD 10, may be redistricted into SD 9. Hancock has a similar strong conservative record.

Mr. Smith, on the other hand, only earned a C+ on our Fiscal Responsibility Index in 2011, following a score of 66 in 2009. If you’ll remember, Mr. Smith was one of 17 “Rainy Day” Republicans who voted to recklessly auto-spend the state’s Rainy Day Fund last session.

Given the expectant force of the Tea Party in this coming election, it’s really not any surprise Rep. Smith would choose not to run against such a strong conservative candidate like Rodney Anderson. In fact, many speculate he did it simply to raise more money for his re-election campaign to the Texas House.

He’s going to need all the help he can get.

Smith is facing a challenge from Jonathan Stickland, a small-business owner in Hurst, TX.  (Mr. Stickland earned our endorsement last week.)

TFR Endorsee Jonathan Stickland

Stickland is a strong conservative who’s demonstrated himself to ably represent the values and voters of Tarrant County.  He’s a signer of the Taxpayer Pledge, vowing “to oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Rep. Smith has yet to sign the same pledge.

Stickland also earned over 65% of the vote in a Tarrant County Republican Party straw poll against Rep. Smith – a sign grassroots voters are fed up with Smith’s lackluster performance.

No matter how you spin it, all signs are pointing to a rough election cycle for Rep. Todd Smith.  Whether he can weather a storm of tea-party activists demanding true conservative leadership is yet to be seen.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.