Starting in early December, our Empower Texans PAC began sending a 4-page questionnaire to candidates and incumbents, regardless of party. These were questions culled from the responses a great many of our friends and readers proposed in the fall. More than half of the people seeking election/re-election in contested primaries this year have responded. Weâ€™re sorting through the surveys now as part of the endorsement process.
It’s veryÂ telling to take a look at who has, and hasÂ not, responded. Take the race in Senate District 4, which pits incumbent Senator Tommy Williams against former State Senator Michael Galloway. Sen. Williams scored a 71.4% rating on the Fiscal Responsibility Index (barely passing), but he didnâ€™t take the time to answer any questions. Galloway, who is making taxpayer protection key to his campaign, did respond.
State Sen. Craig Estes of Wichita Falls sent us a nice letterâ€¦ telling us he doesnâ€™t answer questionnaires. He scored a 33% Â rating. His challenger, Charles Stafford of Denton,Â has answered the taxpayer questions.
A very important open-seat race is House District 112, which has suffered under Fred Hillâ€™s misrepresentation. Mr. Hill chose to retire, and anointed his buddy, Jim Shepherd, to replace him. Mr. Shephard apparently holds taxpayers with the same disdain as his mentor. He didnâ€™t send in a questionnaire, but his opponent, Randy Dunning, did (the third person in the race, Angie Buttons, also answered the questions).
State Rep. Thomas Latham, the embattled freshman from Mesquite, didnâ€™t return a survey, but his challenger, former Mesquite mayor Mike Anderson, did.
In Houston, State Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale is being challenged by Allen Fletcher. While Fletcher claims to be running on taxpayer issues, he didnâ€™t return a questionnaire. Van Arsdale, who ranked in the top 25 on the TFR Index, did send in his answers.
You can find the list of everyone who responded on our web site. Youâ€™ll also find the first round of announced endorsements from the Empower Texans PAC. More endorsements will be made in the coming weeks.
A quick note: some candidates might send their questionnaires in late. As they straggle in, weâ€™ll update the website.