May 31st, 2012
As the dust settles on the May 29 Texas Democratic and Republican Primary Elections, it’s time to see how conservation candidates fared.
In this primary election cycle, TLCV-PAC focused its efforts on a handful of important races where we could make a difference through endorsements, contributions, events, messaging to voters on environmental issues, and get-out-the-vote efforts.
TLCV-PAC endorsed candidates made a strong showing and notched some solid victories in the march toward the November General Election and the next state Legislative Session. Here’s a sampling of “green wins” on Tuesday:
Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) clinched re-election to the Texas House with a close win over challenger Carlos Vasquez. Rep. Burnam, recognized as one of the Best Conservation Legislators in our 2011 TLCV Legislative Scorecard, captured 52 percent of the vote to Vasquez’s 48 percent. There is no Republican candidate for House District 90.
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Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso/Clint) won not only the endorsement and support of the TLCV-PAC but also handled a three-way primary that was an election garnering statewide media attention. Rep. Gonzalez avoided a run-off by collecting 52 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for House District 75. With no Republican candidate on the ballot, we congratulate Rep. Gonzalez on her historic election to the Texas House.
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Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston/Missouri City) handled her primary opponent with considerable ease, a nod to her strong campaign and record on public health, education and waste prevention issues. Rep. Allen garnered a convincing 59 percent of the vote in her Democrat primary election, guaranteeing her return to the Capitol next year.
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Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles (D-Alice/Beeville/South Texas) handily defeated opponent Gabriel Zamora, 70.6 percent to 29.4 percent. TLCV endorsed Gonzalez Toureilles for her outstanding conservation voting record, especially important given the energy-rich nature of House District 43.
Due to redistricting, Rep. Toureilles will face off against an Incumbent Republican House Member or his upstart challenger in November. That Republican Incumbent, Rep. J.M. Lozano, is locked in a July run-off election against Bill Wilson.
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In the Texas Senate, the race between Incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) and two challengers proved to every bit as close as the candidates themselves had suggested. His Republican challengers, former Texas Railroad Commissioner and Texas House member Elizabeth Ames Jones and Dr. Donna Campbell, a Tea Party favorite who moved into the district to run, split the votes fairly evenly. In the end, Sen. Wentworth will face Dr. Campbell in the Republican Primary run-off election on July 31.
TLCV-PAC endorses Sen. Wentworth in this race because of his strong conservation voting record in the Texas Senate, including successfully fighting to protect a San Antonio ordinance regarding development over the Edwards Aquifer.
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In Congressional races, the national League of Conservation Voters showed strong support and an endorsement for State Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) in his Democratic primary election against former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez and lesser known John Bustamante.
The League of Conservation Voters made a late ad buy ahead of the May 29 primary to turn up the heat and attention on Rep. Rodriguez’s history of anti-environmental votes, including his opposition to President Obama’s clean energy plan. In the end, LCV-endorsed Rep. Gallego drew a run-off against the former Congressman for a chance to represent Democrats against Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-San Antonio), who ran unopposed in the May 29 primary.
There are plenty of local and state races that are headed toward a run-off. Don’t forget to vote in the July 31 run-off elections. Early voting and polling location details can be found online here.
Thank you for helping the Texas League of Conservation Voters-PAC fulfill its mission of working to elect candidates who support clean air, clean water, and healthy Texas families.
Want to help TLCV-PAC elect pro-conservation candidates? You can donate to the TLCV-PAC here. Donations are not tax-deductible and are reported to the Texas State Ethics Commission.