If you live in Harris County and are active in the Harris County Republican Party, you know that “slates” have a huge influence of the party’s primary. “Slates” are a form of advertising a specific group’s or individual’s endorsements. They are often referred to as “paid slates” and there is often an appearance of endorsements that are bought and paid for by the candidates they endorse.
This year at BJP we will be providing you a matrix of all of the major slates and their endorsements in contested races. By “major”, we mostly mean that we’ve heard of it. So if you or your group has a slate of endorsements that you want to see added to the matrix, by all means make sure you tell us about it because we aren’t perfect!
Kicking off the primary season is Dr. Steve Hotze’s Conservative Republicans of Texas slate. I received a copy of his slate today and it does contain a couple of surprises that I’ll note below. Dr. Hotze is one of the “big 3” that have dominated Harris County Republican Primaries since the late 90’s. His “specialty” is the mail-in ballots from senior citizens. Here is the first version of the matrix with only Hotze’s picks:
Okay, now for his picks that “surprised” me (I put that in quotes because nothing in HCRP politics surprises me anymore) starting at the top of the ballot and working down.
Hotze’s pick in this crowded field doesn’t surprise me at all but I thought it was worth noting. He chose Ben Streusand, who doesn’t live in the district but clearly is in line with the conservative values of the district. I live in the district and Streusand is on my short list. Hotze doesn’t have as much influence on this race as others in the district because only about 37% of the potential vote is in the county, the rest of the votes are spread throughout East Texas.
This was indeed a surprise. I thought that he would go with the local boy, Sen. Glenn Hegar. See George Scott Reports for a thread or three about this one.
Supreme Court Place 6
Hotze went with Justice Jeff Brown. It is a logical pick given his opponent but not if you know the history. Click here to read what Hotze did in 2010 to Brown.
State Rep. 129
Like CD36, not so much a surprise as I just wanted to note it because I live in 129. Dennis Paul is a fine man and a long time activist in our district. Unlike CD36, Hotze will have significant influence.
State Rep. 132
Like Comptroller, Hotze is going to hear from George Scott Reports on this one.
State Rep. 134
No surprise at all but definitely worth noting. Hotze is going with Rep. Sarah Davis’ challenger, Bonnie Parker. Like I’ve been saying for some time, anyone that thinks Sarah is going to have an easy time of it because “134 is librul” needs to rethink that.
263rd Criminal Court
Hotze went with the incumbent Judge Jim Wallace over Robert Summerlin. Perhaps it is a question of loyalty or familiarity but Wallace has some serious skeletons that voters need to consider and hopefully Summerlin can get the word out.
311th Family Court
Mind boggling. Hotze endorsed embattled and incompetent Judge Denise Pratt. Read the latest on her here and here. Just mind boggling that anyone who cares about getting Republicans elected in November would endorse Pratt. Hopefully the voters in the primary will ignore Hotze on this one.
So those are my “surprises” on the Hotze slate.
There is some good news regarding the entire “pay to play” system of slates in Harris County. The market is expanding quickly, as you will see when the matrix is finalized. That should in and of itself dilute the “big 3’s” influence over the party. And some of the slates that previously had the appearance of selling their endorsements have made significant changes in the way they sell their advertising. Perhaps the time is coming when we no longer have to point out that certain of these slates appear to sell their endorsements. More on that later.