Let the Filing Begin

Political hopefuls: Get your paperwork in order

Mark your calendars: Filing for a slot on the 2010 primary ballot begins Dec. 3 and runs through Jan. 4, 2010. While no Travis County Democratic state rep has drawn a primary opponent, there may still be a local House race on the March 2, 2010, ballot. Corporate attorney Holly White Turner has filed campaign finance paperwork with the secretary of state for a GOP primary fight with construction magnate Paul Workman in House District 47 – the southwest Travis County seat currently held by Rep. Valinda Bolton. In 2008, Turner served as campaign treasurer for her husband, Republican political consultant Chris Turner, in his unsuccessful Fort Worth City Council run. Meanwhile, Rep. Elliott Naishtat has drawn a GOP challenger in Bryan W. Law, an Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary master's candidate who has pledged to only spend $500 on the entire election.

Up in Williamson County, confusion reigned when outgoing Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, signaled that he may end up staying put instead of following through with retirement. The Senate Finance Committee chair announced Sept. 10 that he was stepping down after 12 years in the upper chamber, but that decision was cast into doubt when heir apparent Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, dropped out of the race and said Ogden should return to head up the budget-building process (that reversal may not be so well received by Capitol Democrats, who regularly complained that Ogden's committee is where good bills go to die). Ogden has yet to make a statement, although his office said he will comment before the end of the week. However, it may be all over for Gattis' political career: With several hopefuls already lining up to fill his House seat, including former Republican Party of Texas Executive Director Milton Rister, Gattis has announced that he will not run again.

At the state level, attention has centered on Demo­cratic Houston Mayor Bill White, who said he'll make an announcement by Friday, Dec. 4, on a potential switch from his campaign for U.S. Senate to the governor's race. However, with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutch­ison refusing to step down to fully engage her primary run against Gov. Rick Perry, that means no Senate primary. Several high-ranking Republicans thought to be either running for her seat, such as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, or looking for a promotion, such as Attorney General Greg Abbott (widely expected to target Dewhurst's office if he vacates) have announced they'll refile for their current positions instead.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

election 2010, Bill White, Steve Ogden, Dan Gattis

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