2018 Primary Election Notes

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2018 Primary Election Notes

Saying "we need a steady hand at the helm of the Travis County Democratic Party," state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez released a statement this week supporting Anne Wynne for TCDP Chair. Other members of the Central Texas delegation supporting Wynne include Sen. Kirk Watson, Rep. Donna Howard, Rep. Celia Israel, and Rep. Gina Hinojosa. Her opponent, Dyana Limon-Mercado, counts several local officials among her supporters: Council Members Delia Garza and Pio Renteria, County Commissioner Jeff Travillion, and former Council Member and mayor Gus Garcia. –Michael King

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams was recently granted a "True Blue Award" from the Family Research Council, for his steadfast defense of "faith, family and freedom." The FRC is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (particularly for its anti-LGBT activities). Julie Oliver, a Democratic candidate in Williams' CD 25, responded via statement: "These may be your ideals, Congressman Williams, but they are not ours. I look forward to the day we return Congress to the hands of the decent majority." –Michael King

While the Texas AFL-CIO's political arm initially declined to endorse U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, after he failed to show up to their state convention due to scheduling conflicts, they've since come around. President Rick Levy attributed the switch to O'Rourke's dedication to talking to members and answering "tough questions" about key issues for working people. "His answers to those questions, as well as his strong labor voting record, have demonstrated that he shares our priorities and values," said Levy. –Mary Tuma

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez has finally hired a campaign manager: Bill Romjue, a longtime Dem strategist. Romjue helped lead U.S. Sen. Doug Jones to victory over Roy Moore in Alabama and worked on seven presidential campaigns, including Joe Biden's in 2008. In other Valdez news, she appears to be leading in the primaries, according to the latest poll from UT and the Texas Tribune. Valdez had support from 43% of likely primary voters, while her main primary challenger, Andrew White, claimed 24%. –Mary Tuma

The race for the 331st District Court was already hot, and last week boiled over when word got out that Chantal Eldridge, a defense attorney challenging David Crain, employs a registered sex offender. Eldridge announced the news on Feb. 12, knowing it would be raised by Crain's campaign. The staffer, John Zamarripa, sexually assaulted a 14-year-old family member in 1990, but Eldridge says she employs him because of her stance on rehabilitation. (Zamarripa, who also worked on Mike Martinez's mayoral campaign in 2014, completed 10 years of deferred adjudication. Eldridge says he's "met every condition required of him of the last 27 years.") A flier paid for by "Friends of Judge David Crain" warns voters that Zamarripa has an outstanding misdemeanor assault by physical contact charge, which his attorney Charlie Baird called frivolous. Keep an eye on the Chronicle's Daily News for the full story. – Nina Hernandez

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Election notes, Eddie Rodriguez, Anne Wynne, Dyana Limon-Mercado, Roger Williams, Beto O'Rourke, Rick Levy, Lupe Valdez, Bill Romjue, Doug Jones, Andrew White, Chantal Eldridge, David Crain, John Zamarripa, March 2018 Election

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