Closely Watched Primary Races
The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) ends its “Good Voter Health” series today with an important strategic article about high-profile contested races in Texas.
As we mentioned in Day 2 of our series, TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office. It is vital, however, that our members research the candidates in their area and ask them tough questions about the Teacher Retirement System (TRS), the defined benefit plan, and the TRS-Care health insurance program.
To locate the candidates running for office in your area, we recommend using Ballotpedia:
There are several key races that TRTA is following closely this primary season. Most legislative elections are decided during the primaries and not during the November general election. For this reason, we encourage all of our members to VOTE early in February (16-26) or on Tuesday, March 1.
If you live in an area where some of these key races are taking place, it is very important that you get in touch with the candidates and find out their answers to the following questions, and it is absolutely VITAL that you VOTE in the primaries:
- Do you support a defined benefit plan for all current and future TRS retirees?
- Do you support providing reasonable, affordable healthcare for TRS retirees?
- What will you do as my legislator to ensure that the TRS pension fund and TRS–Care health insurance program are preserved and improved?
As we mentioned in yesterday’s series (Day 4), TRTA is often asked by its members, “Whom should I vote for?” Although TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office, we strongly encourage our members to talk to each other and ask the following: Who are you voting for and why?
Your fellow retirees may be your best resource in helping you determine which candidate may be more favorable to issues impacting the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). Now is the time to have these important conversations with each other and to learn more about the candidates! TALK TO EACH OTHER! Share information!
Whether or not we endorse candidates, we MUST be involved in the political process. Our organization’s success depends upon our involvement! Our members’ lifetime of educating others did not end in the classroom, and continues as we educate candidates about the TRS pension fund and TRS-Care health insurance program.
High-Profile Races to Watch
Please note that we have first listed the incumbent in each district and the same party candidate(s) that the incumbent faces in the primary election (this is the contested race). In fairness, we have also listed candidates of other parties that are running for the same seat whether or not they face a challenger. During the general election in November, the candidate who wins the contested race and the other party candidate(s) will face each other.
We have included a link to a map for each district. If you are not sure if you reside in the district listed, review the map or use the Texas Legislature website to determine your district.
High-Profile Contested Texas Senate Races
Senate District 1
Senator Kevin Eltife is retiring. The following Republican candidates are vying for this open seat: Bryan Hughes, David Simpson, James K. Red Brown, and Mike Lee. There are no Democratic candidates vying for this seat.
Senate District 24
Senator Troy Fraser is retiring. Democratic candidate Virginia Leeder does not face a challenger in the Democratic primary. Republican candidates facing each other in the Republican primary are: Brent Mayes, Dawn Buckingham, Jon Cobb, Reed Williams, Ryan Downton, and Susan King.
High-Profile Contested Texas House Races
House District 5
Representative Bryan Hughes has resigned to run for the Texas Senate. The following Republican candidates will face each other in the primary election: Cole Hefner, Holly Coggins Hayes, Jay Misenheimer, Philip Hayes, and Randy Davis. There are no Democratic candidates vying for this seat.
House District 11
Representative Travis Clardy faces challenger Tony Sevilla in the Republican primary. Democrat Stephen J. Wright is also vying for this seat, but faces no challengers in the primary.
House District 18
Representative John Otto is retiring. The following Republican candidates will face each other in the primary election: Ernest Bailes, J. Turner, James Morrison, Keith Strahan, Van Brookshire, and Wesley Hinch. There are no Democratic candidates vying for this seat.
House District 54
Representative Jimmie Don Aycock is retiring. The following Republican candidates face each other in the primary election: Austin Ruiz, Larry Smith, and Scott Cosper. The following Democratic candidates face each other in the primary election: Lan Carter and Sandra Blankenship.
House District 60
Representative Jim Keffer is retiring. The following Republican candidates face each other in the primary election: Kevin Downing and Mike Lang. There are no Democratic candidates vying for this seat.
House District 92
Representative Jonathan Stickland faces challenger Scott W. Fisher in the Republican primary. Democratic candidate Kim K. Leach does not face any challengers in the primary election.
House District 115
Representative Matt Rinaldi faces challenger and former Representative Bennett Ratliff in the Republican primary. Democratic candidate Dorotha M. Ocker does not face any challengers in the primary election.
Tell Everyone You Know
Please help us get the word out about the races listed above if you live in an area with a high profile election, and tell your fellow retirees, family members and friends to get out and VOTE February 16-26 or on March 1! Usually, if a candidate does not win the “early vote,” they don’t win the overall vote in the primary.
We hope we have expressed the significance of voting in the primary elections over the past several days. Please keep this in mind: this is NOT a marathon, it’s a sprint! The starting gun has sounded. We must act NOW. We have only until March 1 to make sure that we protect the interests of our members in the Texas Legislature.
If you have any questions about these high profile races, please contact TRTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.800.880.1650. Remember, you can view ALL races for the Texas Senate and House online using the Ballotpedia links below:
We hope you have enjoyed and benefited from our “Good Voter Health” series and are prepared to VOTE during the primary election! Your vote in the 2016 primary election is VITAL!
You can view the other four days of our Voter Health Series below:
- Day 1: Are You Registered to Vote?
- Day 2: The Importance of Primary Elections and Who Is Running for Office in Your Area
- Day 3: I’ve Researched the Candidates. Is My Work as a Voter Done?
- Day 4: Helping Others Get Involved in the Political Process
Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member and are interested in joining, please contact our Membership Department at 1.800.880.1650.
Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all the difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.