Texas Senate District 17 Race

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Texas Senate District 17 Race

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:59 pm

The Texas Senate District 17 is a special election to fill the seat vacated by Senator Kyle Janek's resignation and it has a lot of candidates. Unfortunately, there are three A-rated Republicans and one C- rated Democrat running, Chris Bell. (TSRA Voters Guide)This will likely split the Republican vote and anti-gun Chris Bell is certainly the front-runner.

Chris Bell is a former Houston City Counsel member who left office due to term limitation. He served one term in the U.S. Congress earning a C rating. His website boasts of endorsements by organizations that are not on our side of the gun and/or hunting issues. Of particular importance is the fact that former President Bill Clinton is coming to town for a Chris Bell fundraiser! Yes folks, the "champion of the assault weapons ban" is coming to town to stump for a would-be state senate seat. Why, because Chris Bell wants a platform from which to launch another bid for the Governor's Mansion. (The flier for the Clinton fundraiser is attached.)

I wish I knew more about the Republicans in the race, but I don't. All have TSRA "A" ratings and none are endorsed.

Joan Huffman probably has greater name recognition since she's a former Harris County Criminal Court Judge and a former Houston Police Dept. Officer. I've heard a lot of radio spots for her, so she probably has good financial backing. I believe she has a leg up on the other Republicans.

Grant Harpold is a Houston attorney and a Republican Precinct Chair. His website indicates he is a long-time member of the NRA, so I'm happy to see he openly acknowledges his membership. However, his website also notes that "I am not bankrolled by the political elite and special interest lobbyists, and will never be indebted to vote for their anti-taxpayer agenda." Like it or not, it probably means his message won't get out and he won't be widely recognized. That's a shame, he looks like a good guy and someone who would be good on our issues.

Austen Furse has a lot of political experience, as indicated by his tenure with President George H.W. Bush and other experience on his resume. He also founded Texans for Tax Limits. He looks like a very viable candidate, but I haven't heard a single radio or TV ad for him. With his backing, that surprises me, but perhaps he's waiting until we get closer to election day.

All three Republicans appear to be good people, to the extent you can judge a politician without a voting record. Talk is cheap. The only person to touch on guns is Harpold, but I'm not sure he has the funding or party backing to win, but I may be wrong.

This is purely a guess, but it seems to me that Joan Huffman has the best chance to get into a runoff with Chris Bell, based upon her name recognition. If we can get to a runoff, then the Republican will win, because the is Senator Kyle Janek's vacated seat. Unfortunately, a runoff is unlikely unless voters in Senate District 17 unite behind one candidate.

You folks in District 17 need to get together and chose a Republican to support. There are only 32 Senators and we don't need Chris Bell to be among them!

Chas.

Here are some of Chris Bell's endorsements:
  • ACORN-PAC - ACORN is being investigated for massage voter fraud in Ohio
    Houston 80-20 Asian American PAC
    Harris County Democrats
    Harris County Tejano Democrats
    Houston GLBT Caucus
    Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee PAC
    Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, Local 341
    IBEW Local 527
    NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
    Pakistan American Council of Texas PAC
    Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas Action Fund
    Plumbers Local Union No. 68
    Sierra Club
    Texas AFL-CIO
    Texas AFT's Committee on Political Education
    Texas Classroom Teachers Association
    Texas League of Conservation Voters
    Texas State Employees Union
    Texas State Teachers Association - Strongly opposes guns on campus
    United Transportation Union
Attachments
Chris Bell1.pdf
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DMG
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Re: Texas Senate District 17 Race

#2

Post by DMG » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:12 pm

Charles: Austin Furse had been advertising pretty heavily on KSEV, but I have not heard any recently. DMG.


SD4
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Re: Texas Senate District 17 Race

#3

Post by SD4 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:08 pm

I am voting through absentee ballot (mail ballot) in this Special Election. I tried to find out as much about our many choices as I could. Joan Huffman seemed to me to be somewhat liberal, and I don't like her views on immigration. Austen Furse seemed like he had a strong campaign, but like the OP said, he hasn't spoken on our particular issues much. Well, I received a response from him after writing, and it appears that he is VERY in tune with us. I think this is a solid cadidate to stand behind. The following is his response, word for word:


Dear [SD4]:

Thank you for writing. I have asked my webmaster to add "Second Amendment Rights" to my website. I apologize for the oversight. Here's where I am on the issues:

As a TSRA member, I strongly support Second Amendment rights. As far as CHL issues in particular, I support the Texas CHL laws, and will work to ensure other states grant us full reciprocity (such as we have with Oklahoma), instead of partial reciprocity.

Furthermore, I will hold DPS to the law by requiring that CHLs be issued in a timely manner instead of the haphazard 3, 4 or even six month some folks currently have to wait.

Finally, I will resist any changes to weaken the "traveling" statute. I've heard there may be efforts afoot from some district attorneys to try to make it easier to arrest people who are legally carrying firearms in their car, on foot, or otherwise.

I promise to have an open door and respond quickly and decisively to protect and defend the Second Amendment.

Thank you again for writing. If you have any questions or if there's something you want to know about that I didn't address above, let me know. I hope to earn your vote.

Best Regards,

Austen Furse
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. --Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Texas Senate District 17 Race

#4

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:38 pm

SD4 wrote:I am voting through absentee ballot (mail ballot) in this Special Election. I tried to find out as much about our many choices as I could. Joan Huffman seemed to me to be somewhat liberal, and I don't like her views on immigration. Austen Furse seemed like he had a strong campaign, but like the OP said, he hasn't spoken on our particular issues much. Well, I received a response from him after writing, and it appears that he is VERY in tune with us. I think this is a solid cadidate to stand behind. The following is his response, word for word:


Dear [SD4]:

Thank you for writing. I have asked my webmaster to add "Second Amendment Rights" to my website. I apologize for the oversight. Here's where I am on the issues:

As a TSRA member, I strongly support Second Amendment rights. As far as CHL issues in particular, I support the Texas CHL laws, and will work to ensure other states grant us full reciprocity (such as we have with Oklahoma), instead of partial reciprocity.

Furthermore, I will hold DPS to the law by requiring that CHLs be issued in a timely manner instead of the haphazard 3, 4 or even six month some folks currently have to wait.

Finally, I will resist any changes to weaken the "traveling" statute. I've heard there may be efforts afoot from some district attorneys to try to make it easier to arrest people who are legally carrying firearms in their car, on foot, or otherwise.

I promise to have an open door and respond quickly and decisively to protect and defend the Second Amendment.

Thank you again for writing. If you have any questions or if there's something you want to know about that I didn't address above, let me know. I hope to earn your vote.

Best Regards,

Austen Furse
All four Republican candidates have an "A" rating, but I sure like Furse's straightforward statement. I'm still very concerned that four Republican's are going to split the vote so that Chris Bell will get over 50% and win without a runoff.

Chas.
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