Minuteman Project founder to rally supporters before March 4 election

Minuteman Project Founder Jim Gilchrist is making his way to North Texas this week, to talk with Tea Party leaders and Minuteman Project supporters about the upcoming election.

“Gilchrist will be reminding voters of the importance of immigration reform and border security before they go to vote in the upcoming March Republican and Democrat primaries,” according to a brief statement sent out.

The Minuteman Project was started nearly a decade ago by Gilchrist and others who wanted to monitor the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

“Thousands of patriots since then have volunteered tens of thousands of man hours performing the ‘world’s largest neighborhood watch’ by joining Gilchrist on the US-Mexico border,” the statement says. “Armed only with lawn chairs, binoculars, and satellite phones, they support the efforts of the US Border Patrol.”

Swan song

Tarrant County Elections Administrator Steve Raborn said it’s “bittersweet” to be planning for his last election here, the March 4 primary.

Raborn, who has served as Tarrant County’s elections administrator since 2006, said he has accepted a top job with Votec — a San Diego, Calif.-based vendor of election-related technology — and will be moving back to his home state of Louisiana.

“It’s bittersweet, to say the least,” he said of the final election he will run here. “Tarrant County is a great place to work and live.”

But he’s getting ready to go home.

Conservative, but …

U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, is the third most conservative member of the U.S. House, according to an annual survey by National Journal, a nonpartisan publication that covers Washington.

Local lawmakers representing portions of Tarrant County ranked according to their votes in 2013: U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, in 13th place; U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, 35th; U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, 90th; U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, 121st; and U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, 276. There are 435 members of the U.S. House although there have been several vacancies.

In the Senate, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ranked 4th out of 100 senators and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas was 14th.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, who is running against Cornyn in the March 4th primary, touts himself as being more conservative than the incumbent senator but ranked 138th in the U.S. House

Texas’ U.S. lawmakers are pretty conservative, but according to the annual ratings by National Journal, Texas’ congressional delegation ranks fifth most conservative among the states. Ohio is first, followed by North Carolina, Georgia, and Indiana.

National Journal said that for the 2013 ratings, it “examined all of the roll-call votes in the first session of the 113th Congress — 641 in the House and 291 in the Senate — and identified the ones that show ideological distinctions between members.”

Sad good-bye

Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns is headed back to school, accepted to a Mid-Career Master program at the Harvard Kennedy School in Massachusetts, but the announcement wasn’t an easy one for him to make.

During last week’s Fort Worth City Council meeting, Burns received support from council members and family as he resigned from his seat.

“This is going to be one of those times I’m not crying,” said Burns, shaking his finger jokingly at the crowd and referring to his emotional anti-bullying speech that went viral in 2010.

“Tonight is an important night for me,” Burns said starting his speech, but he had to pause briefly to brush away tears.

Staff writer Caty Hirst contributed to this report.