Challengers lining up for 2016 Texas primaries

Debra H. Lehrmann
Debra H. Lehrmann Courtesy

Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann already has drawn an opponent for next year’s Republican Primary election.

Houston First Court of Appeals Justice Michael C. Massengale announced last week that he will challenge Lehrmann of Fort Worth for the post. Lehrmann, a former Tarrant County family court judge, has already said she will seek re-election.

Both judges were first appointed by former Gov. Rick Perry before winning additional terms. Filing for this office begins in November.

More election news

State Rep. Charlie Geren has made it official: He’s seeking another term in office.

Geren, R-Fort Worth, announced last week that he’s ready to seek another term. A chief lieutenant of House Speaker Joe Straus, Geren already has one challenger, Bo French, a businessman who grew up in Fort Worth.

Geren, who heads the House Administration Committee, which oversees the inner workings of the lower chamber, has served in the House since 2001.


They were listed among the worst by Texas Monthly, but state Sen. Jane Nelson and state Rep. Jonathan Stickland are getting high marks from other Texans.

A recent list of the best legislators of the 84th Legislative Session by Capitol Inside included both Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Stickland, R-Bedford.

Nelson was named the Senate MVP, stating she was “the most obvious all-star as the author of the two-year state budget and the record tax cuts that are built into it.”

“Nelson had a session for the ages in an arena where she took the lead on the two biggest issues and made it look astonishingly easy considering the nature and magnitude of the challenges at hand,” the list stated.

As for Stickland, controversy swirled around the outspoken Tea Party member for much of the session, prompting the report to state that he “is the worst state lawmaker in the history of Texas or the world for that matter as far as some of his GOP colleagues in the Capitol’s west wing are concerned.”

“Stickland made a massive difference because he was willing and eager to do the homework and to fight harder than anyone else,” the report said. “Thanks in large part to the folks who hate him the most, Stickland cemented his status this spring as a Texas tea party legend who’d been a movement newcomer just a few years ago.”

Trump time

Donald Trump wasted no time at his presidential announcement last week building himself up and swatting others down.

At the very plush Trump Tower in New York City, the billionaire and reality show star gushed about the enthusiastic crowd.

The 12th major Republican candidate to enter the race then took aim at a competitor: “And, I can tell, some of the candidates, they went in. They didn’t know the air-conditioner didn’t work. They sweated like dogs.”

The reference to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s June 4th sweatathon in an airplane hangar in Addison was vintage Trump.

When asked by Fox about the sweaty insult, Perry said he didn’t take umbrage at the comment.

“I have been involved in this business for a long time. And, generally, I try to stay focused over on the positive side of things,” he said. “And taking the bait of someone who’s wanting to be critical, that’s their choice.”

Trump also went after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., over their choppy answers on whether they would have approved an invasion of Iraq.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley