Tarrant County officials are doing their part to promote the presidential candidates they support.
State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, is among those who just got back from Iowa, campaigning there for Texas Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who claimed victory in the Hawkeye State.
He and a group of Texas lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, did whatever they could — making calls to undecided voters, helping at caucus sites, answering questions for voters and more.
“It was a great experience to be there on the ground and see how everything works,” said Krause, who also hopes to campaign in South Carolina for Cruz. “It is such a different culture and unique way of doing things.”
But with bad weather approaching late Monday, Krause and a handful of other Texans didn’t want to get snowed in and unable to get out. So they hopped into a car and drove three hours to Kansas City, where they caught a late flight. They were back in Texas early Tuesday morning.
Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Sergio De Leon is among the Texans in New Hampshire, working for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
He plans to block walk, phone bank, attend public events — and do anything he can —to promote the former Secretary of State and first lady until New Hampshire voters head to the polls Feb. 9.
Fort Worth attorney Jason Smith, a longtime Clinton supporter, also is in New Hampshire, block walking through the weekend to encourage voters to head to the polls.
Staying out of it
Officially, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is staying out of the presidential election.
After all, there are several U.S. senators running in the GOP primary — fellow Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother and son to two Texas presidents, making for awkward moments if he did.
But when Cornyn, the Senate majority whip, on a call with Texas reporters was asked to describe what he was looking for in a new president, he said, “I think what we need is someone who can win an election, not only the primary, but have broad appeal, not to just card-carrying Republicans but to independents and some Democrats.”
And the quality he wanted to see: “You’re going to have to find a way to work with others and to build consensus.”
The book on Cruz, of course, is that he is divisive and does not work well with his Senate colleagues.
Asked specifically about the 2013 immigration bill, Cornyn did not take the opportunity to back up Cruz, who has said on the campaign trail he authored amendments as “poison pills” in order to kill it despite video clips that show him supporting legalization, but not citizenship, for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
“So far I’ve tried to stay out of it,” said Cornyn. “I don’t really have any comment on that.”
In 2014, Cruz did not endorse Cornyn for re-election in the U.S. Senate primary.
State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, is the new chairman for the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Center for Innovation and Technology.
In 2015, he served as the organization’s national chairman and remains a member of the board of directors.
“I’m getting really excited about it,” King said. “It’s really wide open; we’ve already staffed it and are just starting the process of organizing it.”
Texans will be able to start weighing in on the 2016 presidential race soon.
Early voting runs Feb. 16-26. Election day is March 1.
And Feb. 19 is the last day to apply for a ballot by mail. For more information, call the Tarrant County Elections office at 817-831-8683.
Staff writer Lance Winter contributed to this report.
Maria Recio, 202-383-6103
Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610