PoliTex

Ready to head to the polls again, Texans?

These early voting signs will soon be out again for Texans weighing in on primary runoff elections. This photo was taken at South Hi Mount Elementary.
These early voting signs will soon be out again for Texans weighing in on primary runoff elections. This photo was taken at South Hi Mount Elementary. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

Did you vote in Texas’ March 1 primary elections?

If so, get ready to head back to the polls for a runoff election.

Runoffs are scheduled for May 24 for both parties to settle a handful of races — including those for Tarrant County sheriff and Texas Railroad Commissioner — where no candidate reached the 50 percent mark.

Early voters can head to the polls May 16-20.

Congressional staff turnover

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, has had trouble keeping a chief of staff — six have left since January 2015.

“Chief of Staff Bill Zito has left Congresswoman Granger’s staff,” Jim Specht, Granger’s press secretary, said in a statement. “Legislative Director Corey Inglee has stepped up to be chief of staff.”

Zito, who joined Granger’s staff in October, worked earlier for U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock.

Before Zito, there was a revolving door of five short-term chiefs of staff in 2015 alone, according to data collected by Legistorm, an Internet database that monitors congressional staff.

The exits began after longtime staffer Matt Leffingwell left in January 2015.

Approve the appointee?

The U.S. hasn’t had a permanent ambassador to Mexico for nine months. And the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is really unhappy about it.

The organization recently protested the fact that the Obama administration nominee — career diplomat Roberta Jacobson — was being held up despite being approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in November.

So why isn’t she getting a confirmation vote in the Senate? The chamber blamed three senators who reportedly had a hold on her (holds are secret but word usually leaks out) — Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. The three Cuban-American lawmakers oppose the administration’s recent moves to open Cuba to U.S. tourism and commerce — which Jacobson was involved in negotiating. Menendez has removed his hold but remains opposed to her nomination.

“At a time when the political discourse in our nation has turned to bigotry and isolation, we should be focused on improving our relationship with a nation that has for centuries stood beside America as a collaborative and willing partner,” said Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the Hispanic chamber.

Recent appointee

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth has named Sandi McDermott to its board of directors. McDermott is director of Tarleton State University’s center on the Navarro College Midlothian campus.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth supports 13 branch locations, a sports complex and a resident camp, serving Tarrant, Johnson and Hood counties.

“We are excited to have Dr. McDermott join our board of directors,” YMCA President/CEO Tony Shuman said. “She brings a wealth of experience that aligns well with our mission and future goals. Dr. McDermott’s education, nursing experience and enthusiasm will be an asset as we continue to ensure that everyone — regardless of age, income or background — has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.”

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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