PoliTex

No opponent on Texas election ballot? That’s cause for applause

Evan Smith, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, left, gave a shout-out to local state Reps. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, and Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth, for not drawing primary or general election major party opponents. The two lawmakers spoke, along with state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, at TCU’s Brown-Lupton University Union last week.
Evan Smith, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, left, gave a shout-out to local state Reps. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, and Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth, for not drawing primary or general election major party opponents. The two lawmakers spoke, along with state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, at TCU’s Brown-Lupton University Union last week. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

In such a contentious election year, it’s a big deal for any incumbent who escaped being challenged on this year’s ballot.

That’s why the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith noted during a political conversation with local state representatives last week that state Reps. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, and Ramon Romero Jr., D-Fort Worth, didn’t draw primary challengers or major party challengers in November’s general election.

“If you can avoid [a challenger] in Texas in 2016, you deserve a round of applause,” he said as the crowd at Texas Christian University’s Brown-Lupton Student Center began clapping.

Woman power

Local philanthropist Rienke Radler of Fort Worth has been named by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the Governor’s Commission for Women along with 14 other prominent Texas women.

“Empowering women is critical for families, communities and the State of Texas,” Abbott said in a statement. “The 15 commission members reflect the incredible strength and diversity of women leaders in the Lone Star State.”

The commission member serve as a liaison between Texas women and government agencies, as well as private entities addressing women’s needs. The terms expire Dec. 31, 2017.

Rienke Radler also is a group leader at Bible Study Fellowship International.

Radler, a South African native, serves on the executive board of directors for the Texas Ballet Theater, the Fort Worth Pregnancy Center and the Radler Foundation.

Timely book

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, gets plenty of media attention for his knowledge of terrorism as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. But his book, Failures of Imagination: The Deadliest Threats to Our Homeland —And How to Thwart Them has given him even more cachet. Released at the beginning of the year, the book has developed a following.

McCaul lays out eight fictional scenarios of attacks from terrorist groups and from foreign countries —timely now with the most recent Brussels attacks. “It outlines with cinematic clarity the horrific scenarios that lie in wait for our nation if we don’t act to stop them,” McCaul said in a news release.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave the book — and McCaul — a nice plug: “Congressman Mike McCaul has become one of our nation’s leading experts on homeland security. This excellent book gives us a very us a very useful analysis of dangers we face and the things we must do to prepare ourselves for the challenges presented to us.”

‘Warm, wonderful people’

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich visited Fort Worth recently, to speak at the annual Planned Parenthood luncheon.

And she said she was glad to be back.

“It is a pleasure to be here in Fort Worth, Texas,” she told a crowd of 700. It’s not my first trip and it won’t be my last. But every time I do come here, and I come to this state, I am greeted with such open hearts, [by] warm wonderful people, and it’s wonderful to be back.”

New leader

Brenda Hicks-Sorensen has been named assistant director of Fort Worth’s Economic Development Department.

Hicks-Sorensen comes to Fort Worth having served as director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge to the position and will provide key leadership as she focuses on building the city’s strengths in business recruitment, retention and job creation,” said Robert Sturns, Fort Worth’s economic development director.

Hicks-Sorensen has also served as president and founder of Economic and Community Development Solutions, a Wisconsin consulting firm, vice president of economic and community development with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. and economic development coordinator for Washington County, Wis.

Hicks-Sorensen earned her certified economic developer designation in 2005.

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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