Political People and their Moves

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was elected minority whip in the Senate, making him the GOP caucus’ number two officer behind Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. And they also elevated Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, naming him the vice chairman of grassroots for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the party’s political arm in that chamber.

State Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, announced she’ll run for an open Senate seat that had belonged to fellow Democrat Mario Gallegos, and that she’s getting in with the support of his family. That race will split the city’s Democratic delegation in Austin. Alvarado has Rodney Ellis, Borris Miles, Harold Dutton and Senfronia Thompson in her camp. Former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia claims Ana Hernandez Luna, Jessica Farrar, Garnet Coleman, and Armando Walle. No election date has been set; the governor will call that after this month’s votes have been officially canvassed. 

Craig Chick and Adam Goldman have started a new lobby practice. Chick had been an advisor to House Speaker Joe Straus; Goldman was most recently a consultant with Austin-based Public Strategies. 

Back in the saddle: Gov. Rick Perry is holding a fundraiser at a sushi bar in Mission later this month, but the invite doesn’t say he’s running for anything. It’s a “reception honoring” the state’s chief executive, with suggested contributions ranging from “friend” at $1,000, to “Patron” at $10,000. 

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is off to the UK this weekend — after the F1 races in Austin are over — for an economic development trip with a number of local companies. The trip was announced by the Brits, who invited him and the companies to talk about energy and trade. He’ll be back before the turkey is carved.

Senior district judge John J. Specia Jr., a founding member and jurist in residence for the Supreme Court Children’s Commission, has been named commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Kenneth Shine, the University of Texas System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs, announced his plans to retire from his post in early 2013.

Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wesley Ward of Houston as judge of the 234th Judicial District Court in Harris County. Ward is an attorney and certified public accountant.

Chris Elam, the former deputy executive director of the Texas Republican Party, will serve as campaign manager for Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson's 2104 bid for lite guv.

Kwame Walker has joined McGuireWoods Consulting as a vice president for state government relations. Walker has spent the past 13 years working as a legislative consultant representing clients like the city of Dallas before the state Legislature.

Sen.-elect Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, named Bonnie Bruce as her chief of staff. Bruce previously worked for Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton; he didn't seek reelection this year.

Republican consultant John Colyandro pleaded guilty to charges of accepting illegal campaign contributions during the 2002 elections, bringing to an end his part of the Tom DeLay money-laundering criminal prosecution. Colyandro and others were accused of illegally moving corporate money into use for political spending where that kind of money isn’t allowed. He was sentenced to a year of deferred adjudication and fined $8,000.