Political People and their Moves

Texas’ congressional delegation is regaining some of the clout it lost when Republicans redistricting Democrats out of their seats ten years ago: Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, will chair the Financial Services Committee; Mike McCaul, R-Austin, will head Homeland Security; Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, will chair Rules; and Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, will head Science, Space and Technology.

U.S. Sen.-elect Ted Cruz has selected Chip Roy, who helped Gov. Rick Perry write his 2010 book Fed Up!, as his chief of staff. Roy, an attorney, worked for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn before Perry tapped him in 2011 to serve as head of the State-Federal Relations Office.

Ann Stuart, chancellor and president of Texas Woman’s University since 1999, is stepping down but will remain in place until a successor is picked. 

Sylvia Garcia picked up the endorsement of the AFL-CIO’s political arm in her effort to succeed the late Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston. Her chief rival, state Rep. Carol Alvarado, picked up an endorsement, too, from the Houston Professional Firefighters Association. Gov. Rick Perry hasn’t yet called that special election.

Remove the “interim” from Ursula Parks’ title at the Legislative Budget Board; she’s now the director, after standing in the top job on a temporary basis since last April.

David Gonzales is the new CEO at the Texas Association of Health Plans. he was most recently with Cardinal Health, but did time at the Texas Pharmacy Association and as a Texas Senate staffer before that.

Donnis Baggett, most recently the publisher of the Waco Herald-Tribune, joins the Texas Press Association as executive vice president; he’ll head up the lobbying efforts for that group, which recently absorbed the Texas Daily Newspaper Association.

State Rep.-elect Mary Gonzalez, D-El Paso, hired Roger Garza, executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, to serve as her chief of staff and also hired Arlina Palacios, Victor Reyes and Catherine Rodarte — El Pasoans all — to fill out the staff. 

Gov. Rick Perry reappointed Judge Kelly Moore of Brownfield to be presiding judge of the 9th Administrative Judicial Region. Perry reappointed Stephen Ables of Kerrville to the corresponding spot in the 6th Region, and David Peeples of San Antonio to that job in the 4th Region.

The governor named Arthur Troilo III of Lakeway to the board of the Department of Information Resources. Troilo is an attorney.

And the governor named Houston dentist Rodolfo “Rudy” Ramos Jr. tochair the State Board of Dental Examiners.