Political People and their Moves

Steve Gilman of Houston, Beckie Stockstill Cobb of Deer Park and Yusuf Farran of El Paso have been named by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Credit Union Commission for terms set to expire on Feb. 1, 2021.

Ruth Ruggero Hughs of Austin was named by Abbott to the Texas Workforce Commission for a term set to expire on Feb. 1, 2021. A lawyer in private practice, she is also the owner of a film production company. She was previously the director of defense litigation in the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Abbott has made five appointments to the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Stroke. Kyle Sheets was appointed for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017, while Sherron Meeks, Shilpa Shamapant and Marcie Gonzalez Wilson were appointed for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021. Melbert “Bob” Hillert, Jr. was reappointed for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2021.

T. Dan Friedkin of Houston was named chairman of the Parks and Wildlife Commission for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor. He is CEO of Gulf States Toyota, which operates dealerships in five states, and a holding company, Friedkin Companies Inc., which invests primarily in the automotive industry.

Jay Steven Herrington of Palestine was named by Abbott to the Upper Neches River Municipal Water Authority Board of Directors for a term set to expire on Feb. 1, 2021.

Jeff Judson, a former president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, announced Friday he is launching a challenge to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus. In addition to his time at TPPF, Judson worked in President George H. W. Bush's administration and on Capitol Hill for the late Sen. John Tower as well as Reps. Tom Loeffler and Tom DeLay. Straus represents House District 121 in Bexar County.

Former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is backing businessman Bill King in his bid for Houston mayor, King’s campaign announced Wednesday. Dewhurst and his wife, Tricia, joined a handful of area conservative leaders in a letter sent to Houston residents encouraging them to get involved in King’s campaign.

State Rep. Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman, announced Wednesday that he'll seek re-election to represent House District 4. Spitzer is in his first term representing the district, which takes in Kaufman County and most of Henderson County.

Ted Cruz's presidential campaign announced Tuesday that it has hired two field directors in Iowa and South Carolina. In Iowa, the campaign brought on board Jake Dagel, who most recently worked for the Iowa branch of Turning Point USA, which organizes young conservatives. In the Palmetto State, the campaign tapped Steven Wright, a former volunteer for Mark Sanford's congressional bid.

Beth Cubriel is stepping down as the executive director of the Republican Party of Texas, she announced Monday. In an email to the State Republican Executive Committee, Cubriel said she was leaving the party to work for a law firm in Austin. She began working for the party as its organizational director in February 2011 and became executive director in June 2012. Her last day is Sept. 8.

Ken Cearley, stewardship manager for the Texas Agricultural Land Trust, received the prestigious Sam Beasom Conservation Leader Award from the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA). He was honored in a ceremony earlier this month in San Antonio.

Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Texas Wildlife Association are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.