Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed six people to the Texas Economic Development Corporation last Friday. They are: Steve Head of The Woodlands, Mark Griffin of Lubbock, Alejandro “Alex” Meade of Mission, Mike Rollins of Austin, Nancy Windham of Nacogdoches, Sanjiv Yajnik of Dallas to the corporation. Tracye McDaniel of Austin and Bryan Daniel of Georgetown were named ex-officio members of the board.

Abbott appointed Col. Dawn Ferrell of Wichita Falls to serve as the Deputy Adjutant General for Air for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor.

Abbott on Tuesday appointed Cecile Young as the State Refugee Coordinator. According to an announcement from the governor’s office, the refugee coordinator works to “ensure coordination of public and private resources in refugee resettlement” in Texas. Young is currently the chief of staff for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Abbott announced on Wednesday four appointments to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. They are:

•    Anna Benavides Galo of Laredo for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2019

•    Jeanne Latimer of San Antonio and Kelcy Warren of Dallas for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021

•    Reed Morian of Houston (reappointment) for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2021

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced multiple appointments for Senate committees and state commissions last Friday.

•    Brian Birdwell, Kevin Eltife, Jose Menendez, Larry Taylor and Kirk Watson to the Senate Select Committee on State Real Property Data Collection, Reporting and Assessment

•    Joan Huffman, Jane Nelson and Craig Estes to the Committee to Study TRS Health Benefit Plans

•    Eduardo “Eddie” Lucio Jr. to the Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs

•    Brandon Creighton and John Whitmire to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission

•    Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons and Fort Worth Attorney Leticia “Letty” Martinez to the Commission to Study and Review Certain Penal Laws

The Houston mayoral runoff between state Rep. Sylvester Turner and former Kemah Mayor Bill King is set for Dec. 12. The Houston city attorney's office last Friday formally scheduled the runoff date.

Houston mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner cornered the market on congressional Greens this past week. U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, announced last Friday he is endorsing Turner in the Dec. 12 runoff election. On Monday, U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, followed suit.

On Thursday, Turner announced an endorsement from House City Councilwoman Ellen Cohen, who is also a former colleague in the Legislature. Cohen represented HD-134 for two terms from 2007-11.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents re-elected its chairman, Jamie Garza, and its vice chairman, Rossanna Salazar, at a meeting last Friday, allowing them to hold their respective positions for another year. Garza is a professor and assistant dean for South Texas Affairs at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Salazar is the managing partner of ROSS Communications Inc., a strategic communication firm in Austin.

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, an arm of conservative organization Empower Texans, endorsed Justice Michael Massengale in his bid for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. Massengale is currently a judge for the First Court of Appeals in Houston. He is challenging incumbent Debra Lehrmann in the GOP primary early next year.

SD-25 State Republican Executive Committeewoman Linda Kinney said Monday that she is backing Austin ophthalmologist Dawn Buckingham in the SD-24 race, explaining in a statement that she “will help in the fight for border security and cut state spending.”

A trio of leading Texas conservatives — Cathie Adams of the Texas Eagle Forum, Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values and Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute — announced support for Jonathan Stickland in his campaign for re-election to his HD-92 seat. Stickland, one of the most prominent voices of the movement conservatives in the House, is facing a primary challenge from Bedford pastor Scott Fisher.

Stickland followed that by announcing Wednesday that he has rounded up the support of four of Texas’ “most conservative” senators — Konni Burton of Colleyville, Bob Hall of Edgewood, Don Huffines of Dallas and Van Taylor of Plano.

State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, headlined a list of endorsements rolled out Monday by state Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, who is in a primary fight with former state Rep. Bennett Ratliff to represent Dallas County’s HD-115. Huffines has HD-115 in his Senate district. The list of Rinaldi supporters include a couple of former mayors of Farmers Branch — Tim O’Hare and Bill Glancy — the former mayor of Carrollton, Ron Branson, and the former mayor of Irving, Marvin Randle.

HD-115 candidate Bennett Ratliff announced last Friday endorsements from 20 current and former city council members in the district. The list includes, among others, current Coppell city council members Cliff Long, Marvin Franklin, Wes Mays, Nancy Yingling, Brianna Hinojosa-Flores, and Mayor Pro Tem Gary Roden; Carrollton city councilman Bob Garza; and Farmers Branch Mayor Pro-Tem Kirk Connally.

State Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, endorsed Kevin Roberts in his bid to succeed her in the House. In June, Harless announced she would not be seeking re-election to the seat she has held since 2007.

Republican HD-33 candidate Lorne Liechty announced on Thursday that he has earned the endorsement of the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition announced Monday that Shakira Pumphrey will serve as its new policy director. Pumphrey previously served as a senior policy advisor to House Speaker Joe Straus.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced Tuesday she has filed for re-election. Anderson has held the job of DA in the state’s most populous county since September 2013.

Genetics researcher Eric Boerwinkle is the new dean of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. He starts his new position Jan. 1.

Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk on Thursday was named chairman of Texans for LNG, a new campaign to educate the public on the benefits of building up Texas' liquified natural gas export industry.

Texas Department of Insurance Actuarial Director Mike Boerner has won the Robert Dineen Award, the highest honor for a state regulator bestowed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Disclosure: The Texas State University System is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.