Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday named six to the State Board of Dental Examiners. Diane Garza of Brownsville was named to a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017; Bryan Henderson II of Dallas, Jorge Quirch of Missouri City and Rich Villa of Austin were named to terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021. He reappointed Renee Cornett of Austin and David Tillman of Aledo to terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021. He also named Steve Austin of Amarillo the new chairman of the board.

Abbott made seven appointments this week to the Statewide Health Coordinating Council (SHCC): Larry Safir of McAllen for a term to expire Aug. 1, 2017; Salil Deshpande of Houston for a term to expire Aug. 1, 2019; and Carol Boswell of Andrews, Melinda Rodriguez of San Antonio, Courtney Sherman of Fort Worth, Shaukat Zakaria of Houston, and Yasser Zeid of Longview for terms to expire Aug. 1, 2021. In addition, Ayeez Lalji of Sugar Land was appointed as the council’s presiding officer.

Abbott named 15 women this week to the Governor’s Commission for Women: Estela AveryTina Yturria BufordJennifer ChiangStarr CorbinAlejandra De la Vega-FosterDebbie GustafsonKaren HarrisAmy HendersonNancy Ann HuntKaren ManningImelda NavarroRienke Radler, Jinous Rouhani, Catherine Susser, and Laura Koenig Young. Susser and De la Vega-Foster were named commission chairwoman and vice chairwoman, respectively.

Arun Agarwal of Dallas was named to the Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board by Abbott for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2019.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association’s PAC announced its support Monday for former state Rep. Wayne Christian in his runoff for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. The PAC also endorsed the following Republicans in their respective runoff contests: Bryan Hughes (SD-1), Ernest Bailes (HD-18), Justin Holland (HD-33), state Rep. Doug Miller (HD-73) and state Rep. Wayne Smith (HD-128).

GOP SD-24 runoff candidate Susan King announced Monday an endorsement from the political arm of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tom Mechler announced Monday that he’s been endorsed for re-election by the Williamson County Republican Leaders club.

Jared Woodfill, who is challenging Mechler for the chairmanship of the RPT, announced endorsements from JoAnn Fleming, executive director of the Tyler-based conservative group Grassroots America; state Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano; and Jeff Judson, the former State Republican Executive Committee member who challenged Speaker Joe Straus in this year’s primaries.

The Constitutional Restoration of State Sovereignty PAC, the organization founded last summer by state Rep. Cecil Bell Jr., now has an official spokesman. The new face of the organization is Bell’s House colleague, Mark Keough, a freshman GOP lawmaker from The Woodlands.

Gray Mayes, currently director of public affairs for Texas Instruments, is joining the board of directors of the Texas Institute for Education Reform. Other notable names on the board of the education advocacy group include former Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, former state Comptroller Susan Combs, and former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige.

Si Cook has been selected to succeed Vernie Glasson III as executive director of the Texas Farm Bureau. He assumes his new role May 26.

The Ridesharing Works for Austin PAC announced on Thursday the hire of several activists with ties to the local Democratic community, bringing on former Texas Democratic Party staffer Joe Bowen as outreach director and Huey Rey Fischer, who ran this year for the open HD-49 seat, as deputy outreach director. The PAC also hired three local political operatives — Patrick McDonald, Jovita Pardo and Pedro Villalobos — to handle other facets of the campaign’s community outreach efforts.

Attorney Gregory M. Bopp has been elected managing partner for Houston law firm Bracewell LLP. Bopp takes over July 1 for Mark Evans, who is taking over as co-chairman for the firm along with Patrick Oxford.

Deaths: Joe D. Gunn, 85, president of the Texas AFL-CIO from 1989-2003 and labor representative to the Texas Employment Commission under Gov. Dolph Briscoe.

Disclosure: Texas Farm Bureau is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Texas Instruments was a corporate sponsor in 2012 and 2014 of The Texas Tribune. Bracewell & Giuliani LLP was a corporate sponsor in 2012 of The Texas Tribune. Patrick Oxford is a major donor to The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.