Political People and their Moves

Julian Alvarez of Harlingen was named Monday by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Texas Workforce Commission for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017. Alvarez is a past president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership.

Christopher Corvo of Austin and Lorie Jones of Magnolia were appointed by Abbott to the Dental Hygiene Advisory Committee for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021.

Abbott on Tuesday made four appointments — Bob Borochoff of Houston, Molly Curl of Richardson, Phillip Holt of Bonham and Matt Moore of Amarillo — to the Finance Commission of Texas for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2022. In addition, Abbott named Stacy G. London of Houston as the commission’s presiding officer.

Susan Melendez of El Paso was named presiding officer of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority by Abbott for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017. Also, Linda Thomas of Longview was reappointed presiding officer of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority by Abbott for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2018.

Sheila M. Vallés-Pankratz of Mission was named by Abbott to the Manufactured Housing Board for a term to expire Jan. 31, 2021.

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, endorsed Ted Cruz for president on Monday, becoming the eighth member of the Texas Republican congressional delegation to back Cruz's candidacy.

The Marco Rubio presidential campaign on Thursday announced 20 new members of his Texas leadership team ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. The list is headlined by a bunch of former elected and appointed officials, including former Comptroller Susan Combs, former Secretary of State Hope Andrade and former state Sens. John Carona, Bob Deuell, Florence Shapiro and Cyndi Taylor Krier.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday afternoon collected endorsements in Austin from a quartet of current and former Hispanic Texas legislators — State Sens. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, and Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston; state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin; and former state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin.

The PAC affiliated with conservative advocacy group Citizens United is endorsing Steve Toth, a GOP congressional challenger aiming to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady. In addition to the endorsement, the PAC said it was giving $2,500 to the campaign of Toth, a former state representative.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, received on Monday the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is backing former House colleague Wayne Christian’s bid for Texas railroad commissioner.

Weston Martinez, a Republican running for Texas Railroad Commission, on Monday announced an endorsement from Daniel Wong, the chairman of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, announced that Bill Lawson, the founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, is endorsing his campaign for Harris County Commissioner Precinct 1.

David Simpson’s bid to win the Republican nomination in the open SD-1 contest got a boost Tuesday from former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

And speaking of Patterson… he distributed another statement Tuesday in which he explains why he’s endorsing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio over fellow Texan Ted Cruz.

GOP SD-24 candidate Dawn Buckingham has drawn an endorsement from Roger Borgelt, a former vice chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. 

The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans is weighing in on the open HD-49 seat in Travis County. The group’s affiliated Educational Fund said Monday that it is endorsing Gina Hinojosa and Heather Way for the seat.

The political arm of tort reform group Texans for Lawsuit Reform endorsed state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, for re-election to his Tarrant County House seat. Geren is locked in a heated and expensive primary race against Bo French in HD-99.

Former Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has a new gig, 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 state Comptroller Susan Combs and former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige.

Freshman state Rep. César Blanco, D-El Paso, has been hired as the new political director for D.C.-based Latino Victory Project. He has served as chief of staff for then U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego and has prior political experience working for the Democratic National Committee and for the campaign of then U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez.

Jay Bernhardt on Monday was named the new dean of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. He had been serving as the interim dean since Roderick Hart’s departure in August.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute for Education Reform are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. Bob Borochoff, Jerry Patterson and Roderick Hart are donors to the Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.