Travis County Joint General and Special Elections Voter Guide for November 6, 2018

As usual, this is me publishing the notes I make for myself, to make my life easier in the future and help out anyone else who might trip over this little blog by accident looking for some help making their decisions.

These are only the races where I live.  In other places there are other races, so check https://www.votetravis.com/vexpress/display.do to see what will be on your own ballot.

Straight party: this is stupid. You won’t be able to do this any more, but this time you
still can. Consider your candidates as individuals.

United States Senator
Please vote for Ted Cruz. This isn’t even a question. He has been doing outstanding work and should be kept in place. Especially when the next-closest challenger is an anti-gun leftist.

District 17, US Representative
Bill Flores REP – Please re-elect Congressman Flores. He is a solid conservative, so worth a vote over the other two right there. Plus he is in the R party, which means not being categorically against Don Trump. That’s enough to put him over the top.
Rick Kennedy DEM – wants to crush us financially (with the best of intentions) by giving away free pennies from heaven in the form of single-payer health care. That is enough to disqualify him. Also he is a global warmenist, is against our Southern Border Wall, and is otherwise a Democrat. If you like Trump’s agenda, and I do, then a Democrat is exactly the opposite of what we need in Congress today.
Peter Churchman LIB – I applaud him for trying to “be the change” he wanted to see in our government. I don’t like him being against President Trump, and I don’t like him trying to take power away from POTUS to mobilize our military. Otherwise he seems like a fairly solid conservative-leaning Libertarian, which means he is better than any Democrat. But he will lose and most of his votes will be “spoilers” from the Republican side. Vote for who you want, but I’m not voting for Churchman.

Governor
Greg Abbott REP – Please re-elect Governor Abbott! He’s been killing it so far and shows no signs of turning wobbly/squishy on us.
Lupe Valdez DEM – literally an insane person. No thank you.
Mark Jay Tippetts LIB – Small government: good. Current immigration situation is
heartbreaking and we need to be more compassionate: bad. The pure libertarian solution to immigration sounds an awful lot like open borders at a time when we should be building the Southern Border Wall and making people turn around and go be *compassionate* wherever they came from.

Liutenant Governor
Dan Patrick REP – To be clear, this is not my favorite Republican ever. But he *is* a solid conservative, and pretty effective at ramming a legislative agenda I like down the throats of his opponents, which is basically what a Lt. Governor does here. So keep him for now. No, the politically-motivated indictments don’t bother me at all.
Mike Collier DEM – approximately a typical Democrat. He wants to ruin us financially (with the best of intentions!). He wants to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to be armed, and he wants to make it easier to take away your guns (but again, with the best of intentions!). Wants to reduce corruption in government by . . . setting up a committee
wheeeeee
Kerry Douglas Mckennon LIB – if we had sensible people in government, the Libertarian Party ticket would get my vote. We don’t. We have libtards on the other side of the aisle, and we need people who will be *nationalistic* in the face of Democrats having minds “so open their brains fell out”. I like most of McKennon’s stances on the Issues with just a few exceptions that would not prevent me voting for him happily if there were not a better candidate: He is in favor of recreational drug use, against the death penalty, and against police enforcing traffic laws. He is soft on immigration which (again) wouldn’t be a problem in a different political climate than we have today.

Attorney General
Ken Paxton REP – I’ve picked Paxton both by default and because he is a decent guy for the job.
Justin Nelson DEM – the top of his campaign is attacking the other guy for being *accused* of wrongdoing, and the bottom is typical Democrat talking points. No thanks.
Michael Ray Harris LIB – if I don’t find your campaign on an internet search, you don’t get my vote. In 2018 this counts as not even trying to win a race.

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar REP – I am going to push the button for Hegar this year. I said in 2014 that he seemed to be trying to run for *any* office as a Conservative. I haven’t heard anything bad that I can remember about him since then . . . but I was leaning toward Ben Sanders then and I think I still might be. But Hegar has been there doing it.
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2018/09/14/recommend-glenn-hegar-texas-comptroller
Joi Chevalier DEM – a Bernie Sanders supporter and member of various racist groups . . . two strikes and she’s out.
Ben Sanders LIB – possibly a good candidate for Congress in a different, less-polarized
political climate.

Commissioner of the General Land Office
Once again, I am going to abstain from voting in this race due to lack of a candidate I can support.
George P. Bush REP – No more Bushes.  For any office.  The family is banned.
Miguel Suazo DEM – hey he’s running because he doesn’t like what Bush did in a couple of cases. . . sounds good so far! . . . against school choice for parents…going to try to save us from *climate change*…and he’s gonna improve us with (handwaving) BLOCKCHAIN technology!  oookay thanks for playing.
Matt Pina LIB – appears to have no relevant experience

Commissioner of Agriculture
Sid Miller REP – I think I will hold my nose a bit and Keep him in this position. He sometimes comes out with slightly whacky statements, but it seems like the main campaigning point against him is that he is an embarrassment to people who don’t like his style…which rhymes with the main complaint against Don Trump.
Kim Olson DEM – maybe I’m too tired to process it, maybe her campaign material all reads like a robot spent too much time on wikipedia.  Either way it’s oddly bizarre for a political campaign.  She seems to have her heart in the right place (in a big-government sort of way) though and I won’t pitch a fit if she beats out Miller.  Unless she goes completely off the rails. Oh, and this seems like a strange reason to be running for office: https://www.reddit.com/r/TexasPolitics/comments/82pdlo/i_am_kim_olson_candidate_for_texas_commissioner/dvdh9ai/ – and the same “here’s two of three” or “here’s 4 of 3” kind of responses are seen elsewhere online. It’s strange to me.
Richard Carpenter LIB – wants to tap aquifers as a solution to water shortage, vs. making more reservoirs?! and that’s all I learned in my internet research.  Several pages with the same article basically.

Railroad Commissioner
Christi Craddick REP – As in previous years, this is not a solid *for* Craddick . . . but then- attorney General Abbot said she was a great choice, a few years back.  Her issues statements sound good to me.  The principal argument against her seems to be that she is involved with the oil/gas industry, which seems like not a demerit to me.
Roman McAllen DEM – I don’t think I need to go much further than an article I read that endorsed him over his primary election opponent, which described him as “an intellectual” (which is fine) who does not “have a professional history in the energy industry” which is less fine.  And then they followed it with “neither of these Democrats seems deeply involved in the issues facing the railroad commission.” ok thanks for playing.
Mike Wright LIB – once again, a thin campaign from a Libertarian who will lose.  If you want to see more third party action and don’t like either of the other candidates, this is a race where you could vote for the L party, on general principle.

Place 2, Justice, Supreme Court
Jimmy Blacklock REP – I’ll vote for Justice Blacklock.  Ok so he’s new to judgin’, but he’s the incumbent and I don’t like to remove an incumbent judge. And look who he’s up against.
Steven Kirkland DEM – an unabashed homosexual.  Someone whose brain is so far gone as to think this is okay, on the supreme Court?  Yeah, nah.

Place 4, Justice, Supreme Court
I don’t like my judges to be making ideological statements about their own convictions, and here is a race where we have two of them doing it.  One is the incumbent, and my philosophy is to keep incumbent judges in place unless they go nuts, which I don’t see that Devine has done.
John Devine REP – I will be voting for Devine but I expect he may lose a close race. We’ll see.  The main campaign point against him is that he took a politically-incorrect stand on a ruling, and made a technical point that would have granted review to a lawsuit.  Not a huge problem for me.
R.K. Sandill DEM – if he were coming in to replace a retiring judge, that would be ok with me, but here we have a decent incumbent, so let’s keep the incumbent. I also won’t be upset if he wins, unless he goes nuts.

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court
Jeff Brown REP – I have endorsed him before and do it again now.  But this time I post a different article with a ringing endorsement of him than the last one: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2018/10/09/recommend-jeff-brown-texas-supreme-court-place-6 . . . previously, I said of him, “not only is he currently on this job, with no notable complaints, he’s also the only candidate with any Supreme Court judgin’ experience at all.  (This guy.  http://www.texaspatriotspac.com/election-breakdown-2014-texas-supreme-court-justice-place-6)”
Kathy Cheng DEM – the front page of her website is a list of endorsements by racist groups.  And she’s not a Texan.  No thanks.

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Sharon Keller REP – As usual, I give heavy weight to incumbency.  I think I could be okay with Judge Jackson taking this race and I almost expect her to do.  Keller got a lot of bad press for one of the thousands of cases over which she presided, and did her finances wrong and paid a fine for it.  And she’s the incumbent and should probably be kept in place.
Maria T. (Terri) Jackson DEM – Seems like a reasonable sort and a qualified candidate.  If you can’t stand the idea of Keller, go for Jackson.  I don’t like a few of the groups that have endorsed her, but oh well.
William Bryan Strange III LIB – I remain unconvinced from his online presence and amount of campaign material I found, that this person actually exists.  Once again, Libertarian party, with feeling! You have to do more than get on the ballot, in order to be elected!

Place 7, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Barbara Parker Hervey REP  – I quote myself: “Please vote for Judge Hervey” I mean, you could vote against Franklin if you like but Hervey has earned a “for” vote.  TMW even the Houston Chronicle endorses a Republican judge https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/criminal-appeals-barbara-hervey-ramona-franklin-13323217.php
Ramona Franklin DEM – she’s got a touch of the crazyeyes, which has been a reliable indicator for me so far.  Also belongs to a racist organization (but with the best of intentions, surely)

Place 8, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Michelle Slaughter REP – Please vote for Judge Slaughter. She is very highly qualified and it’s hard to find any marks against her.
Mark Ash LIB -previously ran twice with basically no campagin?  He’s not a judge, and she is apparently a good one.

District 14, State Senator
George W. Hindman REP – with a genuine Republican on the ballot, this is a no-brainer.
Kirk Watson DEM  – last election, I abstained from voting for lack of a good candidate.  At the time, I said : “As I said last time: “not the worst Democrat out there, but still somewhat typical. I’m not a Democrat” He is a moderate-left with typical Democrat policy positions with which I disagree.”
Micah M. Verlander LIB – oh look a Libertarian who isn’t running an active campaign. This is my surprised face.  No campaign, no vote. Next.

District 46, State Representative
Gabriel Nila REP –  He gets a not-the-other-guy vote, very gently holding my nose.  I’m not sure he is actually a Republican but he’s sheets better in the slim amount of information available online than Cole.
Sheryl Cole DEM – She was on the Austin on the City Council when the Austin City Council was a disaster for Austin, so look for her to win on name recognition and be a disaster for Austin in the Congress.  If you like what the D party is about this year, vote for her because she’s one that touts the party line
Kevin Ludlow LIB – his website with his name on it has recent blog postings, and calls him a *FORMER* candidate for Congress.  If he’s not running, he can’t get my vote.  In addition, he doesn’t like the idea of a Child Protective Services program OR corporal punishment.  Has supported “homosexual marriage” and is pro-abortion. That, and the traditional Libertarian desire for open borders and to legalize drugs, will hopefully sink his campaign…well, what little chance he had in this district, anyway.

Place 2, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Cindy Olson Bourland REP – Vote for Bourland. She is not only a qualified candidate but the incumbent. Keep incumbent judges in place unless they go off the rails.
Edward Smith DEM  – not a judge, strike 1, a methodist, strike 2, and on the D party ballot strike 3.  He seems nice enough and I could maybe go for him

Place 3, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Scott Field REP – I endorsed him in 2012 and I endorse him in 2018. Please re-elect Justice Field
Chari Kelly DEM – a non-judge vs. an incumbent who’s not messing it all up? Once again: no thank you.

Place 5, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
David Puryear REP – Please keep Puryear on the court for six muryear. Pun intended. Again.
Thomas J. Baker DEm – seems like a nice enough guy, but choosing a not-a-judge vs an experienced incumbent? Nah.

Place 6, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Michael “Mike” Toth REP – He’s the incumbent – barely. For a couple of months. Vs. a
lifetime of judgin’ from Triana.
Gisela D. Triana DEM – I am going to push the button for Triana this time. She seems pretty qualified TBH and if she loses it’s only because of the D by her name. Judges shouldn’t have to register as party-affiliated, I think.

There’s a whole lot of judge and clerk positions with Democrats running unopposed. Come on, Libertarians, you can’t even get on the ballot?

County Clerk
Dana DeBeauvoir DEM – In light of the alternative, it’s yet another vote in favor of
DeBeauvoir. Again.
Erica Lockwood LIB – Oh look, a Libertarian who is apparently not campaigning! What a
surprise!

Precinct No.2, Justice of the Peace
Chris Soileau REP – campaigning so hard, you would think he’s a Libertarian – which is to say, apparently not campaigning at all. You gotta try harder than this, Chris.
Randall Slagle DEM – I think I’ll be voting for Slagle this time. He is currently doing the
job. My philosophy with judges is to let them be unless they are crazy.
Christopher David LIB – campaigning only slightly harder than Soileau.

Austin Community College District Annexation Election
Proposition A, Austin Community College District
Approving the annexation by the Austin Community College District of the following territory: the territory in Pflugerville Independent School District that is no tcurrently included in the boundaries of the Austin Community College District, and authorizing the imposition of an ad valorem tax for junior college purposes, which is currently set at a rate of $0.1048 per $100 valuation of taxable property

Please vote AGAINST this proposition!
Why? Am I against education?
People, my own Darling Wife is a current student at ACC. I went to ACC. All of the
anklebiters are likely going to at least start off going to ACC. I am very much in favor of
Austin Community College! But allow me to quote from a press release from Pflugerville
Residents for Responsible Taxation:

“The tax, pushed as a “savings” for the fewer than 250 Pflugerville residents who attend ACC, would cost city taxpayers up to an estimated $13 million per year based on current property values and ACC tax rate. Even at $10 million per year, it will cost Pflugerville $40,000 per student to reduce their tuition from $361 to $85 per credit hour. It would be far cheaper for PfISD to just directly pay for those students living in Pflugerville…”

So the choice is: pay ten-thousands of dollars per student more than it costs for them to pay out of pocket, and subject Pflugerville ratepayers to the whims of a taxing district in
another city, mostly for the benefit of the citizens of that other city; and the rate has
doubled through the years…or have the students pay their own few-thousand-dollars more per student worth of tuition fees. Hmmm…

If this annexation does not go through, it will cost me, personally, more in tuition fees in
the next 15 years, than it would cost me in property taxes, if the annexation is approved.
And I’m against the annexation because it is a stupid misuse of the tax dollars of my fellow citizens.

City of Pflugerville Bond Election
Prop. A, City of Pflugerville
The issuance of $21,100,000 tax bonds for street improvements to Colorado Sand Drive, Kelly Lane, Old Austin Hutto Road, and East Pflugerville Parkway
Please vote FOR this bond issuance. This is exactly the sort of bond that makes sense: building things that will last many decades, and are an infrastructure improvement that we can afford without really paying more in taxes than we are already paying

Pflugerville Independent School District Bond Election
Proposition A, Pflugerville ISD
The issuance of $322,000,000 bonds for school buildings, school sites, school buses, and the levying of the tax in payment thereof
It’s a big number but I am going FOR this bond as well. Shockingly this is supposed to not  raise our taxes…

Proposition B, Pflugerville ISD
Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $1.52 per $100 valuation in the Pflugerville Independent School District for the current year, a rate that is $0.02 higher per $100 valuation than the school district rollback tax rate, for the purpose of maintenance and operations, (including a maintenance and operations component of the ad valorem tax rate equal to $1.06 per $100 valuation, a rate that is $0.02 higher than the current maintenance and operations tax rate)
Vote FOR this as well. This is worded strangely, but it is a *reduction* in the current tax
rate. Due to rising property values, people are still going to pay more in taxes, but at
least it won’t be as much as it would be otherwise.