Allison Sandza

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Posts by Allison Sandza

Hutchison tells MSNBC she’s ‘probably’ done running for office

Outgoing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison once thought about running for president, but for now she’s "probably" done running for office. She also dislikes the term RINO, because she doesn’t think Republicans should attack each other. She told this to Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s "Daily Rundown" Tuesday during her "exit interview."

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Sen. Hutchison vows to help Cruz prepare to fill her seat

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison says she will help Ted Cruz get elected to fill her seat in Washington. She announced her retirement almost two years ago.

“I’d like to congratulate both Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst on a hard fought primary.

“In the coming months, I will do everything I can to support the election of Ted Cruz to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate and be available to him for any questions that will prepare him for the issues he will face.

“It is more important than ever that we have leaders who are committed to get our country back on track – focused on cutting spending and creating jobs to grow our economy.”

Perry: Dewhurst and I will stand together

Gov. Perry isn’t turning his back on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst following his runoff loss to Ted Cruz. In a statement Perry said he is proud to call Dewhurst his friend.

"I congratulate Ted Cruz on a hard-fought victory and a well-executed campaign. Ted is a force to be reckoned with: an excellent candidate and a great conservative communicator. I call on all conservative Texans to rally behind Ted Cruz in November so we can remake the U.S. Senate in the image of Texas for the good of all Americans.

“Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst fought a valiant fight. I’m proud to call David my friend. He and I will stand shoulder to shoulder once again in the spring, fighting for Texas — the most conservative state in America.

"Texas is as rock-hard conservative as ever. Texans in true Texas fashion decided what is right for Texas. It is my expectation and prayer that their choice will be right for America."

Dewhurst wasn’t the governor’s only endorsement, at least two of the candidates Perry backed were successful. Roger Williams beat Wes Riddle for the Republican nomination in Congressional district 25 and Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman held on to his party’s nomination.

Mayor Julián Castro to keynote Democratic National Convention

In the same fashion which catapulted President Obama to national prominence in 2004, Mayor Julián Castro will deliver this year’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in September. Castro will be the first Latino keynote speaker at the DNC.

"Two conventions ago, the keynote speaker was a guy named Barack Obama. I remember watching his speech in 2004 and being inspired," Castro said in his announcement video.

At 37 years old, Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. His twin brother, Joaquin, is a state rep and is running for Congress in San Antonio. He keynoted the Texas Democratic convention in June and was a guest in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box at the State of the Union earlier this year.

"Julián Castro has worked tirelessly to move San Antonio forward by building its economy from the middle out, not the top down, by putting the city on a path to being a leader in the new energy economy and making innovative investments in education to prepare San Antonio’s students for the jobs of the future,” Democratic Convention Chair, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said on the DNC website. “That’s the same vision forward for the middle class the President has.”

The Democratic National Convention starts Sept. 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You can watch Castro’s announcement video below.

Poll show mixed numbers in US Senate race on eve of runoff Election Day

After more than a year of campaigning, and mudslinging, Tuesday is Election Day, and a couple new polls show mixed numbers for one of the biggest races to watch.

A survey from Public Policy Polling shows Ted Cruz ahead of Dewhurst, 52 to 42 percent. Just two weeks earlier, PPP found them five points apart.

Sunday’s poll specifically shows Cruz leading among Republicans who cast ballots during early voting, 55 to 40. He also leads, 49 to 44, among people who say they have yet to vote.

Dewhurst leads with seniors by a big margin, 56 to 39, but younger voters strongly prefer Cruz by a 60 to 33 margin.

While Public Policy Polling is a Democratic-leaning survey organization, their polls in this Republican race have been pretty accurate. Their poll right before the primary proved to be within a few points of the actual outcome. The Dewhurst campaign, however, is countering with a poll of their own which they say shows the numbers in their favor.

They’re citing an internal poll, conducted by the Texas-based group Baselice & Associates during early voting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week. It shows Dewhurst leading Cruz 48 percent to 43 percent. The poll, paid for by the Dewhurst campaign, was released by the National Journal. YNN confirmed the numbers with the polling group.

Cruz campaigned with some big names over the weekend. Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint and Rick Santorum all traveled to Texas to stump with him. Dewhurst has the backing of many top Texas officials. Governor Perry will campaign with him all day today. State Comptroller Susan Combs formally endorsed Dewhurst last week. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced his support for the lieutenant governor Sunday.

Perry appoints new leadership at Health and Human Services Commission

Dr. Kyle Janek served in the legislature from 1995-2008. 
Photo courtesy: Senate Media Services

Gov. Perry announced Austin anesthesiologist and former state senator, Dr. Kyle Janek, will replace Tom Suehs as executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services. Perry also appointed Chris Traylor to serve as chief deputy commissioner.

"Texas, like the rest of the country, is headed into a period of the most significant changes in health care in our history,” Gov. Perry said in a press release. “This new leadership team, with Kyle and Chris at the helm, combines unparalleled experience and expertise to ensure Texans continue to have access to the health care they need while implementing fiscal policies that are mindful that it’s taxpayer money they are spending.”

Janek is currently the director of anesthesia services at Lakeway Regional Medical Center. He served in the Texas House and Senate from 1995 to 2008. He graduated from Texas A&M before heading to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Traylor has been commissioner of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services since 2010.

Cruz-Santorum campaign event set for Saturday morning

A big name in Tea Party politics will roll into Southlake, Texas Saturday morning. We now know where and when Rick Santorum will join U.S. Senate Republican runoff candidate Ted Cruz for a rally. The event will take place Saturday morning at 11:30 at the Ranch of the Lonesome Dove.

The event comes less than 24 hours after a rally in The Woodlands with Sarah Palin, Sen. Jim DeMint and many Tea Party leaders from across the state. Santorum endorsed Cruz May 24 on Glenn Beck’s radio show.

SCOTUS to hear UT affirmative action case in October

The date has been set for the University of Texas to defend its admissions policy in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will again examine affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas, with oral arguments on October 10.

Abigail Fisher, a white student, sued UT after she was denied admission. Fisher says the school violated her constitutional right to equal protection. UT’s admissions policy takes into account a student’s race and ethnicity, but also admits about two-thirds of UT freshman based on high school class rank. The SCOTUS decision could change how race is used in college admissions nationwide.

Dewhurst, Cruz spar over late disclosure form

It’s been a bitter battle for the Republican nomination to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s U.S. Senate seat, and three weeks out from runoff election day, the candidates aren’t letting up on their attacks.

Ted Cruz’s campaign is confirming claims it missed a filing deadline for Cruz’s financial disclosure forms. They acknowledged the mistake and that they were forced to pay a $200 fine for filing two months late.

The Dewhurst campaign was quick to jump on the story, calling him "Short Fuse Cruz."

"Today it was exposed that Ted Cruz failed to file his personal financial disclosure with the Senate Ethics Committee and was penalized with the maximum fine," said Dewhurst for Texas Advisor Mark Miner in a statement. "What is Short Fuse Cruz hiding? What other shady clients is he trying to shield? The Dewhurst for Texas campaign demands that Ted Cruz release his Personal Financial Disclosure form, and disclose other possible fines and campaign ethics breaches. We seriously doubt this is the only one."

The Cruz campaign fired back, challenging Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to explain why his office deleted past speeches from his official web site. The Cruz campaign’s Twitter account tweeted "[David Dewhurst] Speech Advocating Guest Worker Program for Illegal Immigrants Vanishes from Site," linking to a story on the National Review’s website.

Dewhurst’s campaign says it was the Lieutenant Governor’s office which asked for all past speeches to be removed. A spokeswoman for Dewhurst said they do not know why the state office wanted the speeches taken down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gov. Perry endorses Roger Williams in CD25 runoff

Gov. Perry endorsed Roger Williams in the runoff election for Congressional District 25. Williams is running against Wes Riddle is in the July 31 runoff.

"I strongly endorse Roger Williams for Congress because I know Roger will truly work to overhaul Washington, D.C.," Governor Perry said in a statement. "Washington is broken and needs new people with sound, private sector experience to help bring about limited government, conservative changes for America. Roger Williams will be a leader to stop Barack Obama’s socialist agenda, make Congress abide by the Constitution, and develop conservative solutions to help strengthen our economy."

"I am honored to have Governor Perry endorse me for Congress," Roger Williams said in the same press release. "I have been proud to help elect and re-elect Governor Perry and I believe he is the most conservative governor in America. In 2010, while I was working hard to re-elect our conservative Republican governor, my opponent was serving as the campaign manager for a third-party challenger trying to defeat Governor Perry. I’m proud to be the conservative candidate in this race."