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Monday, June 4, 2012

Party of Medicine Fares Well in Primaries

Nearly three-quarters of TEXPAC’s endorsed candidates in congressional, legislative, and judicial elections won their party’s primary nomination in last week’s elections. Another 12 of them are in the July 31 runoffs. Among the big winners: U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville); State Sen. Bob Deuell, MD (R-Greenville); and State Reps. Susan King (R-Abilene) and John Zerwas, MD (R-Simonton), all won reelection nominations. State Reps. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), and Mark Shelton, MD (R-Fort Worth), both won the GOP nomination to move up to the Senate. Newcomer Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), is in a runoff in his race for the House. Congratulations to Sonal Bhuchar (R-Sugarland) and Susan Todd (R-Fort Worth) for running great campaigns. I know they both will remain outstanding voices for medicine at the Capitol. Other May 29 winners of note include incumbent Supreme Court Justices Don Willett and Nathan Hecht, and House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio). TEXPAC-endorsed challengers Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) and Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) also knocked off House incumbents who we believed were not friendly to patients and physicians. The biggest name in the July 31 runoffs is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is battling for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Other TEXPAC-endorsed candidates who have another two months to run include State Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), State Rep. Chuck Hopson (R-Jacksonville), and Bennett Ratliff (R-Coppell), who is battling an optometrist in his bid for the House. TEXPAC-endorsed State Reps. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) and Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth) are both in runoffs for Democratic nominations to the U.S. House. July 2 is the last day to register to vote for the runoffs.

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