Surprises in The League of Women Voters Guide

I picked up a copy of the League of Women Voters' Guide in a local store yesterday. My wife and I had voted early, however I've always found the L.W.V. Guide a valuable compendium of information about all the candidates. This particular version covered only the state-wide candidates and detailed information about two counties: Travis and Williamson. Therefore it did not include our suburban county to the west of Austin, Hays County.

The complete guide was sixty pages long! Wow, that alone surprised me. It included all the races, as mentioned above, for the state and for districts that intersected with the two primary population centers in and around Austin. In addition, it  included local information for city races for eight towns and cities in these counties as well as eight Independent School Districts and the local Community College.

The guide poses identical questions to all candidates, depending on the position they are seeking. The questions are fair, topical, and relevant. The most surprising thing to me is that nearly every Republican candidate "did not respond" to the L.W.V. and so there is nothing at all from them. Some major Republican candidates who did not respond included Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Michael McCaul, Representative Roger Williams, Representative John Carter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, State Attorney General Ken Paxton, Candidates for Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blackwood and John Devine, and Presiding Judge candidate for the State Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Sharon Keller. More Republican candidates followed the same approach, however several other Republican Candidates did respond.

It should be included that Ken Paxton, who refused to reply, and  who is the chief law-enforcement officer of the state of Texas, also has been indicted on two counts of security fraud and one count of failure to register as a lobbyist with the state security board. He is accused of encouraging investors to put more than $600,000 into a Texas company while at the same time taking a commission and 100,000 shares in the company! Mr. Paxton denies the charges and is charging ahead in this deeply Republican state while he faces trial. If it seems unusual to you for the state's chief law enforcement officer to be in this situation, you are not alone. More complete information is here:

On a more general basis, it's disappointing to see any candidate refusing to respond to a clearly non-partisan information publication like the L.W.V. To be candid, nothing seems to impede the Republican Party's dominance of politics in Texas. This mid-term election  may or may not presage any change in Texas from a bright-red state to purple, at least. We shall see.


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1 Response

  1. Thanks for the post, Jim. I've regularly relied on the LWV's election publication to get a clearer overview of candidates and issues before I vote. They provide an excellent resource. One would hope that this mid-term election will shake the complacency out of any politicians.

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