Thursday, July 21, 2011

Special Election Date Set for Brown's House Seat

Fred Brown
Governor Perry has officially set November 18th as the date for the special election to fill Rep. Fred Brown's (R-Bryan) House Seat. Brown officially announced his resignation on the House Floor on June 29, but rumors of an impending resignation have circled since shortly after the 2010 election, when his on-line resume surfaced. The resume indicated his willingness to relocate out of his Brazos County District. Apparently the resume worked, because Brown has taken a position with a car dealership in Temple, TX.

Brown's history on LGBT issues is spotty. Historically he has supported anti-bullying efforts, including voting for 82(R) HB 1942, the "super" bullying bill and being the only Republican co-author or 81(R) HB 1323, Marc Strama's (D-Austin) 2009 anti-bullying bill which had an enumerated reporting requirement that included both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. On the other hand Brown supported both 78(R) SB 7 and 79(R) HJR 6, the Texas "Defense of Marriage Act" and constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Brown also consistently voted in support of Wayne Christian's (R-Center) efforts during the 82nd legislature to defund or ban LGBT resource centers at Texas Universities.

Brown represented house district 14, which includes Bryan and College Station, as well as Texas A&M. The District is overwhelmingly Republican (Brown ran without a Democratic opponent in 2010). Since the vacancy is to be filled by special election, candidates will not have to endure a primary before the general election, which means there will likely be several Republicans vying for the seat, and which makes it likely there will be a run-off election. The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports that the field to replace Brown is getting crowded:Link

"The latest person to declare is Rebecca Boenigk, CEO of Neutral Posture Inc. The political newcomer indicated that she will run as a Republican.

Former Texas A&M football player Seth McKinney and former Brazos County Tax Assessor-Collector Gerald "Buddy" Winn have also announced their candidacies.

McKinney is an investment banker and developer. Winn, who is retired, ran unsuccessfully for Brown's seat in 2010, finishing second out of four candidates in the Republican primary.

Others considering a run include Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski; Rick Davis, a lawyer and former district judge; Bob Yancy, CEO of a medical equipment supply company, and John Raney, owner of Texas Aggieland Bookstores.

All of those potential candidates are Republican. Brazos County Democratic Chairwoman Maggie Charleton said she has spoken with a few possible candidates from her party, though she didn't give any names."

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