Texas 2013 local elections approaching

For many people in the U.S.A., the political season is behind them for another four years. For the more enlightened, they are looking to the elections in two years, but for the die-hard political activists, at least in Texas, we have our sights on the upcoming "local political subdivisions and counties" elections to be held May 11, 2013; unless you are in the Huston area, in which case you may be interested in the special election for State Senate District 6, formerly held by the late Sen. Gallegos.
This upcoming election will primarily be for non-partisan city officials and school board positions. It's likely you'll also find some bond initiatives depending on which school or water district or city you live in. In any case these elections are often time more influential toward directly affecting the involved communities than any other public office elections.
See the Dallas County Directory of Elected OfficialsPDF - local offices start on page 5, where you can see which ones are up for re-election in 2013.
For Collin County, see their "Officials" page to look up elected officials in your area.
What's even more important is that the deadline to file to get your name on the ballot is about 2 months away. This means that for anyone interested in getting involved, they must do so right away. For more details on how to file, or what seats are available, contact your local city government or district offices.

Running for 2012 U.S. Congressional Elections in Texas 32nd District

In November 2011 I started to seriously consider running for office. I had certainly thought of doing it before, but after receiving a number of general inquires, via mass e-mail, from the Texas and National Libertarian parties I figured it would at least be a great learning experience.

This page is in no way legal or financial advice in any way.  Rather it is merely a documentation of what research and steps I took in my campaign for House of Representatives, Texas district 32.'

Why Libertarian? My journey through the political spectrum starts when I was just a teenager.  I overheard an older brother-in-law of a friend of my badmouthing Democrats, and soon started to realize I was living in an area heavily dominated by self proclaimed "conservatives", many of whom were practicing Republicans. I found myself identifying with a lot of what Republicans had to say, yet still much of it seemed a bit off to me; and proclaimed myself to be more of a Moderate.  The first few chances I had to vote, despite having closely supported Republicans at a state level, I found myself voting for Presidential candidates belonging to the Constitution Party; mostly out of protest. After all if you vote for the lesser of two evils, all you really end up with is evil.  I first heard of the Constitution Party while sitting in church, after our Priesthood meeting had concluded.  A man who had just given a lesson on freedom and liberty, after being asked a question, decided since church was over he was ok to talk more freely about a particular political candidate running under this party's banner.

I soon after moved to Texas, were the Libertarian Party has a much larger Influence. Of course being much larger then almost nothing still isn't very large, but still as I continued to learn more about politics, and the political process, I found myself disagreeing more and more with Republicans, and certainly a great deal with Democrats. I eventually concluded that there was a problem with the political system itself.

Today I find myself wanting to be a Moderate Libertarian at a Federal Level, a Moderate Republican and a State level, and a conservative Democrat (with a twist of self reliance) at a local level. However, if I want to get involved at any level, I must pick one. If I want to have much of a chance at really getting involved in a big way, I'm pressured into picking one of the major parties, and hoping that I can influence it from within.  Or I can pick the long shot, the one I most identify with relative to the position I want to run for, and hope for the best.

The Texas election district boundaries were disputed in late 2011, which put me into any one of the following districts:

Texas 2010 census population = 25,145,561

Ideal district population:

'''698,488  Texas Congress (36 districts)'''
811,147  State Senate (31 districts)
167,637  State House of Representatives (150 districts)
1,676,371  State Board of Education (15 districts)





PLANC235 - COURT-ORDERED INTERIM CONGRESSIONAL PLAN: 32 - divided up into 24 areas loosely based on zip codes

Basic Story

When I first applied in December of 2011, I was told that someone had already applied as a libertarian for that district. They asked if I would apply for the State house instead of the US house, but after some thought I decided that I couldn't afford to win the state house race due to the limited compensation and time required away from work (about 70 days every 2 years) and that I was really a libertarian at the Federal level more so then the state level. It's really what I wanted to run for anyway.

I filled out the Application for Nomination, took it to my local credit union to get notarized and mailed it in.  I received e-mail confirmation from the Libertarian State Party's Secretary that they had received it.

Redistricting court causes caused the other candidate to no longer be in the district and he eventually withdrew. Thus, I received the nomination at the district conventions held in Grapevine.

By now I had already had a chance to meet many of the active party members, and fill out a lot of additional paperwork.  I had also spent a lot of time reading the election laws from many different sources (primarily the FEC).

By June I hosted my first fundraising event, a BBQ at a local park. The turnout was not as good as I had hoped, but I did raise nearly $300 (most of it from one donor), enough to more than pay for the supplies, and a couple of banners and other campaign supplies.

That summer I spent a lot of time going to events, and getting to know people.  I found myself drawn to a hard working group of Ron Paul supporters who unofficially called themselves the Dallas Ron Paul 2012 group.

I probably spend more time with them then I should have, but it felt good to be involved with them. Still I did go to other events, including two Independence Day Parades.  I had two guys help me with both of them, and one other with one of them.  It was a skeleton crew for sure, but with the banners on the side of my lifted truck, and an inflatable statue of liberty in the bed, we made it work.

The rest of the year was a whirlwind of going to events, getting the occasional donation, responding to surveys, I even got to participate in two debates.  Of course the Incubation didn't show up to either, but an obvious appoint "stood in" for him at one of them.  The people who came to support me at that debate gave me positive feedback on my performance; on noting that I did much better then he had expected.

Of course there was the ever present FEC paper work that had to be done throughout this whole ordeal.


''This is a list of how I did it.  It is in no way legal advice.  Laws always change as well so be sure to check on the latest requirements.''

Also see http://lptexas.org/sites/default/files/LP%20Texas%20Candidate%20Handbook%20092311a.pdf - page 9

  1. Got a Google Voice Phone number for the Campaign
  2. Got business cards with my face on it, which was useful for the next step.
  3. Purchased a PO Box to protect my home address. - required 2 forms of government ID, and my business card to show proof of the existence of "Seth Hollist for US Congress".
  4. Applied for EIN from IRS as a 527 political entity.
  5. Open bank account as a "Political Trust" using EIN - Viewpoint bank offers a free Political Trust account.
  6. Completed FEC Statement of Candidacy (FEC form 2), and Statement of Organization (FEC form 1)
  7. Received IRS notification that I had not completed form 8871 in a timely manner.  Returned included form to indicate that I was not required to complete this form as it was for a political committee that reports to the FEC.
  8. Received packet for House Ethics Committee that included fair amount of paperwork to divulge my financial situation.  Returned included form indicating that I had not yet raised or spend $5000 so I did not yet need to file by the May 15th deadline.  I will still need to complete the paper work within 30 days of raising $5000 or 30 before the general election.
  9. I eventually did start doing electronic filing with the FEC, but took until the end of the election to break the $5000 mark.  I didn't get much further then that, and a lot of it was in-kind donations.
  10. MORE DETAILS TO COME - someday, maybe....

Not sure who to vote for? Check out the list of available candidate profiles

With the Nov. 6th, 2012 general election quickly approaching, deciding who to vote for can be a difficult task, and is likely the reason why so many voters chose to do a straight party ticket; however, with very low congressional approval ratings, and more voters wanting to make informed decisions, it's important that voters have reliable resources from which to learn about the many different candidates.
Recap of the 2012 elections in Photos.
Recap of the 2012 elections in Photos.
Jack Gault

Differences in Proposed Federal Spending BudgetsSeth Hollist for US Congress
Here's a list of some of the sources of information that northern Texans will find useful in researching the candidates.
To start with, if you need a general idea whose philosophizes are most in-line with, try these quizzes:
Ballotpedia, utilizing the same technology used for Wikipedia, this site provides complete information about all the candidates running for office, along with primary election results.
The Texas Tribune provides a nice graph for watching the various contests. It also provides some basic candidates profiles.
For a more localized Collin County source check out the Allen Area Patriots. Once the candidate profiles are published it is expected that they will also include reviews with recommendations and optionally the candidate can provide a rebuttal to their recommendations and analysis.
Texas NORML released a candidate survey that received the most responses from Libertarian Candidates, likely because other candidates know they would not be looked at favorably by that organization; or the 56% of US citizens that now agree with them.
The Vote Texas site is also a great resource for all Texas state wide candidates, and can even provide you information on which candidates will specifically be on your personal ballot. Candidates were also given the ability to directly input and edit content on the web-site to give voters more information on their positions.
The local League of Women Voters has their Smart Voter on-line tool, or the national organization provides the Vote411 web-site that looks very similar the one provided by the Dallas Morning News.
Candidate questionnaires for the Dallas Morning News can also be compared. This site even has a great social media sharing tool integrated with Facebook. Once you complete their mock ballot, you can e-mail it or print it so that you have a copy to take with you to the polls.
There's also an organization called Project Vote Smart, which includes voting records for incumbents and some financial information.
If want to "follow the money" of the congressional candidates contributors check out OpenCongress. They provideinformation reported to the FEC, as well as analysis of who money is attempting to influence the elections, and the nation's policies.
The best recommendation I can give is don't vote straight party ticket. Giving your loyalties to one party or another in this manner only re-enforces the duopoly party system that prevents many issues and viewpoints from getting the attention they deserve. It promotes ideas of "voting for the lesser of two evils", and has led to the social divisions and political conundrum we currently have today.
Be sure to also check out the below links to my other articles for some more specific candidate analysis.

Sample ballots now available for 2012 general election in Texas

Seth Hollist's sample ballot with some suggestions of how to vote.

Dallas County and Collin County have released their sample ballots for the 2012 general election. These sample ballots are important as they allow voters to preview the options, allowing them to know which specific candidates they need to research.
Sample Ballot for US House Texas distrcit 32

Also available are lists of voting locations and times for early voting. In generally early voting will start on the 23rd of October, and go until November 2nd. Be sure to check the hours of operation for the particular location you plan to visit. On November 6th, the voting hours will be from 7am - 7pm.
Being a presidential election year, it is expected that we'll see record campaign spending and voter turnout. While the presidential race certainly attracts lots of media attention, voters will also need to be aware of state and local level candidates that will also be on the ballot. Often times, finding information about these candidates can be somewhat difficult, resulting in a majority of ballots being straight party votes.

In Texas there will be four parties with straight party voting available on state wide ballots: Libertarian, Green, Democrat, and Republican. Wright in candidates will only count if the candidate has previously filed as a wright in candidate, and any candidate who ran in the primary and lost, is not eligible to be in the general election or to run as a write in.Being a presidential election year, it is expected that we'll see record campaign spending and voter turnout. While the presidential race certainly attracts lots of media attention, voters will also need to be aware of state and local level candidates that will also be on the ballot. Often times, finding information about these candidates can be somewhat difficult, resulting in a majority of ballots being straight party votes.
Will this year's election be any different? The idea of a Libertarian candidate is likely much more acceptable today, largely thanks to the term libertarian being used in the general vocabulary of many people, and Ron Paul's run for President. Personally I would encourage people not to vote for the party, but to vote for the candidates as this is the best way to truly be heard via your vote.
There is also currently polling happening for some races in the area. On Election Day, you will also be able to follow the election results specific to Dallas County or the State in General.

Contenders for Texas' U.S. Senate 2012 election

Dallas County Libertarian Party table and Ross parade.

It's ramp up time for the general election happening on November 6th, 2012. One of the races this year is Texas' U.S. Senate contest. Here are the basics that you need to know about each candidate:
Ted Cruz is the expected winner in this very strongly Republican state, but is he truly the best candidate? His web-site claims that he has a proven record despite the fact that he has never held a publicly elected office. Still he does have over a decade in public service as the Solicitor General of Texas. Essentially Ted is a government lawyer whose wife is also a vice president for Goldman Sachs, and he was born in Canada. Some of his notable accomplishments include memorizing the Constitution in high school as part of a Free Enterprise Institute program, and being the founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.
John Jay Myers is a charismatic Libertarian who thinks Cruz and Sadler are extremists, because they both support actions against Iran, continuing the violent and costly war on drugs, and other big government initiatives that are driving us further into debt. John Jay's three main campaign initiatives are to end the wars that "create more terrorists than they stop", end corporate welfare by "strongly limit what government can do, and to make it impossible for politicians to reward their corrupt friends", and letting us live free. His web-site also states that our "choice of sexual partners and what substances you put into your body is none of government’s business."
Paul Sadler is the relatively underfunded Democrat challenger. He has previously been elected to the Texas House of Representatives, during which he takes credit for passing "legislation to raise teacher pay three times and to create the teacher health insurance program". He doesn't say if he supports "ObamaCare", but his web-site certainly says he supports many provisions contained within it. Another main point of his campaign is to support alternative energy sources stating on his web-site, "Paul is a nationally recognized expert on alternative and renewable energy sources".
David B. Collins is the Green Party candidate who supports Jill Stein’s Green New Deal. He is also a believer in global warming and states that we need to "prepare the nation to face the effects of climate change already occurring." He also wants to "Institute public financing of electoral campaigns, and a Constitutional amendment stating that corporations are not people and money is not speech, to keep corporations and extremely wealthy individuals from buying elections." He also appears to be anti-immigration, but also wants to give those already here a path to citizenship.

Gary Johnson and John Jay Myers head to Dallas for Texas Swing Tour

August 16th, 2012, Gary Johnson, Libertarian Candidate for U.S. President, has been in Dallas since last night as part of hisTexas Swing Tour with senatorial candidateJohn Jay Myers. His first stop in Dallas was at the Free Man Cajun Cafe in Deep Ellum for a party with other Libertarian's, and theirtour van Jack Gault.
Gary Johnson and John Jay Myers gave essentially the same speeches the following morning at the Park City Club, just north of University Park, were congressional candidates Ed Rankin and Seth Hollist were also in attendance. Gary talked about his desire to continue the message of liberty and freedom that Ron Paul had been touting earlier in the year, saying that once Ron Paul's campaign is officially over, he will be the only presidential candidate, on the ballot in all 50 states, that will continue to speak for freedom and liberty.

Free Man Cajun Cafe
32.782755 ; -96.785469
John Jay talked about how many people in politics are distracted by social issues that the government should have no involvement in, while at the same time allowing politicians and others in power to steal from us for their pet projects. He also said that he does not see Libertarians as radical, but that our current government and the accepted status-quo are what is truly radical.
Be sure to watch the video on the left for Gary's full speech and Q&A session at the Park Cities Club. You can also find John Jay Myers speech here, and photos of those in attendance in the above slide show.
Gary Johnson's tour is planned to continue tonight at Joe T. Garcia's in the Fort Worth Stockyards, then tomorrow they will head to Waco and Austin. On the 18th, their will be two events in San Antonio, including a free event around lunch time, and a fundraiser The Hyatt Regency. The final stop will be in Huston on the 19th. John Jay plans to follow up the tour with some additional stops on his return trip to Dallas.

Contenders for Dallas, Texas congressional district 32 for 2012 elections

Authors note: While this article may seem biased as there is a clear conflict of interest, I have provided plenty of links to help readers do their own research so they can decide for themselves.

Seth Hollist for US Congress
Seth Hollist

With the primary elections over, it’s time to ramp up for general election happening on November 6th, 2012. One of the hotly contest races in the North-Eastern Dallas County area is for US Congressional district 32 for US House of Representatives. Here are the basics that you need to know about each candidate:
Pete Sessions is the incumbent seeking his 13th term in congress. According to Opencongress.org, Rep. Sessions votes 95% of the time along party lines, and Abstains about 1% of the time. According to the John Birch Society, he has supported his oath of office to uphold the constitution about 50% of the time. He has also voted in favor of controversial, freedom limiting, big government bills including: HR 3523 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (give Federal Government policing powers and control over the internet); HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (includes indefinite detention violating the 4th amendment); HR 1904 Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011(continues unconstitutional federal control over land within state borders);HR 2017 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (Allowing continuation of overreaching government policing activities); S 990 Patriot Act Extension (violates bill of rights in many ways); H Con Res 34 2011-2012 Budget (authorizes continuation of out of control Federal Government spending spree); HR 1424 Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments (The 2008 Bank Bailouts); and many others.
Katherine McGovern is the Democrat candidate in the race. According to her web-site, she supports "ObamaCare", has been employed by a number of government bureaucracies as a lawyer, and has been involved with a number of political organizations were she “had an opportunity to learn a great deal about the inner workings of Congress”; of which she also says “a dysfunctional Congress does not serve our interests or the common good.” Can such an obvious “Washington DC” insider really change the underlying issues with the current government’s bloated and dysfunctional structure; especially when she supports overreaching government programs like ObamaCare?
Seth Hollist is the “Moderate” Libertarian candidate who claims to be helping to continue the “Liberty R[ƎVO˩]UTION!” started by Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, and even volunteered to help the Ron Paul Dallas Activists earlier in the year. While he may seem inexperienced within government participation, Seth Hollist is well versed in liberty issues while supporting ideals such as the Downsize DC Agenda. He also wants to see the Federal Government implement sunset legislation, similar to the Texas "Sunset Advisory Commission" program, - to cause all new and past laws to be scrutinized as to their effectiveness - and generally wants to see the Federal Government’s size greatly reduced. He also has some interesting ideas on how to force the government to stick to the original intents of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution as presented in his theoretical "The Clean Slate and Improving Representation Amendment".
Edit (10/1/2012): the below three candidates did not achieve ballot access.
Eric S. Smith is a disabled vet, who in a recent blog post said he had dropped out of the race. He does mention that, “The current congressional approval rating, at least on this site, is 14%. So at least 86% of you should be voting for anybody else this election.”
Michael Jeremy Piles is also on the list of independent candidate who have filed declarations of intent, but there appears to be very little information available on him to know what he stands for or what his intentions were for running.
Emma Elizabeth Berry is certainly an interesting independent candidate who claims to know how to win the race with very little resources. She seems to be interested in only one topic: “job creation”. An idea that all of the party affiliated candidates is certainly going to claim to also support. According to her web-site she is actively working on projects to stimulate job growth in the Garland, Texas area. Certainly running a campaign will help her garner some attention, but one is becoming a congresswoman really the best way for her to continue her efforts?

Texas primary run-off elections over as general election campaigns start up

The primary run-off elections are now over, and RepublicansDemocratsLibertarians, and also Green Party candidates have made their way on to the November ballot. There are even some independents that have been collecting signatures to get ballot status. Now it’s time to head off to the races as we start to see signs and advertisements for these candidates over the next few months.

ugust 20th
 - Last Day to file for local races and to order General Elections (for Cities and Special elections).32.766639709473
 ; -96.777908325195
  • September 7th - First day to apply for a mail-in ballot
  • October 9th - Last day to register to vote
  • October 22nd - First day of early voting
  • October 30th - Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot
  • November 2nd - Last day of early voting
  • November 6th - National Election Day.
The contenders for the Northern Dallas areas November 6 races are:
  • President The GOP and DNC national conventions will happen later this month to officially nominate their candidates. The Libertarian party has already nominated Gary Johnson.
  •  Congressional District 3 Sam Johnson (R - Incumbent), Christopher J. "Chris" Claytor (L)
  • US Senator John Jay Myers (L), Ted Cruz (R), Paul Sadler (D), and a long list of other candidates.
  • Congressional District 4 Ralph M. Hall (R - Incumbent), VaLinda Hathcox (D), Thomas Griffing (L)
  • Congressional District 5 Jeb Hensarling (R), Ken Ashby (L); Linda S. Mrosko (D)
  • Congressional District 24 Kenny E. Marchant (R - Incumbent), John Stathas (L), Tim Rusk (D)
  • Congressional District 30 Eddie Bernice Johnson (D - Incumbent), Travis Washington Jr. (R), Ed Rankin (L)
  • Congressional District 32 Seth Hollist (L), Katherine Savers McGovern (D), Pete Sessions (R – Incumbent)
  • Congressional District 33 Tommy Alicea (L), Ed Lindsay (G), Chuck Bradley (R);Marc Veasey (D)
  • Rail Road Commissioner Place 1 Vivekananda (Vik) Wall (L), Dale Henry (D), Chris Kennedy (G); Christi Craddick (R)
  • Rail Road Commissioner Place 2 Jaime "JOP" Perez (L), Josh Wendel (G); Barry Smitherman (R – Incumbent).
  • Supreme Court, Place 2 Don Willett (R - Incumbent), RS Roberto Koelsch (L)
  • Supreme Court, Place 4 Charles E. Waterbury (G), Tom Oxford (L); John Devine (R)
  • Supreme Court, Place 6 Michele Petty (D), Nathan Hecht (R - Incumbent), Mark Ash (L), Jim Chisholm (G).
  • Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Keith Hampton (D), Sharon Keller (R - Incumbent)
  • Court of Criminal Appeals Place 7 Barbara Parker Hervey (R - Incumbent), Mark W. Bennett (L)
  • Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8 William Bryan Strage III (L), Elsa Alcala (R - Incumbent)
  • SBOE 9 Thomas Ratliff (R - Incumbent), Sherri L. Little (L)
  • SBOE 11 Jason Darr (L), Patricia "Pat" Hardy (R - Incumbent)
  • SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D); Geraldine "Tincy" Miller (R).
  • SBOE 13 S.T. Russell (R), Mavis Best Knight (D - Incumbent)
  • SBOE 14 Sue Melton (R), Stephen Hawkins (L)
  • State Senate District 2 Robert "Bob" Deuell (R), Uncontested.
  • State Senate District 8 Ed Kless (L), Ken Paxton (R - Incumbent), Jack G.B. Ternan Jr. (D)
  • State Senate District 12 Jane Nelson (R - Incumbent), John A Betz Jr. (L)
  • State Senate District 16 John Carona (R - Incumbent), Jared Leiman (L)
  • State Senate District 22 Brian Birdwell (R - Incumbent), Tom Kilbride (L), Lyndon Laird (D)
  • State Senate District 23 Royce West (D - Incumbent), Bishop John Lawson (R)
  • State Senate District 30 Craig Estes (R), Ricahrd Wells Forsythe Jr. (L)
  • State Rep District 33 Scott Turner (R), Michael A. Carrasco (L)
  • State Rep District 65 Ron Simmons (R), Alex Mendoza (G), Gary Brown (D)
  • State Rep District 66 Van Taylor (R - Incumbent), Uncontested
  • State Rep District 67 Jeff Leach (R), Uncontested
  • State Rep District 70 Scott Sanford (R), Uncontested
  • State Rep District 89 Jodie Laubenberg (R - Incumbent), Bob Worthington (L)
  • State Rep District 100 Eric Johnson (R - Incumbent), Uncontested.
  • State Rep District 102 Stefani Carter (R - Incumbent), Rich Hancock (D), Michael Joseph Spanos (G)
  • State Rep District 103 Rafael Anchia (D - Incumbent), Uncontested.
  • State Rep District 105 Linda Harper-Brown (R - Incumbent), Rosemary Robbins (D), Saul Arechar (G)
  • State Rep District 106 Pat Fallon (R), Rodney Caston (L)
  • State Rep District 107 Kenneth Sheets (R - Incumbent), Pactric Spreng (L), Robert Miklos (D)
  • State Rep District 108 Dan Branch (R - Incumbent), Jarrett Rab Woods (L)
  • State Rep District 112 Angie Chen Button (R - Incumbent)
  • State Rep District 113 Cindy Burkett (R - Incumbent), Angela Sarlay (G), Leighton Durham (D)
  • State Rep District 114 Carol Kent (D); Jason Villalba (R).
  • State Rep District 115 Preston Poulter (L), Mary Clare Fabishak (D); Bennett Ratliff (R).

Ted Cruz and other run-off Republican candidates come to Garland, Texas

Today, July 21, 2012, at the Garland, Texas Holiday Inn a group of candidates in the Republican primaries run-off election came together at an event put on independently by a group of Tea Party leaders from around Northern Dallas. These candidates are not necessarily endorsed by the various Tea Parties, but are endorsed by this group of individuals.
The meeting MC was Katrina Pierson, a prominent Tea Party leader in the Northern Texas area. The candidates got a few minutes to speak and answered a few questions afterwards, but the main attraction was Ted Cruz, who was given considerably more time to speak and answer questions before heading off to another event. The candidate lineup included:

Christi Craddick who grew up in the oil and gas business, talked about her experience and the vast amount of natural resources available in Texas. Greg Parker was very charismatic, calling Global Warming a hoax and touted an impressive education. Gail Spurlock talked about the sad state of many college students who need to take remedial classes before they are ready for college level courses, and despite some concerns she favored a voucher system that would bring the free-market competition into education. Bill Whitehill said he wants the constitution enforced as it was originally intended, and touted his endorsement from former primary election opponents. Former Judge John Devine claimed to be a Strict Constitutional Constructionist.
Ted Cruz, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for US Senator, talked about a lot of different topics, including presenting himself as the underdog, grassroots candidate who has come up in the polls and now has a nine point lead. He is being funded by the grassroots as opposed to his opponent who has a great deal of lobbyists' donations and his own money to spend on the campaign. Parts of Ted's speech were recorded and can be seen in the attached video.
As with any political event there was a lot of literature and yard signs being handed out, and donations being requested. There was even a petition to get Sarah Palin to come to Texas to give Ted Cruz her endorsement.

Tom Leppert meets with Brighter Dallas to speak on campaign for US Senate

Tonight, May 24th, a group of young professionals got together at Dee Lincoln's Tasting Room & Bubble Bar to listen to Tom Leppert, former Dallas City Mayor, speak about his campaign for the Texas GOP Senate nomination. The Brighter Dallas group, a political action committee in Dallas, Texas, put on this meeting as just one of a number of events aimed at promoting "social and political awareness throughout the city".

Tom Leppert at Dee Lincoln's Tasting Room & Bubble Bar
Tom Leppert - By Seth Hollist

Tom Leppert, a self-proclaimed conservative businessman, certainly touted an impressive resume of turning around the Turner Corporation construction company, and credits himself with the company earning more profits during his seven year as C.E.O. than in the company's previous 97 years combined. He also spoke of turning around the Dallas City operations during his time as Mayor; however, in both cases he also admits that a good economy helped make these accomplishments possible. Some of his opponents, however, say he's actually very "liberal".
He also spoke about Medicare and the need for improvements in our economy, and the $75 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities our nation currently carries. Without a strong economy, he noted, nothing else matters as the U.S. will no longer be the world leader; suggesting we will also not be able to solve these problems with first improving the economy. He also mentioned the move towards Socialism as a cliff that once we've gone over it, we will never come back. He gave an estimate of about 6-8 years left to save our country from these unwanted fates, and said if he couldn't fix the problems in a single 6 year term as Senator, he deserves to be replaced. In any case he vowed for no more than 2 terms as a Senator; something he also said none of his two main opponents had even mentioned.
Mayor Leppert talked about his ideas around saving Social Security through creating what seemed like an elaborate system of tiers based on the person's age. It included insuring retired and soon to retire people get what they were promised, while allowing the younger people to put their contributions into a private account that cannot be touched by the government that has already "barrowed" trillions from the program. He also noted that originally very few people received Social Security because the qualification age was beyond the average person's life expectancy when it was implemented and proposed upping the qualification age to 70, and giving incentives those who continue work and wait to claim benefits.
Afterwards the attendees spent some time mingling and sharing stories and political views, and a few of them won gift cards from a raffle. Overall the event seemed to have been enjoyed by all, and will likely be considered a great success.