Despite a few late-night nail-biters, the results of the March 1 party primary elections were extremely favorable for medicine, for patients, and for TEXPAC. TMA is happy with the results of the races for the Texas House and Senate and U.S. Congress. The candidates who support patients and physicians, by and large, did well — some surprisingly well.
Medicine has a few important runoffs coming up on May 24. While the November general elections will be important at the top of the ballot and for some local races, most of the makeup of the 2017 Texas Legislature and the 2017 Texas delegation in Congress was decided March 1. Many thanks to all the TMA members who contributed to TEXPAC, held or attended fundraisers, and invested sweat equity to help our endorsed candidates. Some highlights of the results include:
- House Speaker Joe Straus and his team did very well, rebuffing most of the money and allegations that were thrown at them. House State Affairs Committee Chair Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) held onto his seat by 222 votes. Insurance Committee Chair John Frullo, of Lubbock, and Insurance Committee Vice Chair Sergio Muñoz, of Palmview, easily beat strong challengers.
- TEXPAC-backed Hugh Shine, of Temple, ousted State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton), who had medicine's second-worst voting record in the 2015 legislative session. The margin was just 118 votes; Representative White asked for a recount, which determined Mr. Shine was the winner.
- There will be another doctor in the Texas House: Anesthesiologist Tom Oliverson, MD, of Houston, won his primary and is unopposed in the fall. Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville), also won his primary easily. Rep. Stuart Spitzer, MD (R-Kaufman), lost. The other physicians in the House were unopposed.
- In State Senate District 24, medicine couldn't have asked for anything better. Both of TEXPAC's endorsed candidates — former TMA Council on Legislation Chair Dawn Buckingham, MD, of Lakeway, and Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene) — are headed to the May 24 runoff. They topped the field in a crowded six-candidate race.
- In congressional races, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) defeated three opponents to win. His committee has primary jurisdiction over Medicare. Medicine's champion — Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), the only TMA member in Congress, and architect of the bill that repealed Medicare's hated Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula — won handily. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Health, won his race.
Action, March 15, 2016
Last Updated On
June 22, 2016