A local tea party director says he will run against Straus for House District 121 seat
Ed. Note: Mr. Judson resigned his role as Senior Vice President for San Antonio Tea Party this week. We’d like to publicly express our appreciation for his friendship, wise counsel and dedicated service over the last 3 years. Jeff was a key leader in the coalition that opposed the streetcar which culminated in giving San Antonio citizens the right to vote on the issue. We wish Jeff all the best in his campaign for public office!
Republished from San Antonio Express-News, by David Saleh Rauf, July 25, 2015.
Jeff Judson, a local tea party director and public policy consultant, said he’s running for the House seat, marking the third consecutive primary challenge for Straus stemming from a candidate hailing from the party’s hard-right conservative wing.
Judson has a deep background in politics. He’s a current member of the Republican Party of Texas’ executive committee, and a former president of an influential conservative think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, launched by San Antonio billionaire and Texas GOP heavyweight donor James Leininger.
Before that, he held a post in President George H. W. Bush’s administration and also worked in several positions on Capitol Hill.
In an interview, Judson said it’s time for new leadership in the district that includes Alamo Heights, Windcrest, Terrell Heights and a large chunk of the city’s Northeast Side.
“I can do a better job for the district and for the state of Texas,” said Judson, a former Olmos Park City Councilman.
He filed paperwork this week with the Texas Ethics Commission to appoint a campaign treasurer, a first step that will allow him to start fundraising and formally galvanizing support in what he acknowledged will be an uphill climb.
“I don’t want to waste my time in a campaign I can’t win,” said Judson, who will be stepping down from the board of directors of the San Antonio tea party to run against Straus. “I intend to win.”
Judson let word fly of his decision in a letter this week to Texas GOP executive committee members, specifically highlighting a 25-year friendship with Straus but saying “the needs of this district and of the state outweigh our personal social relationships.”
Judson said he broke the news to Straus in person this week: “He said he wished I wouldn’t run.”
The Austin trade publication the Quorom Report first reported the news of Judson’s run.
Straus, who won a special election in 2005 for the House seat, was elected speaker of the House in 2009 and won a fourth term to run the lower chamber in January. Straus has easily fended off consecutive primary challenges in 2012 and 2014 from tea party businessman Matt Beebee, and has already declared to run for re-election for his House seat and position as speaker.
“The people of District 121 know Joe Straus and continue to re-elect him because he is an effective leader who has delivered conservative results time and again,” said Straus spokesman Jason Embry.
Straus comes into the campaign season with a significant advantage: a political war chest of more than $8 million. Fully aware of the cash discrepancy, Judson said he expects to raise enough money to stay competitive.
“There’s great interest in this race across the state and maybe across the country,” he said, “so I’m not worried about that.”
Republished from San Antonio Express-News. CLICK HERE to read the original.
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