In both Washington and Austin, all eyes are on the upcoming Super Tuesday primary elections. Today is the last day to early vote in Texas, and on Tuesday, Texas and 13 other states will participate in the presidential primary election. All said, about 40% of the U.S. population will have the opportunity to vote on Tuesday.
Super Tuesday got its start in 1988 when a group of Southern states banded together to fight Iowa’s undue influence as the first state to nominate candidates. The idea was that it would force candidates to spend more time courting Southern voters. Since then, it has steadily gained steam across the country and is now a big prize for prospective presidential nominees.
Of course, the presidential contest is the most talked about, but in Texas, voters will also cast ballots in a wide array of other races. On the ballot will be races for:
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House of Representatives
- Texas Railroad Commission
- Texas Supreme Court
- Texas Senate
- Texas House of Representatives
- Various local positions
- Republican and Democratic party officials
- Republican and Democratic party positions
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association leaders and staff have spent a great deal of time talking with candidates in some of these races and have compiled voting recommendations in many races. You can view and download those voting recommendations by clicking here.
All the focus on the primary election hasn’t slowed down the government affairs office.
Last week the association submitted a letter to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, requesting a contested case hearing on a potential new water reservoir outside Wichita Falls. The project, called Lake Ringgold, has been discussed for decades but was recently reignited when the city requested a water rights permit from TCEQ.
The proposed reservoir would take 16,000 acres or largely agrarian land, devastating many Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association members in the area. You can read TSCRA’s letter here. A recent news report from KFDX TV also highlighted the plight of area ranchers and can be viewed here.
Texas FFA Day at the Capitol and Texas 4-H Ambassadors Advocacy Program both happened this week in Austin. Our director of government affairs, Peyton Schumann, spent much of his time at the Texas Capitol speaking with the two groups about what we do. It’s always rewarding to engage the next generation of agricultural leaders and get them thinking about the importance of advocacy.
That’s all for this week, but don’t forget to get out and vote if you haven’t yet!
Jeremy Fuchs is Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s director of public affairs.