Saturday, January 19, 2008

State Representative Elections - District 83

Delwin Jones is the State Representative for District 83 in the Texas House of Representatives. He won his 2006 election as a Republican with over 73% of the vote. He's been in office for 28 years. As you can tell from the map above, Jones represents Lubbock county and several surrounding counties. The city of Lubbock itself is District 84, represented by Carl Isett.

The Capitol Inside's Conservative Voting Index determined that Delwin Jones was the fourth least Conservative Republican in the Texas House. This score is "based on an average of scores assessed by the Texas Eagle Forum, the Young Conservatives of Texas and Heritage Alliance, which used to be known as FreePac. Scores assessed by the Texas Association of Business were also factored into the final equation this year."

The Texas Eagle Forum takes pro-family Conservative positions on legislation, and grades each Texas Representative on their stances. Delwin Jones opposed the TEF on House Bills involving a marriage fee increase and required pre-marital counseling; expansion of the CHIPs program; a tax increase due to an across-the-board pay increase of $6000 for teachers, librarians and counselors (worth noting is that Jones is endorsed by the Texas State Teachers Association, Texas Federation of Teachers and Texas Classroom Teachers;) a voter ID bill (Jones voted against requiring voters to provide proof of identity;) requiring voters to prove U.S. citizenship. Jones also voted against restricting the power of eminent domain -- remember the Supreme Court's decision to allow municipalities to take property from one private owner and give it to another private owner?

The Young Conservatives of Texas ranked Delwin Jones and State Senator Robert Duncan among the least Conservative Republicans in the most recent legislative session.

The Heritage Alliance likewise compares legislators' votes with the Conservative position the organization takes. Delwin Jones scored 55%, lower than the 58% scored by Democrat Joe Heflin from District 85.

So it's been established by various Conservative organizations that Delwin Jones is not a staunch Conservative, contrary to the quote by Senator Robert Duncan.

Jones is opposed in the Republican primary by Lubbock physician Joe Hnatek. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal ran a hit piece on Hnatek, who appears to be a weak contender anyway. The A-J article mentions Jones's opposition to school vouchers (or the right of parents to choose a school for their children -- remember the teachers unions' support for Jones) and how a wealthy pro-voucher donor could provide life to Hnatek's campaign.

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