Still feeling underwhelmed from the lack of conservative policy outcomes during the regular session? Your incumbent legislator’s underachievement is likely the primary source.
We’ve compared the scores of all incumbents in the 83rd Legislature compared what they scored in the 82nd session for taxpayers to see just who let them down the most.
Taxpayers in Rep. Tan Parker’s district (R – Flower Mound) should take special note of his 25-point drop on the 2013 Index during his first session as a Straus committee chairman. He previously scored an A+ in 2011.
In the Senate, the biggest drop belongs to Sen. Troy Fraser (R – Horseshoe Bay). He dropped a whopping 31.1 points from last session. Sen. Joan Huffman (R – Southside Place), a former Taxpayer Champion, was the second biggest drop. She fell 29.9 points after scoring a 66.5 in 2013.
The drop in scores from other incumbents may have others asking how they could have dropped so much, given how low they were already. Look no further than State Reps. Jim Keffer (R – Brownwood) or Byron Cook (R – Corsicana), who scored D’s on the last Index and still dropped 31.8 and 21.4 points in the 83rd, respectively.
Only six Republicans actually improved their score from last session. Reps. Bill Zedler (R – Arlington) improved 0.8 points, Van Taylor (R – Plano) improved 5.4 points, and Rep. Lance Gooden (R – Forney) improved 21.2 points, though Mr. Gooden’s journal statements on several key votes this session may cause his constituents to raise their eyebrows. Sen. Bob Deuell (R – Greenville) bumped up his score 4.9 points to finally get above a 50. Sen. Glenn Hegar (R – Katy) bumped his score up 5.6 points to get above passing. Sen. Craig Estes (R – Wichita Falls) had the biggest improvement of anyone in the Legislature with a 31.2-point gain, up to a 77.2 this time around.
Here’s a list of all non-freshmen Republicans along with their scores and differential from last session:
Legislator 2013 2011 Differential Fraser, Troy 55.4 86.5 -31.1 Huffman, Joan 66.5 96.4 -29.9 Carona, John 60.0 89.6 -29.6 Duncan, Robert 48.8 72.4 -23.6 Eltife, Kevin 58.8 79.1 -20.3 Schwertner, Charles 63.0 81.7 -18.7 Seliger, Kel 52.3 69.8 -17.5 Nelson, Jane 70.4 87.6 -17.2 Taylor, Larry 72.6 88.9 -16.3 Nichols, Robert 58.7 72.4 -13.7 Birdwell, Brian 90.8 100.0 -9.2 Hancock, Kelly 78.0 86.6 -8.6 Patrick, Dan 93.9 100.0 -6.1 Williams, Tommy 59.8 65.3 -5.5 Paxton, Ken 100.0 100.0 0.0 Deuell, Bob 53.1 48.2 4.9 Hegar, Glenn 72.8 67.2 5.6 Estes, Craig 77.2 46.1 31.2
Note: For comparison, 2011 Scores in the House are used for Sens. Hancock, Paxton, Schwertner, and Taylor.