Tribpedia: David Porter

Christian Defeats Gates in Railroad Commission's Republican Runoff

Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.
Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.

Former state Rep. Wayne Christian won the Republican nomination late Tuesday in the race for Texas railroad commissioner, edging out Houston-area real estate mogul Gary Gates in a race that turned heated in its final stages. 

Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.
Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.

The Brief: March 27, 2015

Agents with the FBI have spoken with Health and Human Services Commission about the troubled no-bid software contract with technology firm 21CT.

Governor Rick Perry's legal team includes, l to r, David Botsford, Tony Buzbee, Ben Ginsberg and Bobby Birchfield.  Not pictured is former Chief Justice Tom Phillips.
Governor Rick Perry's legal team includes, l to r, David Botsford, Tony Buzbee, Ben Ginsberg and Bobby Birchfield. Not pictured is former Chief Justice Tom Phillips.

The Brief: Sept. 9, 2014

Rick Perry's attorneys were back on Monday with a new filing in which they pursue a different path to quash the felony indictments handed down against the governor last month while relying on many of the same arguments as before.

Texas charter school children and supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding on May 8, 2013.
Texas charter school children and supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol to lobby the Legislature for more funding on May 8, 2013.

The Brief: Jan. 8, 2014

The Tribune's Morgan Smith has a must-read piece on what's next for the education reform group funded by tort reform champions that left a big imprint on policy debates during last year's legislative session.

Landing or Launching?

There are lily pads and launch pads in Texas government, and the Railroad Commission is a launch pad. Being a railroad commissioner is less an end than a means — a way to propel yourself into a better, higher-profile and more powerful job. Which is why a serious reform effort is afoot.

Perry By 10 in New UT/TT Poll

Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads his Democratic challenger, Bill White by 10 points — 50 percent to 40 percent — in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Libertarian Kathie Glass has the support of 8 percent of respondents; Deb Shafto of the Green Party gets 2 percent. In the last UT/TT poll, conducted in early September, Perry led by 6 points, 39 percent to 33 percent. In a red state in a red year, GOP incumbents in other statewide races are beating their Democratic opponents by between 13 points and 20 points, the new poll found.

Results of the September 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in the general election for governor.
Results of the September 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in the general election for governor.

Perry by 6 in Volatile Race

Gov. Rick Perry leads Bill White 39 percent to 33 percent in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, whose most interesting finding is a restless electorate dissatisfied with conventional choices up and down the ballot. In the governor's race, 22 percent of respondents said they were undecided about which candidate to support with only seven weeks to go in the fall campaign. Third-party candidates are capturing enough of the vote to affect the outcomes of some statewide contests. And 31 percent of respondents — nearly one in three Texans — consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement.

The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, and the numbers offer a glimpse at what's competitive and what's not
The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, and the numbers offer a glimpse at what's competitive and what's not

Accounts Playable

The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, but only 274 of them had more than $100,000 on hand. Our interactive chart tells you who or what they are and how much they've banked.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Stiles' and Torres' three-parter on the changing Texas political map, Ramsey on questions about Brian Birdwell's voting history and residency, Aguilar on the Obama administration's immigration crackdown, Reed on hospitals that won't induce early labor, Stiles on what Troy Fraser left off his financial disclosure form, the latest installment of Hu's Face-Off video debate series, Grissom on the problem-plagued Driver Responsibility Program, Galbraith on the controversy over fracking and M. Smith's interview with former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill: The best of our best from July 26 to 30, 2010.

Face-Off: Porter vs. Weems

The two men battling for a spot on the Texas Railroad Commission go head-to-head — virtually — in the latest installment of our Face-Off video series. Watch as political novice and certified public accountant David Porter, a Midland Republican, debates Democrat Jeff Weems, an oil and gas attorney from Houston, on their respective qualifications for the job, whether there are enough pipeline inspectors and and the proper balance between environmental regulation and economic growth.

Last Call

Tonight is the legally imposed reporting deadline for the next round of campaign finance reports, which is big deal for two reasons: Candidates want to show momentum and credibility at mid-year, and they love having an excuse to ask supporters to pony up before the clock strikes midnight. Hurry, hurry, hurry!

Perry Up by 9 in New UT/TT Poll

Gov. Rick Perry leads his Democratic challenger, former Houston Mayor Bill White, 44 percent to 35 percent in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, which was conducted May 14 to 20. Fifteen percent of the 800 registered voters surveyed are undecided about which of the gubernatorial candidates to support, while 7 percent prefer "someone else." Perry leads among men, women and Anglos. White leads among African-Americans and Hispanics. In five other statewide races polled, each Republican leads his Democratic opponent by a double-digit margin.

Runoff Day: A Spectator's Guide

Today’s elections in 18 Texas primary races, all but two involving Republicans, probably won't change the overall temperature of the statehouse or our delegation to Congress. The partisan makeup of those places isn't at stake until November. But for three House incumbents and challengers in two other races — for the State Board of Education and the Texas Supreme Court  — how the vote turns out is a big deal.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Our obsessive-compulsive election day and next day coverage: frenetically updated county-by-county maps and up-to-the-minute returns in every race on the ballot, Hu's awesome crowdsourced liveblog, Ramshaw on the twenty surprise outcomes, Aguilar on recount possibilities and dead incumbents, M. Smith on how judicial races turned out, Rapoport on changes at the SBOE and who was elected before the first vote was cast, Thevenot on whether the GOP has a problem with Hispanics, Hamilton on how the Tea Party fared, Grissom and Ramshaw on the legislative and congressional mop-up, Ramsey on what happens now, Stiles on how much candidates spent per vote; and my post-primary debrief with Rick Perry's pollster and George W. Bush's former strategist. The best of our best from March 1 to 5, 2010.