Michelle Lopez can Flip HD 45 in Hays County Red

Today’s featured Republican State Rep nominee who has the chance of replacing a Democrat in the 2022 general election is Michelle Lopez of Kyle in HD 45.  HD 45 covers the eastern half of Hays County and includes the cities of San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Niederwald, and Uhland.  After redistricting, HD 45 is only D+5, making it theoretically one of the easiest current Dem districts to flip.

Michelle Lopez has served for three terms on the Kyle City Council, including service as Mayor Pro Tem and a long history of Hays County community involvement.  She has three degrees, including a bachelor’s from what used to be called Texas Women’s University, a master’s degree in education from Texas State, which is in HD 45, and a PhD in educational administration from Texas A&M University.  She runs a consulting company that focuses on executive and team coaching, personal branding and career development.

The Dem two-term incumbent in HD 45 is Erin Zweiner, who has posted about how much she admires Massachusetts U.S. Senator and abuser of affirmative action for Native Americans, Elizabeth Warren.

Michelle Lopez does not focus much on issues on her website or Facebook page, so I don’t know how committed she is to the RPT Legislative Priorities.  She is an active member of her Catholic Church and is married with one son, so she is presumably committed to traditional family values.  I know that she would be better on that score than Erin Zweiner!

You can donate and volunteer to help Michelle Lopez at:  https://www.lopezforhd45.com/

If Michelle has an active personal account on Facebook, I can’t find it.  She does have a Facebook campaign page.

This picture is of Michelle Lopez on our left, standing with State Senator Donna Campbell, whose SD 25 includes a small part of HD 45.  (The bulk of HD 45 is now in SD 21 currently being served by Dem Judith Zaffarini.  The active GOP challenger in SD 21 is Julie Dahlberg.)

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Carolyn Vaughn can Flip HD 34 in Nueces County Red

Today’s featured Republican State Rep nominee who has the chance of replacing a Democrat in the 2022 general election is Carolyn Vaughn of Corpus Christi in HD 34 in west Nueces County.  HD 34 includes north and west Corpus Christi, and the cities of Robstown, Driscoll, and Bishop, as well as west rural and exurban Nueces County.  HD 34 has a D+5 history, making it a realistic potential flip in 2022.

Carolyn Vaughn has served both as Nueces County Commissioner and Corpus Christi City Council member.  Vaughn rose above the adversity of coming from a broken home with 8 kids and abusive father to helping her husband build a multi-million dollar oil services company called Vaughn Energy Services.  She had to drop out of high school in the 10th grade to help take care of her brother who had muscular dystrophy, but finished her GED and went to community college before getting married and going into business.  She and her husband have been married 50 years and have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and on great granddaughter.

Carolyn Vaughn is taking on a 16 year Dem incumbent named Abel Herrero.  Herrero was ranked the fifth most eighteenth conservative Texas House Democrats by Mark Jones of Rice University, which still puts him more liberal than the most RINOcious of Republicans.  Herrero is an attorney who is also a Texas Aggie.   He was Robstown city councilman before he entered the Texas House.  He focuses primarily on bread and butter issues and civic promotion, but filed a ridiculous, anti-business bill last session to require retail stores to store knives for sale in locked cabinets.

Carolyn emphasizes on her website that in her previous roles she fought against tax increases, improved infrastructure, and was a strong supporter of law enforcement.  The issues she mentions on her website are:

  • Increase Education Funding
  • Support Small Business
  • Better Roads and Flood Mitigation
  • Expanding Healthcare through TeleHealth
  • Fight Transgender Curriculums in Schools
  • Protect Children at School

You can donate and volunteer to help Carolyn Vaughn at:  electcarolyn.com

Click here for her campaign Facebook page

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Janie Lopez Can Flip HD 37 in Cameron County Red

Today’s featured Republican State Rep nominee who has the chance of replacing a Democrat in the 2022 general election is Janie Lopez of San Benito in the Rio Grande Valley in HD 37.  HD 37 was reconfigured during redistricting to include all of Willacy County.  It has less of Cameron County than it did, but still includes the bulk of the Cameron County in the east and north.  In Cameron County, HD 37 now includes Harlingen, northeastern Brownsville, Harlingen, north San Benito, South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Los Fresnos, and Rancho Viejo.  HD 37 is now the most flippable of all Dem-held districts classified with only a D+2 history.

Janie Lopez was born in Cameron County to two legal Mexican immigrants.  She was the first to graduate from college in her family.  Janie Lopez has served on the board of San Benito CISD. Her main career has been working as a mental healthcare professional treating at-risk children, and veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD.  She also has worked along the way in food service, manufacturing, retail.

This race is an open seat.  The Dem incumbent, Alex Dominguez, tried to become the Dem nominee in the Texas Senate District 27 being vacated by Eddie Lucio, but Dominguez did not even make it into the runoff in the Dem primary.  (SD 27, by the way is a Texas Senate seat that is potentially flippable.  Adam Hinojosa is the GOP nominee.)

The HD 37 Dem nominee, Luis Villareal, claims to have worked for State Senator Eddie Lucio in the past, but he was not high up in that large staff.  I have never met him.  He is now working in real estate.  If you look at his website, he projects an aura of youthful, vigorous authority focusing on bread and butter issues, and shying away from the radical Dem issues of late.

Janie Lopez’ issues section starts off with stopping transgender indoctrination.  The other issues are funding local infrastructure, improving mental health (her career specialty), fighting local corruption, supporting the Texas energy industry, standing with law enforcement, and fighting regulations that harm small, local businesses.

Janie Lopez has an impressive list of endorsements from her district.  Governor Abbott has also endorsed her on August 31.  She lists Texas Right to Life, Alliance for Life, Texans for Responsible Government, and the more business-focused establishment organizations, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and Associated Republicans of Texas. 

One more topic of note in the HD 37 race is that the overlap between the dream team of three Hispanic Congressional nominees in South Texas who have flipped are working to flip the South Texas Congressional districts of Mayra Flores (CD 34), Monica De La Cruz (CD 15), and Cassy Garcia (CD 28).  Mayra Flores has already won the old, pre-redistricted CD 34 in a special election, and is now the first Mexican-born woman U.S. Representative.  HD 37 is wholly contained within the redistricted CD 34 where Mayra Flores is running for re-election.

Janie Lopez, Mayra Flores, Monica De La Cruz, and Cassy Garcia have the attention of the GOP establishment, Texas, and the nation where there are high expectations for their campaigns among conservatives.

You can donate and volunteer to help Janie Lopez at:  janielopez.com

Click here for her campaign Facebook page.

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Dan Mathews Can Flip HD 76 in Fort Bend County Red

Today's Republican nominee for Texas House that has the potential to change a district from Dem to GOP in 2022 is Dan Mathews out of Sugar Land in Fort Bend County, HD 76.

HD 76 was moved from El Paso County to Fort Bend County during redistricting. The current occupant, Claudia Perez, is not running again because she obviously no longer lives in the district. HD 76 was designed to be a Democrat district with an advantage of +10 for Dems. The district is in NE Fort Bend County and includes north Sugar Land, a sliver of NW Stafford, Meadows Place and a good swath of unincorporated Fort Bend County. It is a very diverse district with a high percentage of naturalized citizens, many originally from Asia and Africa.

Dan Mathews spent most of his career working as a chemical engineer and in management in the oil business. He also is a licensed Texas Real Estate Broker. A native of India, he has spent his adulthood in Texas and is currently the pastor of a Christian church that is attended by a very diverse congregation.

I met Dan speaking in the past to Republican groups in Fort Bend County. He has been active politically for a good little while and is a conservative. (He won his three way primary without a runoff by extensive block walking, which he continued throughout the summer in preparation for the general election.

There are several interesting things about Dan's race. First, his opponent is a Muslim native of Pakistan. If his Dem opponent is elected, I think he would be the first Muslim in the Texas Legislature.

Dan tells me that his block walking is showing major weaknesses in the support for the Democratic Party and his Dem opponent in particular. Dan thinks that his hard work and the dissatisfaction in his district gives him a real shot at victory.

We need Dan Mathews in the Texas House.

You can donate and volunteer to help Dan at: https://www.texansfordan.com .  His campaign Facebook page is:  https://www.facebook.com/TexansforDanMathews

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Michelle Evans Can Flip HD 136 in Williamson County Red

They say that Labor Day is the kickoff of the serious general election campaigning. This is the first in a series of posts, highlighting Republican State Rep nominees in swing districts that have a shot at putting a Republican in a seat currently occupied by a Democrat - IF we give them enough support and we get a red wave that we are expecting.

My first post is for Michelle Evans, who is running for HD 136 in South Williamson County against sophisticated incumbent Democrat, John Bucy. The cities in the district are south Cedar Park, west Round Rock, and the Williamson County portion of Austin. (Her district is classified as +8% for Dems, but that is within striking distance during this cycle.)

I would classify Michelle as the new generation of mama bears. She is not new to advocacy, having been involved in Texans for Vaccine Choice at the state capitol for a number of sessions. She has also joined the hand-to-hand warfare over protection of children in Round Rock and Leander ISDs.

She is a sophisticated, able advocate for the legislative priorities of the RPT and would be a WONDERFUL addition to the Texas House. (I say this even if she is a UT grad and I am an Aggie! )

I urge you to go to https://www.michelleevansfortexas.com or her campaign Facebook page to donate and volunteer for her campaign.

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Prospects for Grassroots Progress in 2023 Texas House

The main seasons in Texas politics are primary season, general election season, and legislative season.  We are now at the end of primary season, so with those results we can now get better views of the battlegrounds in election season and indicators of how the 88th Texas Legislature will line out.

I am writing this analysis from the perspective of one who wants to advance constitutional, limited government and conservative values in the Texas legislature, to protect Texans from the globalists and Marxists who have captured DC and other institutions, and to implement the legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT).

I started primary season with this question:  “What can we do to change the culture of the Texas House to be more beholden to the priorities, principles, and platform of the RPT and the voters of their district and less beholden to the Austin Swamp and the Democrats?”  In other words, I recognized that there is an eternal war between the establishment / special interests / cronies / swamp and the grassroots and wanted to tilt the balance in that war to the grassroots.

My answer was that to the degree possible, we in the grassroots should replace as many of the worst of the establishment-controlled legislators as possible.  In the 2022 electoral cycle we were presented with opportunities that do not come along very often.  First, larger numbers of House members are leaving the body, including some longtime stalwarts for the establishment, creating a larger freshman class in the next legislative session than normal.  Redistricting added to that shakeup, forcing incumbents into partially new districts.  Second, the national zeitgeist is definitely blowing in a Republican direction, meaning a number of Texas House seats currently occupied by Democrats are in play in the general election.

So this article will focus on two main areas – 1) how will the Republican turnover tilt the balance between the Austin swamp and the grassroots?   2)  how many current Democrat House seats have the potential to flip Republican in the general election in 2022?

Republican Turnover Impact on Grassroots – Establishment Balance

If a red surge does not flip marginal Dem seats to Republican in November (the possibilities of which are discussed below) there will be a net three additional Texas House seats occupied at the beginning of the 88th Legislature compared to the 87th for a total of 88 Republicans.  Two of the flips to Republican occurred before primary season.  Two other seats were solidly redistricted D to R, but a step backward from R to D happened to take out grassroots champion Jeff Cason.

I will do my evaluation on the basis of the sixteen 87th Legislature Republicans that are not returning to the 88th.  Classification of whose team a Rep is on is a tricky, but important business.  I use my own metrics in that assessment.  I will let you do your own.  But figuring out where a legislator is on the sliding scale of establishment champion to grassroots champion is important in changing the culture of the Texas House.

Five of the House members that will not be returning this session were active, powerful, committed servants of the establishment.  I would count three who we have lost as liberty champions.  And another three that were usually there for the grassroots.  The other five were followers who usually did whatever leadership told them to.

How did we do in holding our own with champions and grassroots leaning nominees?  I will count the two Republicans who had flipped the seat to Dem in with this analysis, meaning that I am analyzing 19 Republicans new to the Texas House in the 88th Legislature in 2023.   Recognize that many freshman arrive intending to do the right thing, but the swamp goes to work on them immediately, telling them that they have to ignore the voters who voted for them and the party on whose ballot they ran and play ball with the swamp if they want to accomplish anything or be anybody.  My estimate is that we replaced the three champions with three more.  And we are starting with eight who lean grassroots, producing a net gain of five grassroots-leaning House members.

And how did the establishment do in replacing their team?  By my estimates, they won with three that are virtually guaranteed to be top establishment water carriers, for a net loss of two.  And they replaced their establishment leaning contingent exactly.

Here is a chart summarizing my overall analysis:

Analysis of Changes to Texas House Between 87th and 88th Legislature - Assume no flips of Dem seats to GOP in General


(Analysis and Classification only of Republicans leaving and arriving)





Leaving 87th

Starting 88th



Total 87th R

Total 88th R


% Total

% Sides


Grassroots Champions











Leaning Grassroots










Leaning Establishment











Establishment Stalwarts



















My conclusion of this analysis is that there is a low likelihood of a change in the establishment-dominated culture of the Texas House in the 88th Legislature.  I suspect there is almost no chance of even a challenge to the current Speaker, and an even lower chance that a challenge would prevail.

It is possible, but not probable, that Speaker Phelan will comply with 2022 GOP Primary Proposition 6 which called for ending of the awarding of chairmanships to Democrats that 81% of the GOP primary voters called for – not because Phelan fears the GOP primary electorate – but because he does not feel the need to form a coalition with the Dems to retain the job.

Phelan faced the terrible math problem last session where there appeared to be enough Republicans who were willing to repeat the Straus strategy of taking a few betraying Republicans to team with the Dems to produce a speakership.  The formula is the delta between D’s and the 76 majority needed to gain the speakership vs. the number of Republican betrayers.  Last session there was only 9 member gap and there appeared to be more betrayers than that to Phelan and his team.  But this session there will be at least a 12 member gap and I can identify only six betrayers that might try the old Straus gambit.

Speaker Phelan may be feeling burned by the way the Dems treated him and the Republicans last session.  I bet he remembers the three grueling special sessions made necessary in large part because of the use of every tool – including a walkout - the Dems possessed to try to stymie conservative bills they opposed.

This does not mean all is lost for conservative causes or the RPT Legislative Priorities that will come out of the upcoming state convention.  We learned from the constitutional carry issue that an organized, concerted push on a conservative priority can break through establishment opposition.  And it is my assessment that despite the culture not changing much, because of the freshmen who have not yet been seduced to the dark side, this Texas House is still more primed to pass conservative priorities than we have seen in a long time.

The Upside – What Are the Prospects for Bigger Republican Majorities in the Texas House in 2023?

With the one exception of HD 70 in Collin County, the configuration of the districts after redistricting make it highly likely that the numbers presented will be the results in the general election.  The GOP nominee in HD 70, Jamee Jolly, has the most contested of those races with an open, redistricted seat that is actually considered to be tilting toward Democrats by 1 percentage point.

But given the abysmal performance of the Dems who captured DC in 2020, there is likely to be a red wave in the 2022 general election that reverses a lot of recent past movement toward the Dems in Texas.

There are nine seats besides HD 70 that after redistricting lean Democrat given recent past performance, but have the potential to flip from Democrat to Republican during a strong red wave.  If we get our election integrity ducks in a row, that can help in these districts, too.

Here is a table about those nine seats:



2021 Occupant

2022 Dem Nominee

2022 GOP Nominee


New Distr PVI



Alex Dominguez

Luis Villarreal Jr

Janie Lopez

Cameron (E), Willacy



Bobby Guerra

Bobby Guerra

Bobby Guerra

John (Doc) Robert Guerra

Hidalgo (SC)



Erin Zweiner

Erin Zweiner

Erin Zweiner

Michelle M. Lopez

Hays (E)



Eddie Morales

Eddie Morales

Eddie Morales

Katherine Parker

Maverick, Kinney, Val Verde, Terrell, Brewster, Presidio, Jeff Davis, Reeves, Hudspeth, Culberson,  El Paso (NE)




Claudia Ordaz Perez

Suleman Lalani

Dan Mathews

Fort Bend (N Central, including N Sugar Land and Mission Bend)



Terry Meza

Terry Meza

Terry Meza

Allan Meagher

Dallas (W -  S Irving)



Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson

Melisa Denis

Dallas (NW - includes E Farmers Branch, Addison, S Carrollton, Coppell, N Irving, Northlake)



John Bucy

John Bucy

John Bucy

Michelle Evans

Williamson (SW)



Penny Shaw

Penny Shaw

Penny Shaw

Kay Smith

Harris (near NW)



Funding, of course, will be needed for the GOP challengers in these races.  It appears that school board trustee Janie Lopez (HD 37 – San Benito), Katherine Parker (HD 74 – Alpine), Melisa Denis (HD 115 – Coppell), Kay Smith (HD 148 – Houston), and maybe Michelle Evans (HD 136 – Round Rock) have the best chances of raising the money needed to prevail.

Republicans in general and the grassroots needs to do a lot more research on these races determine how we can support the best of those who have stepped up in this fight.  Sadly, there were some districts which had just as good demographics or better than these, but no GOP challenger emerged.

Tom Glass lives in Lee County, Texas.  He was a Republican Candidate for Texas House District 17, is on the RPT Platform Committee from SD 18, the head of Texas Legislative Priorities, and Texas Constitutional Enforcement.  He spends lots of his time focused on persuading the Texas legislature to pass strategic liberty-oriented legislation.

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