With the 88th Legislative session only two months away, let’s meet the new reps that will soon be working to take away your rights.
Texas Democrats have had some hard losses recently, and it hurts. But, as devastated and angry as we are, giving up isn’t an option. Not for our own lives, not for our children, our friends, and all marginalized communities in Texas. It’s time to look forward. Forward means a lot in our current state.
It’s time to start focusing on what Republicans are planning in 2023, and it’s time for us to start planning in 2024. You can count on Living Blue to be with you every step of the way. In the meanwhile, let’s meet some new people.
Angelia Orr – House District 13
Angelia Orr is an obedient wife whose entire identity revolves around her husband, Will Orr, and she has vowed to work diligently to make liberals uncomfortable and angry.
Orr’s website bio prioritized her husband’s accolades above her own, as he is the Chairman of the Hill County Republican Party. Since Orr has taken an anti-feminist position in her identity, it’s safe to assume that her husband will be behind the scenes, telling her which positions to hold and how to vote.
Orr’s husband is an election denier who holds the anti-American stance of secession and treason is an American value.
Angelia Orr told her voters that her number one priority (aside from making liberals angry) would be to secure the border. After all, her home in Itasca is only six hours away from Laredo, making her an expert on border issues.
She also supports Greg Abbott’s political stunt of taking millions of taxpayer dollars to send legal asylum seekers to “Democratic cities.”
House District 13 was gerrymandered to give this seat to someone like Orr.
Aside from the ridiculous boundaries drawn by Republicans in the last session, this district’s turnout was extremely low.
Or course, that won’t stop Republicans from saying her election was ordained by God so that she can go to Austin and take constitutional rights away from her fellow citizens.
Orr has an ‘A’ rating from the NRA and doesn’t care about murdered children as long as every crazy person and criminal in Texas can get a gun without a background check. She also doesn’t believe that women should have the right to bodily autonomy, and even though abortion is banned in Texas, even in cases of rape and incest, she still thinks women have too many rights.
During the upcoming legislative session, we should expect to see bills introduced by her that ban contraceptive or prohibits women from having their own bank accounts.
Stan Gerdes – House District 17
Sam Gerdes is a neo-Confederate who believes that Black people do not deserve equal justice in his district, evidenced by the vast amount of pictures of himself and his political sign in front of the ode to white supremacy on the courthouse lawn in Bastrop County.
His picture in front of the rock celebrating traitors is a big deal because he beat Paul Pape during the primary. Pape was the Bastrop County judge who ordered to have the Confederate statue moved off of taxpayer-funded county property.
Gerdes will take the seat left open by John Cyrier after his early retirement last year.
According to his website, he worked for Texas’ biggest embarrassment, Rick Perry, for over a decade.
Gerdes received endorsements from the NRA and Texas Alliance for Life, demonstrating his extreme positions.
Gerdes hasn’t published his positions anywhere. However, a scroll through his Facebook page will let you know where he stands.
- He uses the popular dog whistle among white supremacists in Texas of being a “5th Generation Texan.”
- He doesn’t think Hispanics are smart enough to know Beto wasn’t Mexican.
- And he voiced favoritism of the human rights disaster, Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy.
Another gerrymandered district was made to give white supremacy one more win in Texas.
Only 39% of eligible voters showed up in this district, so Gerdes’ work in the House will likely only favor a few.
45.9% of this district is non-Anglo, and they will likely suffer the most based on the positions he takes in the legislature.
During the upcoming session, we should expect to see bills from him which protect the Confederate’s long-lasting legacy of white supremacy in Texas. He will probably get on board with the GOP’s version of the Lost Cause and vote to ban all teachings of Black history in Texas.
While Gerdes is one of the few Republicans who haven’t expressed the desire to re-segregate public schools, we’ll have to see how he votes when he gets there.
Ellen Troxclair – House District 19
Previous Austin City Councilwoman and possible robot Ellen Troxclair is a fear-monger who wants you to know scary leftists are hiding under every rock.
According to her website, her priorities will be when she goes to Austin:
- Fighting the leftists.
- Stopping leftist indoctrination.
- And owning the libs.
Unfortunately, Troxclair’s entire persona is based on hate and anger. She has been known to remind people of a burnet Tomi Lahren.
Troxclair made national headlines last year when she threw a temper tantrum about Santa Clause having a Black husband. While she never clarified whether her meltdown was because Santa was gay or because Santa was in an interracial relationship, she has expressed hatred toward both the LGBTQ community and Black history.
Ellen Troxclair is friends with Congressman Chip Roy, who recently made a video assuring people they can trust her.
Troxclair couldn’t have won unless her friends in the Texas Legislature precisely racially gerrymandered her district to make sure people of color didn’t have a voice.
We will probably see her lead the charge for more censorship in Texas during the upcoming legislative session. She will likely introduce book-banning bills and the prohibition of Black history from being taught in public schools.
Troxclair has not made her position known about school re-segregation. However, we expect her to vote in favor of it. We also expect she will join the Gilead Wives Crew (Swanson, Slawson, Noble, Klick, Hull, and Slawson), who will undoubtedly spend this next session on banning contraceptives for women in Texas.
Terri Leo-Wilson – House District 23
Terri Leo-Wilson hates nothing in this world more than Black History. She spent over a decade of her life tediously searching through Texas school books to ensure the truth about history is hidden from the white children in Texas. Rumor has it that she was one of the forces several years back that made sure Texas history books referred to enslaved people as “unpaid immigrants” instead of calling them enslaved people.
Here’s a piece of trivia for you. Terri Leo-Wilson’s district encompasses Chambers County.
When the ACLU broke it down to which counties a Black person is more likely to be targeted and arrested than a white person, Chambers County was number one. While statewide, a Black person is 2.6x more likely to be arrested for marijuana than a white person, in Chambers County, that number skyrockets to 9.3x more likely.
Is it a coincidence that Leo-Wilson will represent the very worst county in Texas for racial targeting by police, and Leo-Wilson doesn’t want the truth of Black history to be told?
There are dozens of posts on her social media that promise to ban the Republican’s fictional definition of Critical Race Theory. We all learned the last session really was the GOP’s attempt to restrict teachers from saying the KKK was bad or prohibit the reading of Frederick Douglas in classrooms.
Terri Leo-Wilson hasn’t offered any ideas on how to improve the lives of Texans, but she has promised to be a strong fighter in the GOP’s culture wars.
More of the same? It appears so.
Janie Lopez – House District 37
House District 37 was blue for many years. Then Republicans redrew the boundaries last session. The GOP managed to flip this seat by two points this election, giving Lopez the seat and sending her to Austin.
Retired Conservative Democratic Senator Lucio accused her of lying to voters only days before the election. We wanted to know if she had a pattern of lying and looked into it, and we aren’t sure whether Lopez is a liar or is regurgitating the lies she was told. However, she has repeated multiple falsehoods.
For example, her website discusses drag shows in schools and transgender studies.
All-in-all, many of Lopez’s positions are confusing. For example, she wants to improve local infrastructure and maternal health, which are Democratic positions and stand in contrast to what the Republicans will do. Yet, those are things she will never get done under a Republican-ruled House.
Janie Lopez had the strangest campaign strategy of any politician we’ve ever seen.
Admittedly, we live in North Texas and don’t know much about border culture. However, perhaps someone can shoot us a comment on social media and let us know if this is a common political campaign practice in South Texas.
Janie Lopez loaded up her nieces and cousins in her pickup truck. Then, with political signs plastered on the side of her vehicle, she drove up and down streets, honking her horn repeatedly as she and her family members screamed out the window, “Vote for Janie.” They did this in neighborhoods in South Padres, Port Isabel, Laguna Heights, Bayview, Laureles, and many other places in her district. If she hadn’t recorded herself doing this, we probably wouldn’t believe it had happened.
Caroline Harris – House District 52
Caroline Harris has had some messy family drama this election cycle. So it’s not surprising that she got elected, even though it’s been proven that her values don’t match the public persona she’s portrayed.
Harris’ ex-sister-in-law spilled all of the family dirt during the election, and it’s not pretty.
Harris has taken a solid forced-birth position, calling herself pro-life and pro-family. Yet, there have been allegations that Harris’ mother had two abortions in college, which was the only way she could finish school.
There have also been accusations against Harris’ brothers of sexual molestation of children within the family. According to the ex-sister-in-law, a total of eight children in the family were victims, and not only did Caroline Harris know about the abuse, but she also did nothing to stop it and helped to cover it up.
Heidi Harris makes a pretty convincing case and has posted several videos to TikTok and Twitter, telling people about the Harris family.
Caroline Harris’ positions fall in line with every other far-right Republican.
Forced birth, punishment for legal asylum seekers, prohibiting Black history from being taught in school, and voter suppression are all ideals that she champions. It’s hard to predict what we’ll see from Harris during the upcoming legislative cycle since we only know who she pretends to be. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to watch.
Richard Hayes – House District 57
Richard Hayes has been a Denton County Republican Party member and a precinct chair for a long time. This is especially problematic because the Denton County Republican Party denounced America last year and passed a treasonous resolution.
The Denton GOP has also been known to have ties with three percenters and other domestic terrorists, although it’s unclear if Hayes himself has been part of any white militias.
He opposes the entire LGBTQ community, and when SCOTUS overturns gay marriage and the right to privacy, Hayes will likely be at the front of the line to ban gay marriage and re-implement sodomy laws in Texas.
Hayes has also expressed support for overturning the 14th Amendment, a nod and wink to the white replacement theory, and a desire to ban people of color from becoming American citizens.
He wants all of the Jim Crow Era statues to remain on courthouse lawns, signaling to Black and brown Texans that they will never have equal justice as long as Republicans are in charge.
And Hayes thinks that the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is too much and that businesses should be allowed to pay their employees less.
He seems nice, right?
Don’t let the friendly little old man persona fool you. Deep inside is a raging fascist itching to strip Texans away of their rights in favor of the ruling class.
Haye’s daughter, Mary Nan Huffman, is a far-right extremist sitting on Houston City Council with ideals she learned at home from her dad.
Although Richard Hayes will be a House Freshman this year, he’s spent decades in Republican Party politics and is far from a newbie. We should expect him to make close alliances with establishment Republicans, and Hayes could quickly become a powerhouse. He will be one to keep an eye on.
Frederick Frazier – House District 61
Frederick Frazier’s win to the Texas House proves that Republican voters lack integrity. Frazier is currently under federal indictment and will likely not finish his term as a representative because he’ll be sentenced to federal prison before the next election.
Frederick Frazier is a city councilman in McKinney and someone Living Blue in Texas has written about before. (See: McKinney Tables Decision To Remove Racist Statue During Black History Month.) Frazier favored keeping a racist statue representing slavery in McKinney’s town square. Ideology like Frazier’s has no place in McKinney or the Texas House.
During his time on the city council, Frazier stood for white supremacy, which will likely be his position when he goes to the Texas House.
We should expect to see him introduce or support bills related to the Confederacy, Texas’ Jim Crow monuments, or the prohibition of teaching Black history in public schools.
During the last legislative session, Texas Republicans reinstated vagrancy laws. If they attempt to add to that or add other Black codes, we should expect to see Frazier getting behind that movement.
Ben Bumgarner – House District 63
Ben Bumgarner is confused and doesn’t seem to know much about politics, society, or economics. He ran his entire campaign based on Republican lies and fear.
While he was a previous Flower Mound Councilperson, he held more moderate positions and has been under steady attack from the Qnuts in Denton, who refer to him as a “RINO.”
We should be concerned because if Bumgarner is easily influenced and seemingly takes the position of the moment instead of aligning with core beliefs, his vote could be easily bought.
Bumgarner raised nearly one million dollars during this election. His largest donor was TLR (Texans for Lawsuit Reform), a PAC pushing laws that favor capital over human lives. For example, limiting the amount of money a person can sue a business for if their loved one is killed at work. Or putting limits on malpractice suits.
What things could the TLR have tucked up its sleeve for the 88th legislative session?
Whatever it is, it will likely hurt workers and favor billionaires. So keep an eye on the bills Bumgarner introduces and champions. They will probably be a big part of TLR’s agenda.
Kronda Thimesch – House District 65
The picture to the right is Kronda at a DFW Deplorables event.
Who are the DFW Deplorables?
This is them:
They’re the people who show up at Democratic events on the north side of the metroplex with guns, flying giant Trump flags on giant trucks.
They circle events blaring their horns, and then approach the event (while armed) screaming about communism and pedophilia. Most of them are armed, and several have been behind assaults on both activists and journalists. In addition, many of their members have become headaches at various school board meetings.
People who have encountered their antics in the past have called them “dangerous” and “unhinged.”
The behavior of this group is widely known among local governments, police forces, and people engaged in the political process. Yet, Kronda Thimesch spoke at their event and asked for their vote.
Other politicians have been seen at DFW Deplorables events. However, only the most extreme. Jared Patterson, Pat Fallon, and Sid Miller are some of the regulars that schmooze with them.
Carrie Isaac – House District 73
Here is the best quote on Carrie Issac’s website, which 100% represents who she is:
The liberal media and tax-raising RINO “Republicans” are attacking Carrie Isaac. No surprise here — they know Carrie is a fighter who will fight for conservative values and won’t kowtow to political correctness or well-funded lobbyists!
Some of the things she plans on doing in Austin are:
- Fight Biden’s Socialist Agenda.
- Uphold American Values.
- Stop the “defund the police” movement.
- Stop Liberal indoctrination.
- And protect life, liberty, and freedom.
Does she have any serious plans beyond the culture war?
Nope. She’s just really excited for a chance to own the libs. And last month, she posted on Facebook that she thought the New Braunfels Trump Train were “patriots.”
Why is Carrie Isaac so angry?
Maybe we’ll find out during the 88th legislature. It’s been a while since we’ve had some good soap opera drama.
Stan Kitzman – House District 85
Stan Kitzman is a run-of-the-mill Conservative who HAS NOT demonstrated any far-right ideology.
While he will align with Conservatives in the Texas House on the Second Amendment and abortion, he might not vote with them on the further-right agenda, like re-implementing segregation or jailing gay people.
(Only speculative at this point.)
This racially gerrymandered district is so red that Kitzman got 73% of the vote. Kitzman has no known ties with white militia or paramilitary groups.
Nate Schatzline – House District 93
Nate Schatzline is a proud Christian, a former pastor, and the founder of For Liberty & Justice. This organization was dedicated to mobilizing the local church to see government reform.
Here is a video of him:
Yeah, he’s serious…and entertaining. He used to be a youth pastor.
Nate Schatzline is a culture wars type of guy. He’s ready to know the libs, bring Jesus back to schools, end the indoctrination of evolution, and reinstate morality laws.
Shatzline is proud that he’s gone to school board meetings and spoken against racial equity. But, unfortunately, during this legislative session, we should expect to see him behind many culture war narratives coming from the right.
Mark Dorazio – House District 122
Mark Dorazio is a Pennsylvanian who fled oppressive policies like access to healthcare and free school lunches for starving children. He now proudly calls Texas his home and invites Conservatives from everywhere to come down here and take Texas away from real Texans.
Of course, they’ll do that by stopping the Black and brown people of Texas from voting. According to his website, here is his agenda:
- Stop legal asylum seekers from presenting themselves at the port of entry and asking for refuge.
- Prohibit Black history from being taught in schools.
- States’ rights.
- Ban birth control.
- Guns for criminals and crazy people, guns for everyone.
- Stop Democrats from voting.
There isn’t anything unique or stand-outish about Dorazio compared to the other Republican freshmen. And just like Stan Kitzman, Dorazio raised very little money (by Republican standards), which means that the Billionaire Oligarchs who run our state aren’t expecting anything phenomenal from him.
Still, Dorazio has been involved in the local Republican party for many years and understands the political process. Because of that, we should expect to see him align with some of the bigger political players on the right as a power move.
Don’t expect Mark Dorazio to make a big splash this coming legislative session.
Mano DeAyala – House District 133
Mano DeAyala is another millionaire establishment guy. TLR gave him over $300,000 this election cycle and will expect him to introduce anti-worker legislation.
While DeAyala hasn’t come out in favor of school segregation, he has used much of the same language about public schools as the segregationists have, like “ideological indoctrination” and “power to parents.”
He also promised to protect “Conservative Texas values” and stop “socialism and progressive policies.” DeAyala claims that his parents fled “Communist Cuba,” which means that his parents were wealthy landowners fleeing workers’ rights.
During this next legislative session, we should expect to see DeAyala’s hatred for poor people and workers in the legislation he introduces and supports.
Ending free lunch for poor school children, cutting food benefits for families in poverty, and stripping money away from impoverished school districts are all legislation you can expect to see him get behind.
Despite the terrible candidates headed for Austin next year, remember we still have a lot of hard-hitting Democrats on our side.
Democrats in the Texas House are more intelligent and more politically astute than any extremist the GOP can throw at us. Chris Turner, Rafael Anchia, Julie Johnson, Jon Rosenthal, Ron Reynolds, and too many others to name. While we can guarantee that the right will throw the worst legislation imaginable up, we can also ensure that Texas Democrats will be right there, fighting their bills, calling them out, and bringing light to evil deeds.
The war isn’t over, and the next battle will begin in January. You can count on Living Blue to bring you all the details along the way.
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