Young Conservatives of Texas Release Ratings of 82nd Legislative Session
From their news release:
“YCT offers special recognition to Representative Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) and Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) for earning the highest scores in the House and Senate, scoring a 94 and a 95 respectively,” added Tony McDonald, Senior Vice Chairman.
For his top score, Senator Birdwell also earned the Rookie of the Year award for the Senate. The House Rookie of the Year award went to Representative David Simpson (R-Longview), with a 91.
Nine members made YCT’s “Honor Roll”, a recognition reserved for all members scoring over an 85 on the scorecard. They were Senator Brian Birdwell (95), Representative Ken Paxton (94), Representative Wayne Christian (92), Representative Dan Flynn (92), Representative David Simpson (91), Representative Erwin Cain (89), Representative Bryan Hughes (89), Representative Randy Weber (87), and Senator Dan Patrick (87).
The most liberal legislator, according to YCT, was Representative Donna Howard (D-Austin), who earned a 6 on the group’s scorecard.
What does it mean for the RGV?
Something notable since the Democratic party in the Rio Grande Valley was so up in arms about Rep. Aaron Peña's switch to the Republican Party...he received a 35% career rating, making him a Certified RINO (Republican in Name Only) according to YCT's ratings. Peña, however, was given a mention on the Most Improved List with an improvement of 28%. His score for the 82nd Legislative Session was a 57%.
To put that in perspective for you here's how the RGV delegation scored for the 82nd Legislative Session:
Rep. Aaron Peña - 57%
Rep. Veronica Gonzales - 18%
Rep. Sergio Muñoz - 27%
Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez - 36%
Rep. Ryan Guillen - 45%
Rep. Eddie Lucio - 21%
Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa - 26%
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. - 18%
This post is not to discredit Peña's notable improvements, but certainly debunks many of the Democrat myths that Peña somehow sold out his beliefs and constituents by switching parties. He clearly still represents the valley and his constituents while voting more conservative than in years before. He clearly recognizes the needs of the area, sees the success of conservatism and less government as a model in Texas and votes that way. That same economic prosperity has definitely allowed the RGV to weather the recession better than most of the country.
You can download a copy of the ratings here.
This post has been updated from a previous version to correct an error in listing the ratings.