Voters in the 2016 Texas General Election delivered a resounding defeat to personal injury trial lawyers and their job-killing agenda.
This election cycle, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC (TLRPAC) endorsed candidates in 70 state races, including the Texas Railroad Commission, Texas Supreme Court, Texas House and Senate districts and numerous appellate judicial races. TLRPAC was the largest financial supporter of many of the conservative candidates in the most contested campaigns, and won 64 of 70 races – a decisive and impressive accomplishment given the uniquely fluid nature of this election cycle.
Up and down the ballot, we see the return of principled incumbents with a proven track record on tort reform, as well as the election of new candidates who share our commitment to a fair civil justice system as a pillar of our economy. This includes Wayne Christian, a staunch supporter of tort reform who was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission with 53 percent of the vote.
Ground zero in the fight to protect tort reforms was the Texas House of Representatives. TLRPAC endorsed 50 candidates, and 46 won their elections. We are proud to have supported Reps. Kenneth Sheets, Rick Galindo, John Lujan and Gilbert Pena in their difficult races. These candidates lost in very tough districts for Republicans this particular year, and we are deeply grateful for their public service. They have bright futures ahead of them and we fully expect to be supporting them for public office again.
In the Texas Senate, TLRPAC supported four incumbent senators, all of whom won reelection. TLRPAC also supported Dawn Buckingham, who won the only open Senate seat in a resounding victory.
Another target area for trial-lawyer-funded candidates was the critical judicial seats on the ballot, from the Texas Supreme Court to the Court of Criminal Appeals to seats on the 1st, 4th, 5th, 13th and 14th Courts of Appeals. TLRPAC was proud to support principled jurists for these positions, who are committed to applying the plain words of the law. All three TLRPAC-supported candidates were reelected to the Texas Supreme Court. We also supported winners in the contested seats for the Court of Criminal Appeals, and six judges on the 1st, 5th and 14th Courts of Appeals also won their races. Judge Jason Pulliam, who lost his seat on the 4th Court of Appeals, is a wise and impartial jurist, and we are confident he will have the opportunity to serve again in the future. While we had great success at the state level, the results of the Harris County judicial races were a disappointment. We will continue to work to identify principled jurists to retake those seats.