Cruz will headline local GOP fundraiser

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The political season is heating up in Denton County.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — a Tea Party favorite whose opposition to the Affordable Care Act propelled him to national prominence — will be the featured speaker at the Denton County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner on Feb. 1.

And a series of political forums in coming weeks will feature statewide and local candidates, including one at 6:30 p.m. today at the Denton County Elections Administration building.

Cruz’s presence in the media in recent months is one of the reasons officials wanted to secure him for what is the local Republican Party’s major annual fundraiser, said Dianne Edmondson, head of the Denton County Republican Party.

“We know people want to hear from him and see him and want to be able to talk to him,” Edmondson said. “We wanted to get the rising star of the Republican Party to be our keynote speaker. We’re curious to see what he has to say. Maybe he will reveal his future plans at our dinner.”

The Lincoln Reagan Dinner, which will be held at the DFW Hyatt Regency Hotel, will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a private reception for special contributors with Cruz and state candidates. State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, will be the emcee for the event. Tickets start at $100 for the dinner, with tables ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The event will also feature a “Campaign Headquarters” that will allow Texas candidates to meet and greet those who attend the dinner.

For details about ordering, visit http://dentongop.org/2014-lincoln-reagan-dinner or call 940-321-2671.

Candidate forums

The candidate forums will help voters get informed about those who will be on the ballot for the March 4 primary and the November general election, Edmondson said.

“You get mail from these people; you may get a door knock from somebody, but to actually get a chance to hear them personally, to ask them questions, to compare them against their opponent is invaluable,” she said.

Tonight’s forum, sponsored by the Denton County Republican Assembly, will include County Judge Mary Horn and her GOP primary challengers Paul Ruggiere and Sherman Swartz. Also set to appear are Dwayne Stovall and Linda Vega, candidates for U.S. Senate; Juli Luke and D’Lynne Shelton, county clerk candidates; and District 64 representative candidates, incumbent Myra Crownover and challenger Read King.

The forum will be held at the Elections Administration Office at 701 Kimberly Drive.

The Denton County Republican Party will have two candidate forums Monday and Jan. 27, also at the Elections Administration Office, for statewide candidates for attorney general, lieutenant governor, comptroller and railroad commissioner.

The Monday forum will feature candidates for attorney general and lieutenant governor, and the second will feature state comptroller and railroad commissioner candidates.

Edmondson said all GOP candidates for attorney general and lieutenant governor have accepted the invitation. Three Republicans are running to replace outgoing Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor: State Rep. Dan Branch, state Sen. Ken Paxton and Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman. The winner will face Democrat Sam Houston in November.

For lieutenant governor, incumbent David Dewhurst is facing three GOP challengers — state Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. The winner will face Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in November.

Not all of the candidates for the second forum have yet confirmed, Edmondson said.

She said there will be a social hour at each event at 6 p.m., when the candidates will mingle with the public, and the forum will begin at 7 p.m. The forum will have a moderator.

At the end of the forum, a straw poll will be taken to determine the support each candidate has within the audience.

“It’s been very popular with candidates to see how their message is resonating,” Edmondson said. “Some of our candidates have realized that carrying Denton County is critical to a statewide race. If you do not carry Denton County, you will not win.”

Nonpartisan forum

On Jan. 18, north Denton County voters will have a chance to see what their candidates are about in a nonpartisan forum at 11 a.m. at the Copeland government center, 1400 FM424 in Cross Roads.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been invited to the event, said GOP Precinct 1007 chairman Dave Boston.

Among those who have accepted are the candidates for Texas House District 106 — incumbent state Rep. Pat Fallon, who faces no Republican primary opponents, and Lisa Osterholt, a Democrat who likewise faces no primary challenger. The two will face off in the November general election.

Boston said the public is “definitely invited and encouraged to come.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.POLITICAL FUNDRAISERS, FORUMSLincoln Reagan Dinner fundraiser

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will be the featured speaker at the Denton County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner on Feb. 1 at the DFW Hyatt Regency Hotel. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a private reception and a dinner to follow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $100 for the dinner, with tables ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. For details about ordering, visit dentongop.org/2014-lincoln-reagan-dinner or call 940-321-2671.

GOP candidate forums

Today: A forum at 6:30 p.m. today, sponsored by the Denton County Republican Assembly, will include County Judge Mary Horn and her GOP primary challengers Paul Ruggiere and Sherman Swartz. Also set to appear are candidates for U.S. Senate, Dwayne Stovall and Linda Vega; county clerk candidates Juli Luke and D’Lynne Shelton; and District 64 state representative candidates, incumbent Myra Crownover and challenger Read King. The event will be held at the Denton County Elections Administration building, 701 Kimberly Drive.

Monday: A forum sponsored by the Denton County Republican Party will feature GOP candidates for attorney general — state Rep. Dan Branch, state Sen. Ken Paxton and Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman — and GOP candidates for lieutenant governor — incumbent David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. The forum will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception followed by the candidates at 7 p.m. at the Elections Administration Office, 701 Kimberly Drive.

Jan. 27: A second forum sponsored by the Denton County Republican Party will feature GOP candidates for state comptroller and railroad commissioner candidates. Not every candidates has yet confirmed. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception followed by the candidates at 7 p.m. at the Elections Administration Office, 701 Kimberly Drive.

Nonpartisan candidate forum

Jan. 18: North Denton County voters will have a chance to get to know their candidates in a nonpartisan forum to be held at 11 a.m. at the Copeland government center, 1400 FM424 in Cross Roads. Both Democrats and Republicans have been invited to the event, said GOP Precinct 1007 chairman Dave Boston. Among those who have accepted are the candidates for Texas House District 106 — incumbent state Rep. Pat Fallon, who faces no Republican primary opponents, and Lisa Osterholt, a Democrat who likewise faces no primary challenger. The two will face off in the November general election.


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