by BRAD ROLLINS
In a public split during last spring’s legislative session, State Rep. Patrick M. Rose, a Dripping Springs Democrat whose district includes San Marcos, withdrew his support from House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Midland Republican. The parting came as a dramatic coup attempt against the speaker was unfolding in the session’s last days.
Now Craddick, the shrewd West Texas scrapper, is plotting to keep the speaker’s gavel when the 2009 session starts. He also presumably wouldn’t mind delivering a little comeuppance to Rose, who ceremoniously seconded Craddick’s nomination at the beginning of the session and joined his detractors by the end. Craddick is widely believed to have been involved in a poll of Rose’s district last fall that measured the representative’s strength against hypothetical Republican challengers including San Marcos auto dealership owner Chuck Nash and former Hays school district board president Christie Pogue.
As it turns out, Rose did not draw a challenger within his own party nor a marque Republican foe. He does face an as-yet little known opponent in Wimberley Republican Matt B. Young in November’s general election. The latest round of campaign finance disclosures show Rose is holding his own in the fund raising race even relative to the speaker, a position traditionally at least as powerful as the governor and a symbol of old-school establishment connections. Rose collected $557,203 to Craddick’s $819,914.
The top ten fund raising state representatives or candidates according to their Texas Ethics Commission filings: