Texas has two courts of last resort, the Texas Supreme Court, which handles all civil matters, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which handles all criminal cases. Both courts select judges for six year terms using partisan elections. The state is holding a partisan primary on March 1, 2016, and a general election on November 8, 2016.
Three seats were up for election on the Texas Supreme Court. Incumbent Judge Debra Lehrmann defeated Judge Mike Westergern in the general election for the 3rd position after previously defeating Justice Michael Massengale in the Republican primary. Judge Westergren ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Justice Paul Green defeated Judge Dori Garza in the general election for the 5th position, having previously defeated attorney Rick Green in the Republican primary. Judge Garza ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Justice Eva Guzman defeated Savannah Robinson in the general election for the 9th position, having previously defeated attorney Joe Poole in the Republican primary. Robinson ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
There were also three seats available on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Judge Mary Lou Keel was elected to the 2nd position, having defeated incumbent Judge Lawrence “Larry” Meyers in the general election. Keel previously defeated Judge Ray Wheless in the Republican primary runoff election for the this seat and Judge Chris Oldner in the Republican primary. Scott Walker was elected to the 5th position on the court after defeating attorney Betsy Johnson in the general election. Walker previously defeated attorney Brent Webster in the Republican primary runoff election and Justice Steve Smith and Judge Sid Harle in in the Republican primary. Judge Cheryl Johnson, who currently holds the 5th seat, chose not to seek reelection. Republican incumbent Judge Michael E. Keasler defeated Judge Robert Burns in the general election for the 6th position, after previously defeating attorney Richard Davis in the Republican primary.
The Brennan Center used multiple sources for spending information, which showed the following:
Estimated Total Spending: $341,130
- Estimated Spending by Michael Massengale: $341,130
*Spending figures last updated on: March 15, 2016
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February 17 – Proven Conservative
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In this ad, Massengale describes himself as a “a true constitutional conservative.”
Sponsor: Michael Massengale
Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $341,130
Jordan Rudner, Incumbents Holding Supreme Court Seats, Criminal Court Runoffs Likely, The Texas Tribune, March 1, 2016.
Ross Ramsey, Analysis: In Supreme Court Primary Race, a Question of Judgment, The Texas Tribune, February 17, 2016
Mark Pulliam, What’s In a Name?, National Review, January 4, 2016.
Jordan Rudner, Three Supreme Court Justices Face Challenges, The Texas Tribune, February 9, 2016
Jordan Rudner, Court of Criminal Appeals Candidates Emphasize Experience, The Texas Tribune, February 5, 2016
All data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.
Data on spending on ads was also compiled from ad purchase contracts posted by the FCC and from state disclosure databases when available.