Susan Criss made it official this week. The former Galveston County district court judge will run for the state Senate seat occupied by State Sen. Larry Taylor.

Criss formally announced her campaign for Texas Senate District 11 on Sunday.

In a campaign announcement, Criss said she was running on a platform inspired by former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan and her father, former state Rep. Lloyd Criss.

Criss recalled Jordan speaking at the Democratic National Convention about the responsibility of citizens to uphold the common good and for elected officials to “provide a vision for the future and to hold themselves strictly accountable.”

“I never forgot Jordan’s words,” Criss said.

“I believe in America’s promise to fulfill our national purpose to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal,” she said. “My faith in the Constitution is complete and total. I refuse to be an idle spectator in its diminution, subversion or destruction.”

Criss is the first Democrat to run for the District 11 Senate seat since Jacqueline Acquistapace ran against Taylor in 2012. Taylor, who was making his first bid for the Senate after serving 10 years in the state House of Representatives, defeated Acquistapace by 87,000 votes.

Taylor ran unopposed in his reelection bid in 2016.

Criss served four terms as the judge of Galveston’s 212th District Court from 1999 to 2014. She ran for the state House District 23 seat in 2015 and lost to former state Rep. Wayne Faircloth.

Criss is so far the only Democrat to announce a run for the Senate seat. Texas primary elections will be held March 3, 2020. The general election will be held Nov. 3, 2020.


On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed former Galveston City Councilwoman Terrilyn Tarlton-Shannon to the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Galveston County Ports.

The board oversees the ship channel pilots who help guide large vessels safely into the ports of Galveston and Texas City. The board also approves changes to the tariffs the pilots charge to ships that call on the ports.

Tarlton-Shannon served three terms on the Galveston City Council from 2012 to 2018. In her final term, she was the city’s mayor pro tem.

She replaced Brad Boney on the pilot board.

On the same day he appointed Tarlton-Shannon, Abbott reappointed Charles “Fritz” Kuebler to the pilots board. Kuebler lives in League City. He’s a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer and is now an emergency preparedness manager at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


State Rep. Gene Wu, a Houston Democrat, on Wednesday called for the Galveston County District Attorney’s office to entirely stop prosecution of marijuana offenses while it waits for state labs to test marijuana samples to the level required by a new law. ... Former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell is running to replace U.S. Senate John Cornyn, and the Democrat has named former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski as his campaign treasurer. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber turned 66 on Tuesday. ... The next election date in Texas is Nov. 5, 2019. That’s in 124 days.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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