Galveston Island’s representative was one of the three most conservative members in the House of Representatives this year, according to an analysis released by Rice University.

State Rep. Mayes Middleton was the third-most conservative legislator in the House this year based on analysis of roll call votes made during session, said Mark P. Jones, a political scientist with Rice University’s Baker Institute.

Middleton’s district includes southern parts of Galveston County and all of Chambers County.

The only two members of the House more conservative than Middleton were state Reps. Tony Tinderholt, of Arlington, and Briscoe Cain, of Deer Park. All three men are members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

The conservative ranking is something Middleton strove for and made promises toward when he ran for office in 2018.

Middleton ran as a more conservative option to former State Rep. Wayne Faircloth, who represented District 23 from 2014 to 2018.

“I promised to fight for lower property taxes, to end taxpayer-funded lobbying and against a state income tax,” he said. “I kept every promise.”

According to the Rice University analysis, that claim bore out during the most recent session. After the 2017 Texas Legislative session, the same analysis ranked Faircloth as the 34th-most conservative member.

Middleton’s ranking also is striking because just six years ago, his seat was on the other side of the ledger. Former State Rep. Craig Eiland was on the liberal side of the Rice University rankings, though he was among the most moderate of the Democrats in the house at time of his retirement in 2015.

The Rice rankings aren’t an assessment of Middleton’s or other representative’s skill in creating conservative legislation. State records list him as the primary author of only one bill that was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott this year. The bill proposed renaming state Highway 99 in Chambers County.

TROCHESSET RUNNING

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset will seek a third term in office, he announced Sunday.

Trochesset, a Republican from Santa Fe, has been the sheriff since 2012. He was unopposed in the 2016 election.

“I still think i’ve got a lot to offer to the community,” Trochesset said. “I still fell like I’ve years ahead of me, and knowledge that I can pass onto the younger people.

As of Wednesday, Trochesset didn’t have any announced challengers. The primary elections for county, state and national elections is March 3, 2020. The general election is Nov. 3, 2020.

NOTEBOOK

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday plans to sign Senate Bill 11, the major school safety bill passed during the legislature this year. ... Early voting for two local city council elections ended on Tuesday. During the six day early voting period in Dickinson and Santa Fe, 879 people voted, according to the county election office. ... Senate Republicans on Wednesday threatened to block the White House’s threat to impose a 5 percent tariff on goods imported from Mexico. ... Texas’ senators, in particular, were vocally opposed to the threat. “There’s no reason for Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses to pay the price of massive new taxes,” said Sen. Ted Cruz. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, to the Texas Tribune, about whether the Mueller Report warrants legislative action. “There is no question: we need to move forward from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. I encourage my colleagues to focus our energy on sane policies and good governance, rather than continuing on with this case-closed witch-hunt.”

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(6) comments

Gary Scoggin

Actually, Rep. Middleton represents more than just Galveston Island. He represents many in that interesting slice of life that exists beyond the Causeway.

Diane Turski

Since Randy Weber is still parroting the totally debunked "witch hunt" rhetoric, I suspect he has not actually read the Mueller Report. There is a large print edition he can order from Amazon.

Carlos Ponce

"totally debunked 'witch hunt' " Really? Wait for Inspector General Inspector Michael Horowitz's report, AND Federal Prosecutor John H. Durham's report, AND Federal prosecutor John Huber's report. But nothing will ever convince Diana Turski that this was a "witch hunt". She'll still vote for anyone running against Trump. Trump will still win Galveston County. Trump will still win Texas. Trump will be re-elected. And Diana Turski will still post her hatred of the President in the newspaper's forums. Hatred is a fool's errand.

Carlos Ponce

In Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress he spoke of the presence of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in Iraq. I believed him at the time. Did you?

Carlos Ponce

"There is a large print edition [of the Mueller Report] he can order from Amazon. Can you direct this information to Chairman Jerry Nadler? He can't seem to find it.

James Lippert

Middleton was a Co-Author of House Bill 347, which ELIMINATED any greedy annexation of unincorporated Galveston County by a Municipality without a Vote of the People within said unincorporated area. Now signed by the Governor, his Bill is now law in the State of Texas. Way to go Rep Middleton!

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