Stefani Carter back in House race, but 3 other contenders remain

Stefani Carter back in House race, but 3 other contenders remain

Gromer Jeffers Jr.

Rep. Stefani Carter’s aborted bid for Railroad Commission took valuable campaign time and effort. Now she has to worry about it costing her seat in the House.

After announcing this summer that she was running to replace Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, Carter watched as three potential successors started campaigning for House District 102, largely in North Dallas.

But with weak fundraising totals for the statewide race, Carter decided that her heart was in the Legislature. Last week, she said she was running for re-election to the House seat she’s held since 2011.

Incumbents can usually avoid challengers, but Carter’s reversal didn’t shake the resolve of the three candidates who had already decided to run.

Still, Carter says she’s happy with her decision and confident that she will be re-elected.

“Voters will take a look at my record and decide if they are happy with my representation in Austin,” Carter said.

Those voters currently have an array of choices, and those candidates certainly would not have challenged Carter had she not spent time running for statewide office.

The field includes former Dallas City Council member Linda Koop. Her ground team is already knocking on doors in the district.

Richardson businessman Samuel Brown, with the support of Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach, is also in the race. An army veteran, Brown was badly injured in the war in Afghanistan.

And conservative Adryana Boyne, who described herself as the front-runner before Carter got back into the race, says she’s still committed to a campaign.

Carter’s re-entry into the House race has created other problems.

Her longtime consultant, Craig Murphy, is under contract with Koop. Murphy had planned to handle Carter’s campaign for Railroad Commission and Koop’s House race.

Now legal questions abound.

Carter appears to be in the market for another consultant, but she also has to make sure that Murphy doesn’t use the information and campaign tactics he’s gotten from her over the years to help Koop.

That information could be as simple as where to place yard signs.

“We are working out the issues involving confidential campaign information,” Carter said.

Carter’s change of heart brings to mind 2010, when several candidates were…Continued here:

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