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Friday, May 24, 2024 — Houston, TX

Election 2012 Guide

By Molly Chiu and Anthony Lauriello     11/1/12 7:00pm

Welcome to the Thresher election guide. In this insert, you will find a breakdown of political views on campus as found in a survey conducted by the Thresher, editorial opinions on the two presidential candidates and summaries about candidates in major local elections. For the purposes of our voters guide, we have only included Republican and Democratic candidates due to space limitations and the fact that the vast majority of Rice students will choose from one of these two parties. For more information about third party candidates please refer to the League of Women Voter's guides or the Green, Libertarian and Constitution Party websites. All candidate positions are taken from either their official campaign websites or their responses to the questions posed by the League of Women Voters. The LWV is a nonpartisan organization with the goal of ensuring that each voter casts an informed vote. 

For a full list of the candidates and their positions for all races on the ballot, visit www.lwvhouston.org. To view the full ballot that you will see in the voting booth, visit www.harrisvotes.com.

On Election Day, you must vote in your assigned precinct and location. If you registered using your Rice address, your polling place is the Miner Lounge. This is located on the first floor of the Rice Memorial Center across the hall from the Office of Academic Advising. If you registered using another Houston address, check your precinct number on your voter registration card. You can find a list of the polling locations by precinct by visiting www.harrisvotes.com.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. To vote, present your voter registration card or some other form of identification, such as a driver's license, passport, birth certificate, or even a paycheck that shows your name and address. You do not need to present a photo ID card to vote. When you enter the voting booth, you may bring written notes or a Voters' Guide, but you may not use electronics such as phones or laptops. By law, no candidate may campaign within 100 feet of a polling place. 

If you encounter any problems on Election Day, call the County Clerk's office at 713-755-6965, the Texas Secretary of State Election Division at 1-800-252-8683 or the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931.

U.S. Senator 

Ted Cruz (R)

Cruz, a candidate endorsed by the Tea Party, served as the solicitor general of Texas from 2003-08. He won the Republican nomination for the Senate race after defeating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff election.

Cruz supports a balanced budget amendment, the repeal of Obamacare, reducing the size and spending of the government, and the defense of the constitution, according to his campaign website. Cruz says he stands on a platform of upholding conservative values, including the support of a free-market economy, the preservation of religious freedom, the protection of the country's borders, the defense of the 2nd Amendment and the defense of the sanctity of life.

Paul Sadler (D)

Sadler, who hails from Henderson, Texas, served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1991 to 2003 and is currently running as the Democratic candidate in the race to fill Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat.

On the issue of immigration, Sadler supports the Dream Act and wants to create a streamlined way for immigrants to legally apply for citizenship. On the issue of foreign intervention, Sadler is in favor of effective and legitimate intervention on the basis of protecting human rights while still respecting national sovereignty. His priority is national security. On the issue of health care, Sadler believes the Affordable Care Act has some good aspects which encourage making health care more efficient, but he also believes the government should continue to improve access to health care. On the issue of gridlock in Congress, Sadler says he will bring his record of problem-solving to Congress and wants to work for practical solutions. He says he is open to ideas from everyone.


 U.S. Representative

Ted Poe (R)

Poe, the incumbent, lives in Humble, Texas. He has served in this office since January 2005. Rice was previously represented by John Culberson, but due to redistricting, Rice now falls into Poe's district. 

On the issue of immigration, Poe supports strong border security and wants to reform the immigration system to streamline the process for legal immigration without using dependency or amnesty. He also supports a guest worker program. On the issue of the government's role in job creation, Poe believes the government should lower corporate taxes to promote job creation. Additionally he is against the idea of government imposing excess regulations. He is fiscally conservative, and he is in favor of a balanced budget amendment.

Jim Dougherty (D)

Dougherty lives in Houston and currently works as an attorney, mediator and certified public accountant. He has previously served as precinct chair of Harris County Precinct 70 from 1995-2000.

On the issue of immigration, Dougherty supports the Dream Act and work visas. He believes the U.S. is a country of immigrants and that its immigration policy should reflect that history. On the issue of the government's role in job creation, Dougherty believes the federal government should provide the structure and support for businesses and individuals to grow and succeed. He also supports affordable education and entrepreneurship.


Railroad Commissioner

The Railroad Commissioner of Texas has far more influence and power than its name implies. The agency regulates Texas' vast energy industry, but strangely enough has no power over any actual railroads. 

Christi Craddick (R)

Craddick, who currently lives in Austin, is a small business owner and attorney with a focus on the oil and gas industry, among other things. She has not previously held public office.

On the issue of energy, Craddick believes Texas can be the leader in energy growth for the country, using what she calls an "all of the above" strategy led by oil and gas production. On the subject of safety issues related to urban drilling, Craddick says public safety is extremely important. She wants to increase the number of safety inspectors on pipelines.

Dale Henry (D)

Henry is from Mills County, Texas, where he formerly served as county commissioner. A registered petroleum engineer, he currently serves as a board member of the Kempner Water District.

Henry's primary concern as railroad commissioner would be water safety. He would focus on protecting the environment, specifically groundwater, and ensuring that oil and gas companies are held accountable in following the law, according to his campaign website.

Barry Smitherman (R)

Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term

Smitherman, who lives with his family in Austin, has been serving as railroad commissioner since July 2011 and now is seeking an unexpired term. He has previously served as chair of the public utility commission.

On the issue of energy, Smitherman believes Texas has an abundance of energy resources and that while renewable energy is part of the abundance, it should not use taxpayer money. Instead, Smitherman wants to focus on oil and gas production, which he says will provide jobs and protect national security. On the subject of safety issues in urban drilling, Smitherman says he will enforce the current rules protecting health and safety but will not impose new regulations.

State Representative

Sarah Davis (R)

Davis, who lives in West University Place, is the incumbent. She was elected to the position in 2010 and currently serves on the Public Health and Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committees.

On the issue of state finances, Davis wants to ensure that we get the most out of our money. She wants to focus on creating more jobs and strengthening the economy. On the issue of domestic trafficking, Davis wants to fund rehabilitation services like safe houses and to enforce laws against trafficking of minors. She is a co-author of HB 2014, a human trafficking bill.

Ann Johnson (D)

Johnson, a Houston resident, is an attorney who represents child victims of harassment and bullying. She has not previously held a public office.

On the issue of state finances, Johnson says she will fight in Austin to ensure that Texas gets its share of federal funds, such as $76 billion for Medicaid, which would go toward patient care at the Texas Medical Center. On the issue of domestic trafficking, Johnson says she currently works for victims. She wants to enforce laws to protect these victims and provide resources for their safety and rehabilitation.


Louis Guthrie (R)

Guthrie, a native of Humble, Texas, started working in the Harris County Sheriff's Office in 1991. He currently serves as the vice president of the Harris County Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation.

Guthrie says his opponent has cut patrol positions while in office, which he says has resulted in an increase in violent crime. Guthrie says he would eliminate bureaucracy at the top and put patrol positions back on the streets.

Adrian Garcia (D)

Garcia, a Houston resident, is the incumbent, serving as Harris County Sheriff since 2008. Before becoming sheriff, he served 23 years with the Houston Police Department and six years as a Houston city councilman.

Garcia says that during his time in office he has scaled back his office's budget and plans to stay under budget. He says he would continue emphasizing the use of technological and cost-efficient strategies to keep crime in check.

District Attorney 

Mike Anderson (R)

Anderson has 17 years of experience as a prosecutor and has served as assistant district attorney. He has 12 years of experience as a judge and has served as a state district judge. He currently lives with his family in Houston.

In response to Harris County's growing population, Anderson says he would maintain a strong staff of well-prepared prosecutors. He says his office would aggressively pursue a good position for plea bargains. On the issue of driving under the influence and drug cases, Anderson says he would prosecute according to the law. On the issue of DA relations with other law enforcement, Anderson says he would work as a team with law enforcement to ensure that criminals are off the street and prosecuted.

Lloyd Wayne Oliver (D)

Oliver lives in Houston and has practiced criminal law for more than 35 years. He has previously worked as a deputy in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

In response to the growing population in Harris County, Oliver says he wants to focus working hours on prosecuting corporate crime and corruption and create time-efficient guidelines for prosecuting drug cases. On the issue of DUI and drug cases, Oliver says he will prosecute cases involving even trace amounts of drugs and will mandate rehab in all drug cases. On the issue of DA relations with other law enforcement, Oliver says he hopes for cooperation from both parties and to avoid corruption and politics.

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