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Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Col. Brian Birdwell ran for the Texas State Senate seat in District 22 in a special run-off election with Republican party establishment candidate - and former State Senator - David Sibley. Sibley was definitely the establishment's favorite, getting the support of George W. Bush and other well known Texas politicians. Birdwell's story is that of a Tea Party candidate on steroids and it clearly helped him defeat Sibley by 3000 votes on June 22nd.

Via the Texas Tribune:
What Birdwell lacked in experience, he made up for in narrative. He was working in the Pentagon on 9/11, was burned badly when terrorists crashed an airliner into the building, recovered after a long convalescence and is now a public speaker and, with his wife, the operator of a nonprofit called Face the Fire that combines a Christian ministry with aid for burn victims and their families. He nearly ran for the Texas House a few years ago — against Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland — and decided against it.
Working at the Lynn Woolley Show, I had the opportunity to hear the Logic Czar interview Birdwell on more than one occasion and his story is utterly fascinating. Receiving a first hand account from someone who was not only in the Pentagon when it was attacked, but suffered severe burns from the jet fuel, is enthralling to say the least. Birdwell understands who America's enemies are and comes across as an uncompromising patriot on every conservative issue Lynn threw at him. It is welcome news that Birdwell will be representing the Texas state Senate in District 22 until January.

Birdwell's victory was a run-off to fill the vacancy left by Kip Averitt, who resigned his seat recently. Averitt has said that he doesn't want to run again in November and if you read the tea leaves, a Sibley victory would have almost certainly guaranteed that he wouldn't. As the Tribune reports, a Birdwell victory on the other hand, was sure to present a different scenario.

Via the Tribune:
It’s not David Sibley, the George W. Bush-backed former state senator, who has Averitt worried. It’s his challenger, Brian Birdwell, a fellow Republican and a 9/11 survivor whose detractors have alleged doesn’t meet legal residency requirements to represent Senate District 22 in the upper chamber of the Legislature.
The issue surrounding Birdwell concerns requirements by the Texas State Senate that candidates reside in the state for five years. Indications are that Birdwell moved to Texas in 2007. Averitt's name is still on the November ballot. He was apparently willing to take it off if Sibley won. A judge ruled in Birdwell's favor prior to the June 22nd run-off according but the Waco Tribune reported on Birdwell's eligibility being called into question:
Legal experts said a district court judge should have refused to hear a case brought by state Senate candidate Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, who sought in late April to prove in court that he met residency requirements.

On April 20, Birdwell petitioned the Hood County District Court to issue what’s called a declaratory judgment, but in his lawsuit he didn’t name any other parties.

Six days later, Judge William Brigham, a retired appeals court judge assigned to the case, affirmed that Birdwell had been a state resident for the past five years, thus meeting a constitutional requirement for Senate candidates.
Lost in all of this is that the voters have spoken. What will be interesting to watch is how Sibley handles defeat. Will he and Averitt bow out gracefully, letting the voice of the voters stand or will he take the lead of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist?

READ MORE about Col. Birdwell HERE.

More at the Texas Tribune.

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