Sheets to be challenged by former vice chairman of Dallas County GOP in primary

Kenneth Sheets

Two strong Dallas Republicans will be battling it out in the primaries to be the Republican candidate to represent House District 114 this season. Current Representative Kenneth Sheets filed yesterday, and immediate past vice chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party Jason Villalba has also filed.

Sheets was elected to District 107 in 2010. The new redistricting map has shifted neighborhoods around, placing Sheet’s residency in Lakewood in District 114.

“I was elected to represent my neighbors from Lake Highlands, the Lakewood area, and other parts of East Dallas in the Texas House,” he said in a statement to Politically Inclined. “With the new redistricting map, I look forward to continuing my representation of the Lake Highlands and Lakewood areas, and I am excited about serving my friends from North Dallas, Preston Hollow and Farmers Branch.”

Jason Villalba

Villalba, who stepped down from his post as vice chair of the county GOP to run, said he does not perceive the race as a challenge to Sheets’ because of the large changes to Sheets’ district. Instead, he said he sees it as an “open race” where candidates can “meet the good folks of 114 and compete for their vote.”

“Any way you cut the numbers, Mr. Sheets has never represented more than 25 percent of the newly drawn district,” he said. “If you compare the newly drawn district with the map as drawn by the 82nd Legislature (and approved by Mr. Sheets), he would have represented only 8.5 percent of the newly drawn district.”

Villalba may have only just entered the race, but he has gotten some big endorsements already. Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey has tossed her support his way, as has Roger Staubach. He currently serves as chairman of the Dallas County Chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly as well as Liaison on Hispanic Issues to both Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison. He is a partner at Haynes and Boone specializing in business law. His campaign website, www.TexansForJason.com, will launch late this week.

Sheets has been in office since 2010, when he beat out then Democratic incumbent Allen Vaught. “In my service as a Representative to the Texas House, including my work on the House Committees on Insurance and Economic and Small Business Development, I have tackled many issues important to our families and small businesses in Dallas County,” he said. Sheets is currently an attorney with Payne & Blanchard LLP and currently serves as Captain in the Marine Corps Reserves, and has previously served in Iraq.

Both Sheets and Villalba will write a guest blog for Politically Inclined. Stay tuned for Villalba’s on Friday, and Sheets’ early next week.

-Jessica Huseman

Posted by on November 29, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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