This week, Texas Monthly released its highly anticipated series “The Best and Worst Legislators.”
Included in the list was a new award for Dallas-area state Rep. Jonathan Stickland: the Cockroach Award.
“This year, we’re giving Jonathan Stickland our first-ever Cockroach Award and enshrining the term for a lawmaker who accomplishes nothing but always manages to show up in the worst possible way,” wrote Texas Monthly.
Unsurprisingly, Stickland took the title in stride.
Aside from giving the Bedford legislator a good thrashing, the Texas Monthly had plenty of praise and disdain for other Texas lawmakers too.
A number of Democrats— Reps. Joe Moody of El Paso, Donna Howard of Austin, Victoria Neave of Dallas, Senator Kirk Watson of Austin— were all named among the best legislators this past session.
In particular, Moody was highlighted for shutting down a Republican bill that would have given Attorney General Ken Paxton new powers to step over local authorities in human-trafficking cases. Neave was praised for for helping pass a bill to narrow Texas’ rape-kit backlog.
Among the worst legislators was Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The governor’s right-hand man was blasted for frequent absences in the Senate and equally frequent appearances on Fox News.
Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola was especially condemned in this year’s ranking. “[Hughes] used his talents and passions to kick down, particularly at poor folks, people of color, and the LGBTQ community,” wrote Texas monthly.
Hughes authored several unpopular bills, namely the “save Chick-fil-A” signed by Gov. Greg Abbot last week.
“In relitigating the culture wars and, at times, quite literally, bringing his colleagues to tears, Hughes seemed intent on poisoning what many were hoping would be strictly a ‘kumbaya’ session focused on solving policy puzzles like school finance,” wrote the magazine.
Other Republicans to make the “worst of” list included Reps. Tom Craddick of Midland, Jeff Leach of Plano, Sens. Angela Paxton of McKinney and Brandon Creighton of Conroe.
You can find the details and full list at Texas Monthly.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org