Dawnna Dukes, Schwertner make Texas Monthly’s worst legislators list

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Monthly has released their bi-annual ranking of the best and worst legislators in the state. Two local state legislators made the worst list, with no area representatives making the best list.

The list ranks members not on how many bills they passed, but on how well they served their constituents.

The “best” list consisted of names including State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, a moderate Republican and State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, who chairs the Texas Freedom Caucus.

Dawnna Dukes discusses why she decided to rescind her resignation on Jan. 10, 2017. (KXAN Photo)
Dawnna Dukes discusses why she decided to rescind her resignation on Jan. 10, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

State Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, nearly “reduced funding for a good program without actually knowing what it does,” the magazine says. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, made the list by breaking her promise to resign, and for not showing up to work.

One local state senator, Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, also made the worst list. An orthopedic surgeon outside the legislature, Texas Monthly put him on their worst list for majorly reducing funding for Medicaid therapy services for disabled children.

While moderate and right-wing Republicans made the best list, as well as the worst list, Sen. Schwertner called foul.

Honestly, my job isn’t to appease the editorial writers of some liberal Austin travel magazine, it’s to serve the people of Senate District 5. I’m honored to represent my community and I’m more than happy to stand by my conservative voting record and every legislative victory I fought for this session, including passing a balanced and responsible state budget, protecting seniors and foster children from abuse, increasing funding for mental health, and ensuring that our immigration laws are properly enforced. A list like this simply shows the contempt Texas Monthly has for conservative leadership and demonstrates just how out of touch their publication has become.”

He also took a shot at a story naming Lexington’s Snow’s BBQ as the best in Texas. Schwertner contends that Taylor’s own Louie Mueller Barbecue is the best in the state. “…so clearly Texas Monthly has shown the ability to be wrong about more than just politics.”

State Rep. Dukes responded in kind, saying the voters of the 46th District will determine who she really is and “not one guy sending out a press release for his happy house and not by a magazine no one in her district reads.”

Dukes says she is accustomed to being unfairly criticized as the only African-American legislator in the region. “Shame on Mr. Hendricks and others who seek to exploit Rep. Dukes when she battled through serious health issues,” she wrote.

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