Barbara Ann Radnofsky
Early life and career
Radnofsky was born in Broomall, Pennsylvania of Polish-Jewish origin. She grew up in Houston and entered the University of Houston at age 16 on a National Merit four-year academic scholarship. She received her B.A. in 1976, graduating magna cum laude. She then attended law school at the University of Texas School of Law, graduating with honors in 1979. Radnofsky has three children with her husband, Ed Supkis, a medical doctor.
Prior to entering politics, Radnofsky practiced law at the firm of Vinson & Elkins in Houston for 27 years as a defense and trial lawyer. She retired as a partner and as head of the firm's section on alternative dispute resolution in April 2006 to pursue her Senate campaign full-time.
Radnofsky has also worked as a mediator and volunteer teacher, primarily through her involvement with the Upward Bound program, working with students with neurological disorders.
2006 Senate campaign
On March 7, 2006, Radnofsky faced Gene Kelly and Darrel Reece Hunter in the Democratic primary. Kelly is a perennial candidate and was the Democratic nominee in 2000 after beating out Charles Gandy in a runoff. Radnofsky received 44% of the vote in the primary, while Kelly received 37.5%. Kelly and Radnofsky were forced into a runoff election, held April 11, 2006, which Radnofsky won with 60% of the vote.
Radnofsky faced Republican incumbent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2006 General Election. The Zogby poll reported by The Wall Street Journal in September 2006 showed that Radnofsky closed the gap against Hutchison to less than nine points, revealing the race to be close and competitive. Hutchison sank to 45/47.8 percent, with Radnofsky rising to 39 percent. According to Zogby, Radnofsky had closed an 18-point gap from mid-August.
A Zogby poll released Oct. 16 showed Hutchison recovering back to 60% and Radnofsky dropping to 28%.
On Oct. 19, Radnofsky sparred with Hutchison in a taped debate co-sponsored by the Texas League of Women Voters and PBS station KLRN. In the debate Radnofsky criticized Hutchison's position on the Iraq war and for not keeping her promise to serve only two terms.
A poll released by Zogby on Oct. 31 showed Radnofsky gaining 7.9% up to 35.9% and Hutchison losing 5.2% down to 54.8%. Margin of error is 2.9% points.
On November 7, Radnofsky was defeated soundly by Hutchison, her campaign organization was plagued by substantial underfunding and considerable inexperience.
Radnofsky's campaign staff refused to run professional ads. They instead relied on a sock puppet, which was intended to show that Hutchison was a 'puppet' of special interests. The candidate and her campaign manager were unable to raise adequate amounts of money despite Radnofsky's personal wealth.
They also lacked other infrastructure essential to running a successful statewide campaign. Campaign office internal operations were slowed by the running of two separate and incompatible computer systems, unable to share critical voter preference and outreach research data with each other.
2010 Texas Attorney General campaign
In 2009 Radnofsky filed papers to run for Texas Attorney General. In contrast to her previous race, Radnofsky chose to hire national consultants to work on her campaign. Her media consultant (Murphy Putnam) and her pollster (Pineda Consulting) were part of the Obama consulting team in 2008. She lost the election to incumbent Greg Abbot by a margin of 3,151,064 (64.05%) to 1,655,859 (33.66%).
Honors and awards
She was named as the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas (1988–1989) and has delivered more than 140 publications and speeches, both nationally and internationally. She is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.
She earned the AABB Award for Contributions to Medicine Law and Government Affairs
- Texas Polls
- "CAMPAIGN 2006 / Hutchison, Radnofsky spar over Iraq strategy". Houston Chronicle. 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "info-elections06". The Wall Street Journal.