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Who will be the Lege education expert post-Hochberg?

In writing a political obituary for State Rep. Scott Hochberg, who announced his retirement from the House last week, Abby Rapoport spends a paragraph on his purported successor as the go-to education legislator.

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, is clearly the chosen member to take the reins from Hochberg, but it’s bound to be a tough job. During the session, it fell to Aycock to try, unsuccessfully, to pass a fiscal matters bill containing school finance language. While Aycock is undoubtedly smart and eager, he’s only in his third term. Hochberg had the trust of his colleagues, that he both understood all sides and would explain the policy options fairly.

The House will dearly miss its resident nerd.

Rep. Aycock is a ParentPAC endorsee, and is certainly well regarded on education issues. There’s only one problem: The San Antonio court put him in a district that voted over 60% for President Obama in 2008. Even if SCOTUS throws out the San Antonio map and restores the original Lege-drawn one for 2012, there are no guarantees that Aycock will be back, as the HD54 that was drawn for him by his colleagues was mighty purple. He’d at least be a favorite under the Lege map, but he’d be no lock.

Putting it another way, if Hochberg is Matt Schaub, and Aycock is Matt Leinert, who’s TJ Yates? That person may find himself or herself suddenly thrust into the spotlight in 2013. Better make sure he or she is taking extra reps, because this scenario is entirely foreseeable, and we need to be prepared for it.

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One Comment

  1. LiveinBellCounty says:

    I don’t think Jimmie Don will be in trouble. To take advantage of any map would presume an organized Democratic Party whom could recruit a challenger, which is not a given in Bell County, and even there was someone running, that they could overcome Jimmie Don’s popularity. I’m a Democrat, and I like him. It’s just unfortunate that the one in a less safe district is Aycock, and not the other representative from Bell County. Nobody would miss Sheffield, whose only claim to fame seems to be getting voted for the Texas Monthly Furniture list and passing bills creating a Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.