As noted this morning, I will be participating in a live chat tonight beginning at 7 PM at the Chron election blog. I hope you’ll come by and ask some questions about what happened today. There are many races to keep track of. Here’s a brief guide to some of the one’s I’ll be watching closely.
The big one that everyone is watching. Will David Dewhurst pull it off without a runoff? Who finishes second if he doesn’t? Among other things, this race pits Rick Perry, who endorsed Dewhurst, against Sarah Palin and others of her ilk who are backing Ted Cruz. If you think things got nasty in the last days of early voting, wait till a runoff if there is one.
There are the four new seats plus the two open seats (CDs 14 and 25); with the likely exception of Doggett versus Romo in CD35, the favored party is merely narrowing its choices down for the runoff. There’s CD23, in which we learn who will take on Rep. Quico Canseco for one of the two races that will certainly draw national attention in November (CD14, with Nick Lampson on the Democratic side, is the other). And then there are the three incumbent challenges where Campaign for Primary Accountability has jumped in: Rep. Silvestre Reyes versus Beto O’Rourke in CD16; Rep. Eddie Berniece Johnson versus Taj Clayton in CD30; Rep. Joe Barton versus the field in CD06. (The CPA also said it was playing in CD04 against Rep. Ralph Hall, but I haven’t heard as much about that one as the others.) There’s some chatter that Rep. Reyes is in trouble, but I don’t get the sense that the others are. In Harris County, there are the Democratic races in CDs 07, 10, and 22, in which we hope to avoid nominating the nutball Kesha Rogers again now that everybody (hopefully) knows who she is.
I should note that the Trib had a whole lot of primary election stories over the past couple of months. See here for a roundup of all their coverage. Daily Kos also has a nice overview of the Congressional races.
The Parent PAC slate is the place to start. Mostly, it’s two races to watch out for, the Thomas Ratliff/Don McLeroy rematch and David Bradley versus Rita Ashley – see the Trib story to familiarize yourself. Locally, there’s the three-way Democratic race for a nominee in SBOE 6, and races on both sides in SBOE 8.
All Republican action here, with several open seats plus the craze-a-thon in SD25. As I said before, I’m not worried about the State Senate becoming more conservative, I’m worried about it becoming more stupid.
Again, the Parent PAC slate is the place to begin; it’s mostly but not exclusively Republican. One of their candidates is Whet Smith, running here in HD138 against Rep. Dwayne Bohac. Smith has an ad that’s running on cable TV that I’ve caught a couple of times:
Now, Dwayne Bohac is absolutely no friend of public education, and if Parent PAC says Whet Smith would be better for public ed then I’ll take their word for it. But to make the claims Smith does in that ad about the budget, you have to be either dumb or dishonest, and I can’t say that gives me a good feeling about him as a State Representative. Maybe he’s just pandering to the voters, but if so that doesn’t speak highly of him, either.
Anyway. I’ll also be looking for the Annie’s List slate; their candidate Mary Gonzalez has a chance to make history tonight. I’ll be watching for Rep. Lon Burnam versus Carlos Vasquez in HD90, and for the results in HDs 137 and 144 here in Harris County.
Today is also the day of the recall elections in Wisconsin, which may or may not have implications for November. Note that it’s not just Governor Scott Walker facing recall – his Lieutenant Governor and three Republican State Senators are also on the ballot; even one loss among the Senators will change the partisan balance in that chamber.
There are three high profile District Attorney races this year: Lehmberg versus Baird on the Democratic side in Travis County; Bradley versus Duty in Williamson and Lykos versus Anderson here in Harris, both on the Republican side. The race for Sheriff in Travis County, in which incumbent Greg Hamilton is being challenged over immigration issues, has been below the radar outside of Travis but could have an effect around the state afterward. And of course here in Harris, the two ugliest races on the Democratic side, for the 215th Civil District Court and for HCDP Chair. No matter the outcomes, I think everyone’s first reaction will be relief that they are over.
What races will you be watching tonight?