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Primary results: Legislature and Congress

Rep. Lon Burnam

The big news on the Democratic side is the close loss by longtime Rep. Lon Burnam in HD90, who fell by 111 votes to Ramon Romero Jr. I know basically nothing about Rep.-elect Romero, but I do know that Rep. Burnam has been a progressive stalwart, and it is sad to see him go. His district is heavily Latino, and he defeated a Latino challenger in 2012, but fell short this year. Congratulations to Rep.-elect Romero. Also in Tarrant County, Annie’s List-backed Libby Willis will carry the Democratic banner in SD10 to try to hold the seat being vacated by Wendy Davis. Elsewhere in Democratic legislative primaries, Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, who earned a Ten Worst spot this past session for a DUI bust during the session, was running third for her seat. Cesar Blanco, a former staffer for Rep. Pete Gallego, was leading with over 40% and will face either Gonzalez or Norma Chavez, whom Gonzalez had defeated in a previous and very nasty primary. I’m rooting for Blanco in either matchup. All other Dem incumbents won, including Rep. Mary Gonzalez in HD75. Congressional incumbents Eddie Berniece Johnson and Marc Veasey cruised to re-election, while challengers Donald Brown (CD14), Frank Briscoe (CD22), and Marco Montoya (CD25) all won their nominations.

On the Republican side, the endorsements of Rafael Cruz and Sarah Palin were not enough for Katrina Pierson in CD32, as Rep. Pete Sessions waltzed to a 68% win. Rep. Ralph Hall, who was born sometime during the Cretaceous Era, will be in a runoff against John Ratcliffe in CD04. All other GOP Congressional incumbents won, and there will be runoffs in CDs 23 and 36, the latter being between Brian Babin and Ben Streusand. I pity the fool that has to follow Steve Stockman’s act.

Some trouble in the Senate, as Sen. Bob Deuell appears headed for a runoff, and Sen. John Carona appears to have lost. Sen. Donna Campbell defeats two challengers. Those latter results ensure the Senate will be even dumber next session than it was last session. Konni Burton and Marc Shelton, whom Wendy Davis defeated in 2012, are in a runoff for SD10.

Multiple Republican State Reps went down to defeat – George Lavender (HD01), Lance Gooden (HD04), Ralph Sheffield (HD55), Diane Patrick (HD94), Linda Harper-Brown (HD105), and Bennett Ratliff (HD115). As I said last night, overall a fairly tough night for Texas Parent PAC. Rep. Stefani Carter (HD102), who briefly abandoned her seat for an ill-fated run for Railroad Commissioner, trailed Linda Koop heading into a runoff.

I’ll have more thoughts on some of these races later. I’d say the “establishment” Republican effort to push back on the Empower Texas/teabagger contingent is at best a work in progress. May open an opportunity or two for Dems – I’d say HD115 is now on their list in a way that it wouldn’t have been against Rep. Ratliff – but barring anything strange we should expect more of the same from the Lege in 2015.

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3 Comments

  1. asmith says:

    Generally agree with you about Dallas County. Huffines got out the vote in the parts of SD-16 that had a tea party flavor in Coppell, Carrollton, Irving, Garland/Rowlett. Carona did well in the establishment North/Far North Dallas, Park Cities, and Lake Highlands precincts. Huffines had enough to win. While he is a family friendly home developer, his family is well known through the car dealerships they have in DFW. I wonder if Carona will still run for Mayor of Dallas if Rawlings doesn’t run for re-election?

    The turnout in the Senate race hurt Bennett Ratliff and to some extent Linda Harper Brown in 105.

    The Dems should challenge in 115, but 105 needs to be a top priority in November. Rodney Anderson is beatable. I’d rank the HDs in order of, 105, 107, 113, 102, 115, 108, 112.

    If we don’t win 105 and 107 in November, the Dems will win them in 2016. I think Leigh Bailey should have filed for SD-16 instead of 108. She has some wealth from her father and could at least make a decent showing against Huffines. Morgan Meyer will beat her in 108 im afraid.

    If Huffines pulls a two year term when the state senate reconvenes, my dream candidates would be former Rep. Allen Vaught or ex-Dallas councilperson Angela Hunt if she doesn’t run for mayor.

  2. asmith says:

    Funny that Deuell was a right wing guy when he beat former senator David Cain in 2002, now he is an establishment moderate guy. He should win the run-off since he still has plenty of money. Probably thought he could cruise by and didn’t take his opponents seriously.

  3. Mainstream says:

    asmith, I don’t believe there is a new drawing of term lengths after each election. I believe Huffines will have a full 4 year term.

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