From Michael Quinn Sullivan & the EmpowerTexans.com team -
Texas conservatives had a great night, posting strong wins around the state.
It was also a very bad night for squishy Republicans, like House Speaker Joe Straus who lost two more committee chairmen. And a downright miserable night for Mr. Straus’ own state senator, the newly-defeated Jeff Wentworth.
Of the state legislative races, the biggest run-off news is conservative-champion Dr. Donna Campbell defeating liberal incumbent Jeff Wentworth by a two-to-one margin!
It also drove home an important lesson for Republicans in the Texas House: the closer they stand to Speaker Straus, the more likely they are to lose. Two more Straus committee chairmen (Sid Miller and Chuck Hopson) lost re-election, joining the three Straus chairs who were defeated in the first round of primary voting.
In the open-seats, Straus-friendly candidates fell like flies. With only one ironic exception, open-seat races broke strongly for the conservatives.
In those open-seat races, we saw desperate moderates trying unsuccessfully to smear conservatives with the noxious lies promulgated by Rep. Jim Keffer and lobbyist Bryan Eppstein. The liars lost big, over and over. (Ironically, the one exception was in HD114 where Bill Keffer – one of our endorsees and Jim’s brother – lost, seeing those very tax-hike lies used against him.)
The night produced only one somber note: State Rep. Jim Landtroop lost to Ken King. Just like conservative State Rep. Wayne Christian’s loss in May, the Straus team beat Mr. Landtroop only by giving him an 80% new district, out-spending him, and lying about his record. (That’s apparently the only way the Straus team can beat conservatives.)
For further proof of Joe Straus’ toxicity, look at Rep. Miller. He signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and even earned our endorsement because of his 2011 rating on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. Yet he bet big siding with Speaker Straus’ leadership… and lost even bigger. Lawmakers need to realize that Joe Straus is incapable of helping incumbent conservatives, even in those rare times when he is willing.
One race – the new HD12 – finds the final tally close enough (less than 200 votes) for a possible recount. We endorsed Tucker Anderson, though Kyle Kacal came out on top. Both signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Otherwise, our winning candidates from last night:
SD25: Donna Campbell beat Jeff Wentworth like a drum.
HD11: Travis Clardy overcame heavy odds to beat long-serving incumbent Chuck Hopson in House District 11.
HD24: Dr. Greg Bonnen of Galveston County produced a strong win over Ryan Sitton.
HD67: Jeff Leach of Collin County posted a big win over Jon Cole.
But now we’re on to November!
Let’s remember that for as important as any political win might be, what truly matters are the policy changes that result from being engaged citizens. All the passion each of us has put into getting “our” candidates elected must be multiplied during the next legislative session. It’s our job to hold our elected officials accountable in the fight for a stronger Texas!
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Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility PO Box 200248, Austin, TX 78720 (512) 236-0201 www.EmpowerTexans.com