The dust has settled and while not all of our endorsed candidates won we are pleased to see that many did. Regardless of our picks, we’re hopeful that all of last night’s winners prove to be ‘good guys’, (“guy” being a gender neutral term as applied here).
5 lessons learned for political junkies and one warm welcome for our new precinct chairs. First, the lessons:
1.) Ted Cruz. Wow!
Scoreboard: With over 1.1M votes cast in this race, the final tally of 56.8% Cruz to 43.2% Dewhurst was a resounding upset to the planned coronation of our party establishment’s candidate. The margin was even larger with Cruz getting 59% of the vote locally. Shazam!
It would seem that the rumors of the tea party’s demise were greatly exaggerated. The tea party got behind the long shot Cruz candidacy and helped Ted’s campaign go viral, making Cruz a national political star. Cruz is certain to win in November. When coupled with another big tea party win, Richard Mourdock in Indiana, and hopefully at least 5 of these 10 other Senate seats the GOP will have the 51 votes and steely leadership we need to repeal Obamacare and put this country back on track.
A lesson that is not likely to stick; that Austin politicians will be held accountable. Dewhurst could not outrun his record. JoAnn Fleming summarized it well but while she was focused on Dewhurst you could remove the name and apply this summary to the performance of a whole bunch of folks in Austin during the 82nd.
For the scrapbook: the Dewhurst robocall which followed the rally for Cruz in the Woodlands headlined by Sarah Palin was funny stuff. It featured a female, Palin-sounding-voice stating “I’m Sarah and I’m supporting Governor Dewhurst…”.
2.) Randy Weber. Bam!
Scoreboard: 36,977 votes cast and Randy takes 62% of them.
We’ve stated this before; when the conservative grass roots uprising began in 2009 and the local folks went to Austin to lobby for conservative causes, Randy Weber was one of the few legislators who made time for us. Randy returned our calls and showed the folks from back home how to navigate the system. With a battle looming between Galveston and the feds over housing we will need a similar, friendly advocate in Washington.
Unlike Cruz, however, Randy will face a difficult battle against a seasoned Nick Lampson to get to victory in November. We plan to work hard in this race and we hope you will, too.
3.) Railroad Commissioner, Mixed Results
Scoreboard: 986,069 votes cast, Christi Craddick 59% over Warren Chisum 40%. Allright now! We did not endorse in this race but we did vote for Christi and are delighted to see her win.
Scoreboard: 934,156 votes cast, Barry Smitherman 62%, Greg Parker 37%. Ugh. What this win by the green energy lobby represents is a threat to property rights and your personal privacy. Evidently not enough voters care that Smitherman is an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama’s SmartGrid initiative; folks don’t care that Smitherman has enabled ERCOT and the Public Utilities Commission to monitor their electricity consumption habits. “Agenda 21- what Agenda 21”?
Let’s hope those monitoring how much air conditioning we use, when we take a shower, what time we get up and make coffee and breakfast are friendly and understanding about those “insights” they gain into our behavior, courtesy of Smitherman and his smartmeters.
4.) State Rep Races. Bonnen!
Scoreboard (HD-24): 14,859 votes cast and Bonnen takes 57%. Ka-POW! We’re enthusiastic supporters of Dr. Bonnen and look for him to win in November and represent us well in Austin. Congratulations to the Bonnen team and thanks to the many friends who worked with us to help out.
The local GOP can breathe a sigh of relief. A Sitton victory would have set up local Democrats to use legal action to remove him from the ballot putting North County Republicans into a write-in-ballot predicament like we saw played out in 2006. You may recall that when Tom Delay withdrew from the CD-22 race, Democrats successfully sued to keep a replacement off the ballot forcing the Sekula-Gibbs write in campaign. You may also recall that Nick Lampson won (yes, that Nick Lampson). With this debacle avoided, hopefully, we can improve our candidate review process and avoid similar carpet bagging in the future.
Scoreboard (HD-23): 8,814 votes cast, Big Insurance takes 56%. Ugh. A deluge of fairy tale Faircloth direct mail and poor Chambers County voter turnout combined to sink Bill Wallace. Yes, we are disappointed because we’ve been in Austin and have seen firsthand the stranglehold the insurance lobby has on TWIA and your pocketbook.
For the establishmentarians who endorsed Big Insurance’s bid to get this nomination, know that you’ve brought us a rematch of Ali vs. Frazier; call this one “‘Big Insurance Lawyer’ versus ‘Big Insurance’” or perhaps “the Thrilla in Vanilla”.
In this sequel expect Big Insurance, as played by Wayne Faircloth, to continue its representation of itself as your all-American, hotdogs and apple-pie hero. Meantime, the plaintiffs lobby will update its “Why Larry, Why” attack we saw most recently in SD-11 theaters (Larry Taylor vs. Dave Norman). Like Larry Taylor, Craig Eiland has a similar mythic-folklore quality to his support in HD 23 (UTMB) that Big Insurance will have to overcome. Big Insurance won the battle for SD-11 but this time they won’t have the North County on their side.
It will be interesting to see how Big Insurance defends itself. Given their track record of backing Democrats (no, not one-time Democrats but actual real, live liberal Democrats) like Senfronia Thompson (Democrat, HD 141) and Garnet Coleman (Democrat, HD 147) in this years primary how will this square with the fable Faircloth commonly spins about his “1,400 friends who believe in me, think I’m the man for this job…”? South County – make popcorn; this will be a good show coming to a mailbox and television screen near you.
5.) North versus South
Scoreboard (405th): Mallia v. Slaughter. With Slaughter taking 52% of the vote, we lost a good judge to a raging fever of “real republican”-ism in the North County. Elections have consequences; we encourage folks to monitor the following:
- The Ken Clark collaboration. Despite Michelle’s protests that she only paid Ken for ‘lists and stuff’, the evidence is to the contrary. Ken was actively driving Michelle’s campaign strategy and creating the poison heaped upon Mallia. Where does this relationship go, given the storm clouds swirling over Ken? Hopefully, nowhere and Michelle will create distance between herself and her patron.
- The DeepWater Horizon/Tony Buzbee Connection. Scrutiny of the Slaughter campaign finance report brings worry. In addition to taking donations from jackpot justice lawyer Anthony Buzbee there’s a group of Corpus Christi attorneys that have provided over $25K in contributions; this bears watching. Some appear to be assembling a potential class-action case against BP. They will be looking for a sympathetic judge to certify their suit, enabling them to go shakedown a big, local employer and a major engine of our economy.
Scoreboard (Sheriff): Kinard v. Trochesset. With 20,365 votes cast, Henry eked out a nail biter win with 50.5% and a margin of 207 votes. It was no coincidence that every other former candidate for the Sheriff race endorsed Henry; he’s earned their respect and we expect in time he will earn that of Kinard voters as well. North County, you did not get your man but you did get a good man for the job. Congratulations, Henry.
Scoreboard (Co. Comm PCT-1): Dennard v. Foster. With 5,803 votes cast, Ken Clark’s proxy wins this one with 53% of the vote and the North County chalks up another win. People always say they don’t like negative campaigning; Dennard’s carpet bombing of Precinct 1 with misinformation and outright lies about Foster is another proof that it works. That Dennard admitted in an interview with folks in Clear Lake that he had no proof for his slanders proved him to be completely lacking of any personal integrity.
Politics is a rough sport and campaigns can be savage; so be it. But the view into someone’s character when they are under pressure can be revealing and we think there is a line between hard campaigning and making stuff up. That line is called integrity. Wow.
Welcome, New GOP Precinct Chairs!
A number of new precinct chairs were added to the party yesterday. Welcome to Addie Pappous, Tanya Beltran, Tony Clements, Christopher Reeves and Ruth Pifer. Like any big family, you will discover that the GOP Executive Committee may have its internal knock-down, drag-outs but will usually circle the wagons when attacked from outside. Know that we are delighted to have you join us! Welcome!
The runoff is in the books but we’re interested in your comments and observations.