Lone statewide elected Democrat loses along with party’s hopes for a Texas comeback

Lone statewide elected Democrat loses along with party's hopes for a Texas comeback

J. David McSwane

AUSTIN – Despite Democratic talk of purple on the horizon, Texas remains safely red for statewide elected officials down ballot.

Just ask Judge Lawrence “Larry” Meyers, who until Tuesday had enjoyed 24 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court which decides, among other things, death penalty cases. Meyers, who was first elected as a Republican, switched parties in 2013, and become the only Democrat holding statewide office.

It was more than a risky move, considering Texans hadn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office in 20 years. After his loss to his Republican challenger, Houston Judge Mary Lou Keel, make that 22 years.

“I’m not surprised,” Meyers said in an interview, blaming his loss on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s popularity in Texas. While he’s lost his seat on the court, Meyers, 68, said he might throw his hat in for some other elected office in the future. “Democratic politics is not in the tank everywhere in Texas.”

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