This starts a series to breakdown and analyze the upcoming runoff between State Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola RER88) and State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview RER93) for the Texas Senatorial District 1 seat.
On Monday, June 15, 2015, Texas State Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler RER63) announced that he was ending 23 years of holding an elected office and would not be running for re-election for Senate District 1. Within 48 hours of his announcement first Simpson, then Hughes, announced their candidacy to fill the vacancy.
Immediately, leaders in the Liberty Movement (LM) starting picking sides and butting heads. Simpson and Hughes were two reliable conservatives in the Texas House of Representatives where you can count conservatives on your fingers and toes.
On the first day of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session, Bryan Hughes delivered a nomination speech for LM favorite State Rep. Scott Turner (R-Rockwall RER97) for Texas Speaker of the House against incumbent Joe Straus. Simpson, predictably, voted for Turner.
With Straus currently poised to win a historical and unprecedented 5th term as Speaker in 2017, these two anti-Straus votes were critical to count on. Yet, with the announcement of each of their candidacies it was possible that two anti-Straus seats would be lost.
It is not about just voting against Joe Straus as Speaker. In the 2015 session, the Liberty Caucus was masterful in stopping anti-liberty legislation. Going into the 2016 primary cycle, the goal of LM political strategists and leaders was to add to the numbers in the House – to potentially dethrone Straus, or at least have more muscle to push liberty legislation and stop the avalanche of anti-liberty and pro-Democratic bills that are filed and make it to the floor for a vote (and, usually pass).
For the 2016 GOP primary cycle, two liberty candidates placed their names on the ballot to be successors to Hughes and Simpson. In Hughes’ House District 5 it was Cole Hefner, in Simpson’s HD7 it was David Watts that got the nods and notable LM endorsements.
There is no question that Watts and Hefner are LM through and through and within their campaigns they would carry the liberty argument with passion, articulation, and run energetically. But, with Hughes and Simpson vacating their seats to battle for a promotion to the upper chamber, it meant that both Watts and Hefner were in “must-wins” races. They both would have to win to ensure, that at the minimum, ground wasn’t lost to the Straus-ians and plutocrats.
Then, the election results came in on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the day of the Texas GOP Primary, and it could only be considered a disaster for the LM. Only one seat was gained.
LM candidate Bryan Slaton fell to Straus-ian State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton RER86) by only a few percentage points and Thomas McNutt was shockingly defeated by State Rep. “Lord Byron” Cook (R-Corsicana RER56) by 222 votes. Dr. Stuart Spitzer was defeated in his HD4 race, and State Rep. Molly White was brought down in her HD55 contest. Then the results from the HD5 came in and David Watts had lost to Jay Dean in his effort to replace State Rep. David Simpson in HD7. A previously held anti-Straus, pro-liberty seat was lost.
There was glimmer of sunshine when the vote count sent Cole Hefner into a runoff with Jay Misenheimer in the HD5 race to replace Hughes. Misenheimer has all the wrong endorsements and ties. Unfortunately for Hefner, more pressure than ever is now on him, his campaign, and his supporters to see to it that he is victorious.
A lost by Hefner in the runoff will mean that both previously held anti-Straus seats will have been lost, only one conservative legislator will have been elevated to the office of Texas Senator, and a reliable conservative will find themselves out of public office, all together.
As if he doesn’t have to deal with enough pressure as it is, Cole Hefner is now put into a “must win” situation. And, it’s probably not even his fault.
This situation points to the folly and idiocy of Simpson and Hughes running against each other, in the first place. These two men were both needed in the House to continue to hold ground against the domestic enemies of Texas, the Straus-ians. At the very least, the movers and shakers in the northeast Texas region of Tyler-Longview really needed to make sure that they were going to lock these two seats up. They didn’t. And this all took place in the backyard of some of the more influential LM leaders in the state. Inexplicable.
The various camps of these two promising public servants should have gotten together and decided which of the state reps, Hughes or Simpson, should go for the Senate. An eye should have been kept on the ultimate battle for the House. Forces and resources divided to assist Watts and Hefner could have been combined. And, a victory for the chosen senate candidate would certainly have been assured.
No one can argue that the choice of Hughes and Simpson is a good one for the Liberty Movement. Eltife was worthless and the Texas Senate will again move a bit more to the right. But, wonderful gains had already been made in the Senate with no threat of losing such power. Why the selfish ambition of Hughes and Simpson?
One Straus-ian is poised to take the oath of office because of inexplicable ambition – Jay Dean of Longview. And, if every LM activists within a 2 hour driving distance isn’t in HD7 to get Hefner across the finish line in the runoff, Straus-ian Misenheimer will gladly waltz up to the Capitol and do the bidding of the plutocrats.
Copyright©2016 Raging Elephants Radio LLC