May 24th marked the conclusion of a grueling Texas GOP primary season. The nominees for the Texas Republicans that will advance to the November 8th general election have been decided. And, in this Republican-dominated state, for many GOP candidates a primary election victory means a clear path to a desk under the Pink Dome in Austin come January, 2017.
At the top of the statewide ballot was the race for Railroad Commissioner. Wayne Christian of Center, Texas, completed a remarkable political comeback by winning the seat with a 51%-49% margin. The difference was a mere 6,712 votes.
Following the redistricting process led by a Joe Straus Texas House, Christian was one of several proven conservatives that were targeted for defeat because of their opposition to the Straus-ian agenda. His house district was radically redrawn to be foreign territory for Christian, and in the 2012 primary, he was defeated by Straus recruit Chris Paddie (R-Marshall RER61). He then made a comeback attempt by running for the Railroad Commission in the 2014 cycle, but was defeated by political newcomer Ryan Sitton in the runoff round.
Christian’s return to public office and Austin is a major poke in the eye to the plutocratic status quo of Texas that have found him to be unpalatable because of his staunch stances on fiscal and social conservative issues. Plus, he’s loudly vocal about his positions, without apology. What could be more interesting to watch for in the future, for those who are Texas political gamblers, is to watch what Christian could possibly do next. Railroad Commission seats are famous for being launching pads for higher statewide office campaigns.
The most heartbreaking race of the night has to be the Senate District 1 contest between State Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola RER88) and State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview RER93). Hughes prevailed by a crushing 61%-39% margin. Both with high RER Liberty Scores, the history of the two candidates would have shown Simpson to have the pedigree to head to the senate and be more effective in fighting for liberty issues.
With the TSA prominently back in the news, it’s worth remembering that it was David Simpson, as a freshman legislator, that turned this state and nation on its ear when he introduced the “TSA groping” bill in 2011. It was Simpson that first introduced the “bring our gold back to Texas” bill in that same year before it was achieved in the 2015 session. And, it was Hughes that stepped aside for Simpson to challenge Straus for Speaker of the Texas House going into the 2013 session.
In the 2011 race for Speaker, it was Simpson that was considered one of the 15 Heroes of that session for “red lighting” Straus on the vote for Speaker when he had no ballot opponent. Hughes voted “present”.
But, now, it’s Simpson that is totally out of Texas politics when his term expires in January, 2017. For passionate, liberty movement purist, this has to be the disappointment of the evening. Not simply because Simpson was defeated. But, because these two guys had no business running against each other in the first place. Both are needed under the Pink Dome. Simpson is gone. (Hopefully, not for long).
The runoff in Senate District 24 leaves huge question marks. Political newcomer Dawn Buckingham wiped the floor with Straus-ian State Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene RER63) by running away with the contest 61%-39%. While King was a completely known quantity having served several terms as a state rep that proved willing to do the bidding of her financial sponsors and political superiors without a fuss, Buckingham enters Texas politics by going directly to the upper chamber of the Pink Dome. One thing is for sure, with only 31 members, Buckingham will have no place to hide and her true political genetics will be on demonstration, immediately. She is well-deserving of very close scrutiny going into her freshman session.
The folly of Hughes and Simpson vying against each other was that it put two reliable conservative seats in the Texas House potentially up for grabs for the Straus-ian faction of the .party. It became a 50-50 split when a Straus-ian won the seat to be vacated by Simpson. Howver, LM candidate Cole Hefner soundly vanquished the Straus-ian candidate Jay Misenheimer in the HD5 race to fill the seat of Bryan Hughes. Hefner’s victory was crushing, 60%-40%. This was also a major defeat for H.E.B.’s Charles Butt, whose anti school choice PAC, Texas Parent PAC got behind Misenheimer, hard.
House Appropriations Chair, John Otto from the Huntsville area, announced his retirement shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 session. It was almost like a jungle primary in HD18 with six candidates filing. There was a distinct difference in the field of those that were pro status quo and those that were for total reformation under the Pink Dome. The runoff produced one candidate from each faction.
Status quo candidate Earnest Bailes took out LM candidate Keith Strahan with ease, 67%-33%.
Chalk up another LM disappointment with the defeat of John Keating by Justin Holland in the suburban Metroplex House District 33. This race had particular interests because it was to fill the seat of retiring LM champion State Rep. Scott Turner (R-McKinney RER97) that unsuccessfully challenged Joe Straus for Speaker in the 2015 session.
Keating was the chosen successor of Turner and his supporters. He led the vote tally throughout the night. Keating lost the lead with only one precinct left to report. When all 45 precincts were in, Keating was surprising turned back 51%-49%, and 99 votes. That seat that was occupied by Turner that so many had high hopes of climbing up the Texas political ladder, is now going to be filled by a big question mark with Straus fingerprints all over him in Holland.
In the House District 54 race, the LM candidate Larry Smith never made it to the runoff in a field of three. The Straus-H.E.B. candidate, Scott Cosper defeated Austin Ruiz by a slim 43 votes.
Another extremely heartbreaking defeat for the LM Tuesday night was the drubbing LM candidate Read King took from Straus-H.E.B. candidate Lynn Stuckey. This is King’s second defeat for the seat. In 2014 he directly challenged the incumbent State Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton RER58), unsuccessfully. With Crownover’s announcement that she was retiring from the Pink Dome, it was assumed King would have an easier time winning the seat this cycle with anti-Establishment attitude overflowing in the Denton County area. But, the plutocratic money came in strong for Stuckey as the Straus-ian faction was unwilling to lose any seat anywhere, and fighting with a determination to lose no ground to the liberty movement.
The final two state rep runoffs Tuesday night were just beauties. The races took place in House Districts 73 and 128 and featured the nastiest, most vile campaigns that Texans can remember for quite some time.
In the HD73 race, a district on the lower I-35 corridor, the Straus-ian committee chair Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels RER54) literally dredged up old divorce documents from LM candidate and challenger Kyle Biedermann’s past. The Miller campaign went so far as to interpret the court papers to mean Biedermann ex-wife was charging him with the molestation of his daughters.
The attacks were so disgusting and insulting, it backfired against the Straus “gambling committee” chair, big time. Biedermann struck back, masterfully.
Biedermann rounded up his wife, ex-wife, all his children, his lawyer during the divorce, and his ex-wife’s lawyer during the divorce to smack the Miller forces and his dark-side consultant Craig Murphy right in the face. After the votes were counted it was over early. Biedermann had bounced a Straus committee chair 55%-45% and earned front page headlines of his local newspaper for the unlikely upset.
Perhaps the most beautiful victory of the night for the LM was the 23-vote conquest of State Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown RER50) by young, aggressive liberty lawyer Briscoe Cain in the southern Harris County area. The victory is super sweet after Smith and his notoriously nasty consultant Allen Blakemore attempted to literally destroy the 31-year-old’s life by claiming he is a closet homosexual. The backlash against Smith and Blakemore, especially on social media, has been blistering and withering. Reports to RER say that Blakemore is seriously concerned about his consulting career after this diabolical move.
Those close to Cain campaign were anticipating a recount to come. But, just moments after 100% of the precincts reported, Smith issued a concession statement:
“I want to thank the voters for the opportunity to serve. It has been my distinct honor and high privilege to have served the hard working men and women of District 128. Mr. Cain will now enjoy that same honor. For the past 14 years, I have worked on the issues that really impact the voters most. I leave with no regrets,” Smith concluded.
In this RERhotclip, Aposlte Claver does a rundown of the judicial and State Board of Education runoffs, too.
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