With all the commotion surrounding the fight for a more conservative Texas House Speaker, it seems as if the special election to fill the late-State Representative Edmund Kuempel’s seat in HD 44 has been greatly overlooked. Texas Republicans have been busy celebrating (rightfully so) and working to make sure our legislators received the conservative mandate voters overwhelmingly delivered on November 2, so I can definitely see why this special election has been overlooked. Nonetheless, this is still an important race.

From everything I have heard, Representative Kuempel was a true statesmen who was very well respected on both sides of the aisle. For this reason we owe it to him, after all his years of service to our state, to make sure that whoever is elected to replace him on December 14th will be as conservative and respectable as Representative Kuempel.

There are currently 10 candidates filed to run in the special election, one Libertarian, two Democrats, and seven Republicans. Just by judging on how crowded this field is, it will be extremely difficult for anyone to get the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff, and depending on the caliber of the candidates, it is quite possible for a Democrat to end up in a runoff. If Republicans get too cocky, we could easily see something happen in HD 44 that is similar to what happened in the 2009 special election for the vacated US Senate seat in Massachusetts. These are great times to be a conservative Republican in Texas, but we can’t let that get to our heads. There is a lot of work to be done and some pretty high standards to meet.

We can get the ball rolling by staying engaged in this overlooked race to make sure that a liberal doesn’t slip past us and into the Texas legislature as the representative from HD 44. I understand this is a traditional Republican district, but we’ve still got to work hard to make sure that a conservative wins this special election. Texans will definitely be looking at the Texas House, more so than ever, and Republicans cannot mess this up. We are defending a large majority and it seems like the only way we will lose it anytime soon is if we become like the national Democrats and forget the people because of our own pride.