It was a bad night for conservatives around the nation. Even Texas wasn’t completely sheltered from the storm. The gap between conservatives and liberals in the Legislature became more narrow. The good news is that 22 of our 23 Taxpayer Heroes and Champions on the ballot won re-election!

There were three very notable wins for conservatives. In Fort Worth’s House District 97, Dr. Mark Shelton defeated incumbent Dan Barrett by a margin of 54 to 44 (a Libertarian candidate had the remaining points). Similarly, central Texas rancher Tim Kleinschmidt defeated Donnie Dippel in H.D. 17. In Corpus Christi, liberal incumbent Juan Garcia of H.D. 32 was defeated by conservative former lawmaker Todd Hunter.

It is safe to say Shelton, Kleinschmidt and Hunter will all provide strong advocacy for Texas’ taxpayers in the Legislature.

But we did suffer a difficult loss: taxpayer hero Bill Zedler, representing Tarrant County’s H.D. 96, was defeated. Mr. Zedler has been a staunch advocate for fiscal conservatives and we will miss his voice this upcoming Session.

In all, though, more candidates endorsed by the Empower Texans PAC won than lost, demonstrating that Texans are still very concerned about, and in favor of, limited government, lower property taxes, and budget transparency.

Men and women of principle must now put the courage of our convictions to work. In the face of tightened odds, now is the time for us to more boldly and passionately fight for our ideas and principles. We must not waiver in our commitment to key reforms. No evidence suggests we need surrender our ideas, today or ever.

And while we will lose a few battles and skirmishes along the way, like Travis’ vision of a free Texas I know we will see victory!

We must be ever more articulate our vision for a strong, growing and prosperous Lone Star State which empowers all Texans.

The work ahead is perhaps more challenging than we would have liked, but not insurmountable. After all, we find our victory not in elections, but in the implementation of policy reforms that transcend mere political parties. We will achieve victory by joining together in the good fight, lending each other our strengths, talents and abilities.

I’m convinced that the best days of the Lone Star State are ahead of us!

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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