Be of good cheer, conservatives are winning! Think of it: every conservative legislator drawing an establishment challenger in the primary won big, and more than a half-dozen establishment Republicans lost to conservative challengers. In this run-off election, conservatives stand to gain even more legislative ground!
In nearly every case, the run-off elections represent the opportunity for “pick-ups.” The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel wrote about this on Friday in an article titled “The GOP’s ‘Trade-Up’ Election: The conservative state-reform movement picks up steam.”
She wrote that “grass-roots activists have grown frustrated that many of the most solidly conservative parts of the country have sat out the state-reform push that has produced tax cuts, pension reform and education overhaul.”
That’s exactly what this election cycle has been about, what she describes as conservatives replacing “lackluster Republicans in primaries.”
State Sen. John Carona, the liberal Republican from Dallas, was defeated outright in March by conservative Don Huffines. His left-leaning GOP neighbor, Sen. Bob Deuell of Greenville, is in a fierce re-election fight by activist Bob Hall.
Every House or Senate win in this run-off will be just icing on a very sweet electoral cake. For the conservative movement, there will really be no losses in any of the open-seat run-offs.
(The only open-seat exception is Collin County’s HD-66 seat, which Taxpayer Champion Van Taylor vacated to successfully run for the state senate. It’s a pitched battle between an establishment lackey, Glenn Callison, and a conservative reformer, Matt Shaheen.)
On the other hand, there are opportunities for huge gains all around the state, as voters will be replacing retiring lackey with conservative voters.
So, will you be voting?
The statewide run-offs provide great upsides (like having Dan Patrick as our next lieutenant governor), but there are a few downsides.
In the Attorney General race, Taxpayer Champion Ken Paxton is a strong conservative reformer who will continue in the tradition of Greg Abbott. His challenger is Dan Branch, a lackey of House Speaker Joe Straus who has pledged support for unconstitutional, Obama IRS-style attacks on conservatives.
Similarly, in the Agriculture Commissioner race we find another Taxpayer Champion, Sid Miller, battling it out with Tommy Merritt, a twice-defeated Straus henchman.
The only way to keep “trading up” in the elections is for each of us to keep showing up.