Pundits are holding forth on the implications of Tuesday's Primary Elections for the Texas House and Senate. There were a number of surprises, with some insurgent "Tea Party" Republicans doing better than expected.
Here's a sample from Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It's hard to say whether any particular result implies that Democrats now stand a better chance to pick up a few seats in November. Turnout runs higher in presidential years for so-called independent voters. These individuals tend to be a bit less partisan and ideological when it comes to "down-ballot" races.
It's definitely problematic to speculate on how any trend could affect community and technical colleges in Texas.
And the nomination process is not over. Please mark July 31 on your calendar for the run-offs. Turnout tends to be extremely low in these elections, so each vote is important.
Here's the take of Ross Ramsey in the Texas Tribune on the implications for the Texas House:
Election Day was costly for House Speaker Joe Straus.
Three of his lieutenants were defeated. Another was forced into a Republican runoff on July 31.
But it wasn't without some wins, and it certainly could have been worse: Two of the seven incumbents swept out by voters were with Straus' opponents in the last speaker's race, as was one of the three incumbents forced into runoff elections.
Rep. Straus also drew his first official opponent for speaker this week. Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) announced he will challenge Straus for the job when the Regular Session convenes in January. Speaker races are conducted behind the scenes for the most part, prior to the session.
Here's Paul Burka of Texas Monthly.
The current chair of the House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services (a panel of importance for TRS members and ORP participants), Rep. Vicki Truitt (R-Southlake), was defeated by Giovanni Capriglione.
As for the Senate, as the Tribune reports:
In Texas Senate races, it was a night for the conservatives. Four Republican senators are leaving of their own accord, and all four could be replaced by candidates more conservative than the incumbents. Replace Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, with Ken Paxton, R-McKinney; Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, with Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood; Chris Harris, R-Arlington, with Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; and Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, with Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown.
Another wild card: If David Dewhurst wins the run-off for U.S. Senate, he will step down as Lt. Governor—a post of vast importance in legislative matters. This means senators will choose his successor. Some pundits are speculating on whether he would step down in the "lame duck" period right after election (with the current incumbents still holding office), or after the new senators are installed. It could make a big difference in the shaping of legislation in 2013.