First Flip?
Mon January 8, 2007 10:42 pm

There's a story making the rounds tonight, from the Pitts campaign, that a Republican chairman has flipped. I talked to a noncombatant who had heard it from one of the main Pitts strategists.

Here's the list of Republican chairs, in alphabetical order of their committees. Chairs with an asterisk after their names are not members of the 80th Legislature.

Agriculture -- Hardcastle
Appropriations -- Pitts
Calendars -- Woolley
Civil Justice -- Nixon*
Corrections -- Madden
Counties -- Wayne Smith
Criminal Jurisprudence -- Keel*
Culture, Recreation, and Tourism -- Hildebran
Defense Affairs -- Corte
Elections -- Denny*
Energy -- West
Environmental Regulation -- Bonnen
Financial Institutions -- Solomons
Higher Ed -- Morrison
House Administration -- Hamric*
Human Services -- Hupp*
Insurance -- Smithee
Judiciary -- Hartnett
Land & Resource Management -- Mowery
Law Enforcement -- Driver
Local & Consent Calendars -- Reyna*
Local Government Ways & Means -- Hill
Regulated Industries--King
Public Education -- Grusendorf*
Public Health -- Delisi
Redistricting -- Crabb
State Affairs--Swinford
Transportation--Krusee
Urban Affairs--Talton
Ways & Means -- Keffer

It's easy to eliminate some of the names--Ptts and Talton are on the other side; King, Swinford, and Keffer, along with Chisum, are Craddick's inner circle, a whole bunch aren't coming back. When I look at the rest of the names, most are either Craddick loyalists or, if they have had their run-ins with the speaker, they don't have a sufficient following in the House that could change the race. In fact, I see only a couple of names that could really make a difference: Smithee and Hill. I'm just speculating; I don't have The Name, but if I were Pitts, and I couldn't get a member from the inner circle, one of these would be my first choice. But if I were trying to pick the most likely flipper, it would be neither of these.

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