Voters made good choices
Wed August 1, 2012 11:41 am

Veasy over Garcia. Gallego over Rodriguez. Lozano over Wilson. The right candidate won these races. The Gallego-Canseco general election race will draw national attention. Villabla’s defeat of Bill Keffer was huge too. An Hispanic Republican beat a conservative anglo Republican on his own , without Rick Perry or TLR coming to his aid, as they did for Lozano. Parent PAC was Villabla’s biggest donor. He is the protype Republican of the future. (KBH wrote that she had many opportunities to endorse and Villalba was the only candidate she endorsed “because he is the future.” )

Who were the big losers in this election?

(1) Rick Perry — bet big on Dewhurst, lost big on Dewhurst

(2) Dan Patrick — an insurgent who alienated his tea party constituency

(3) David Dewhurst — poor candidate, poor campaign, poor prospects

All of the above face uncertain futures.

(4) John Cornyn — No immediate sign of trouble, but he’s an establishment Republican facing reelection in 2014 in an evolving state Republican party. What is to prevent the same Washington groups that backed Cruz from challenging him?

(5) Greg Abbott — every Republican who lost in July will blame him for delaying the primary in March. Dewhurst would likely have won the race if the primary had been scheduled for March. (On the other hand, Abbott’s onetime solicitor general is the hottest political property in America today).

(6)  The Austin lobby — They opened their wallets for the Dew and other losing candidates.

(7) Joe Straus? — He’s half-winner, half-loser. He lost two chairs (Hopson, Miller, raising the total to five overall), but he won a lot of run-off races. And while Straus is an establishment Republican, he is also a national Republican figure who is close to Mitt Romney. He isn’t a tea party type, but he is, as he put it to me in an interview upon winning the speakership in 2009, “Republican to the core.” His future lies beyond Austin.

(8) Democrats. They are so beaten down that they didn’t exploit the opportunity in this cycle to get into the game. Paul Sadler is the only arrow in their quiver. A wasted election.

Who were the big winners in this election?

(1) Ted Cruz. Of course. Hispanic, smart, articulate, attractive. His prospects are limitless.

(2) Texans for Lawsuit Reform. They didn’t just defeat Wentworth; they destroyed him. But sooner or later, bullies get what is coming to them.

(3) Steve Munisteri and George P. Bush. The Republican party chairman and Jeb’s son saw their strategy of attracting Hispanics to the GOP bear fruit. But there’s a long way to go.

(4) Parent PAC. This was Parent PAC’s best election ever. Eleven candidates endorsed by the nonpartisan organization won in the primary or the runoff. What’s more, they were able to bring the public education community together, which historically has been hard to do.

(5) The tea party. They are the dominant faction in  Texas politics now.

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