With one box out, Birdwell has 57.25% of the vote to Sibley’s 42.57%. Late flash: Sibley has conceded. Today’s results represent a reversal from the May vote, when Sibley led Birdwell by around 2,500 votes. Such a reversal doesn’t happen by chance, and it is clear that organized Republican groups of the far right were heavily engaged in the race on Birdwell’s behalf–Wallbuilders, Empower Texas, Heritage Alliance (the former Richard Ford group known as Freemarket PAC), and others. Some of the county results were amazing: McLennan County Sibley 7,313 – Birdwell 4,263 Sibley had around the same margin in McLennan in the first round of balloting. Ellis County Birdwell 1,548 – Sibley 670 Sibley carried Ellis by 900 votes in the first round of balloting. Hood County Birdwell 3,274 – Sibley 343 Birdwell won his home county by almost 10 to 1. Johnson County Birdwell 2,031 – Sibley 274 Ellis County Birdwell 2,313 – Sibley 290 Another slaughter. I’m sorry to see Sibley lose. He was one of the most talented senators of his era, and he came oh-so-close to being elected lieutenant governor by his Senate peers in December 2000. Had Bush won Florida on election night, Sibley was ready to announce his votes the next day. Instead…well, that’s how politics goes. Luck plays a part. Now Averitt, another good senator who was a problem-solver, is gone too, and Waco’s Senate seat may be gone for good as well, to the Fort Worth suburbs. Congratulations are in order for Birdwell, but I will be very surprised if he is anything more than just another ideologue in the Senate.
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