The indictment of Rick Perry turns Texas politics upside down. He can’t be a serious presidential candidate when he is facing a potential jury trial. But it also has serious effects on the state party. An obvious issue is that Greg Abbott has previously ruled that the state could pay for Perry’s defense. Does anyone think the Democrats are going to sit idly by and allow Perry to continue to spend large sums of money on his defense when he stands accused of breaking the law? Not a chance.
This is not the only issue facing Abbott. This is the weakest Republican ticket in a decade, if not more. It includes Ken Paxton, the candidate for attorney general who has serious legal issues of his own. Glenn Hegar, the party’s candidate for comptroller, has virtually no experience with the office. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Democrats are resurgent, but I would suggest that this gives them an opportunity. Wendy Davis has her shortcomings as a candidate too, but she does have a following, and she knows how to exploit gender politics, which is going to be the crucial element in the race.