Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples is showing new signs of life in his race for lieutenant governor thanks to a late-arriving group of financial backers. These are heavy-hitters who have been engaged in Texas politics for years: Erle Nye, former chairman of TXU; William Beecherl, son of the late oilman Louis Beecherl; Ardon Moore, CEO of Lee Bass Inc.; Bryan Pickens, a ranch broker who has been active in George P. Bush’s campaign; and San Antonio developer and former UT Regents chair Gene Powell.
This news scrambles the field in the lite gov race and will blunt the ability of David Dewhurst to self-fund his competition into submission. Obviously, this could not be worse for the incumbent: late-arriving money for an opponent, which is exactly what happened to Dewhurst in his Senate race against Ted Cruz. I have believed that Dewhurst could win the race, but the game has changed. He is in trouble now.