A few days back, I posted a comment spiking the rumor that Republican nominee Ben Bentzin would abandon his race against Democrat Donna Howard for state representative in Austin’s District 48. Howard won a special election runoff in the spring. Ever since the posting, based on a conversation with a Republican who should know, I have been getting e-mails saying that he is too quitting, including one from a fellow blogger who knows his stuff. He keeps hearing that Bentzin will get an appointment from Governor Perry. He also points out that Bentzin isn’t raising money, having reported $20.33 cash on hand. Through an intermediary, my original source (well placed, of course) says that Bentzin will remain on the ballot but will not run actively or try to raise money. (Bentzin, I was told, is traveling in Europe.) One might well ask, What’s the point of running at all? The answer is that the alternative is worse. To get off the ballot and allow the Republican party to replace him, he would have to pull a Tom DeLay maneuver with a phony move out of his district, and that would not go over well in Austin, where Republicans need every vote they can scrape up. So I’m sticking to my story. For now. Maybe.
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