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Born to Run

Jan 20, 2013 By Skip Hollandsworth

In the campaign for governor, the Republican nominee is out to prove to voters—and himself—that he’s his own George Bush.

The Good Wife

Jan 20, 2013 By Mimi Swartz

Is she a “saccharine phony”? A closet liberal? A foot soldier—or a rebel—in the culture wars? The truth about Laura Bush is that her ambiguity makes her a model first lady: a blank screen upon which the public can project its own ideas about womanhood.

RedState.com to Texas Republicans: “Grow a spine”

Mar 17, 2011 By Paul Burka

Melissa Clouthier's Wednesday post on the widely read conservative blog took Rick Perry and Texas Republicans to task for being soft on budget cuts and the use of the Rainy Day Fund: Texas enjoys a super-majority Republican status. As a friend pointed out to me, if Texas Republicans wanted to wholesale rewrite the Texas constitution with nary a Democrat involved, they could do it. And yet, Texas Republicans facing a budget shortfall are turning into collective addled mush. Tough decisions need to be made to balance the budget. The Republicans don’t want to make them, which leads to Republican governor Rick Perry reversing himself on the use of the Rainy Day Fund, Texas Governor Rick Perry admitted on Tuesday [March 15] that the state will have to use about a third of its rainy day fund to close a budget deficit this year, abandoning his stance that the fund should not be used. It is not every day that I get a chance to defend Rick Perry, so I had better take advantage of the opportunity. What Clouthier and RedState fail to understand is that under Texas's pay-as-you-go system, the state must balance its accounts by the end of the fiscal year on August 31.

Can Bill White penetrate the Republican vote?

Nov 24, 2009 By Paul Burka

As mayor of Houston, White enjoyed considerable support — political and financial — from Republicans. But he occupied a nonpartisan office. Can he repeat that success in a partisan race against an incumbent Republican governor, and can he do it outside of Houston as well as inside? The answer depends…

THE SPEAKER’S RACE: D’s GAIN 3 SEATS, R’S MAINTAIN BARE MAJORITY

Nov 5, 2008 By Paul Burka

In a nutshell: Democrats did very well in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the rest of the state, not so well. Their hopes for picking up multiple seats in Harris County did not bear fruit. They lost one of their few rural seats in Robbie Cook's old district. I'm going to list all the races that were in play, by district number, with the prevailing candidate listed first: District 3 Homer (D) vs. Hollingsworth (R) Homer has just under a 2,000 vote lead with 9 boxes out, all of them in Delta County. D hold District 11 Hopson (D) vs. Walker (R) Walker grabbed the lead by 715 votes with 2/3 of the vote in, then Hopson wrested it back. Eight boxes were out, all of them in Houston County, and Hopson led by 65 votes. Hopson had carried Houston County in the early vote and did well enough on election day to win by 102 votes. D hold District 17 Kleinschmidt (R) vs. Dippel (D) Dippel faced an uphill battle. Kleinschmidt had almost defeated Robbie Cook, the WD-40 incumbent, in 2006. Even so, a 7,000-vote blowout was a significant underperformance by the Democrats. Dippel was slow to work the black vote in Bastrop County. R pickup District 32 Hunter (R) vs. Garcia (D) I never understood, or bought into, the Democrats' unbridled optimism about Garcia's chances to hold an overwhelmingly Republican district. Here are the flaws in the reasoning: (1) Garcia won the seat in 2006 because Gene Seaman, the Republican incumbent, became enmeshed in a scandal. (2) Todd Hunter was a much more formidable candidate than Seaman. (3) I don't care how good a candidate Garcia was; bad numbers trump good candidates. There was never any sense of realism about this race in the Democratic camp. R pickup District 34 Herrero (D) vs. Scott (R) Republicans threw everything but the kitchen sink at Herrero. It was good money after bad. Herrero won by 2,500 votes. D hold District 47 Bolton (D) vs. Keel (R) Trying to win a Democratic seat in Travis County is not a profitable strategy for Republicans. Bolton won the early vote by 4,000 votes, and the race was over. D hold District 52 Maldonado (D) vs. Daniel (R) This is a significant victory. Democrats established a beachhead in the suburbs, the Williamson County seat being vacated by Mike Krusee. Maldonado posted an 1,800-vote lead in early voting, which has now shrunk to 848 votes with one box outstanding (12:39 a.m.). Craddick may have backed the wrong horse in the Republican primary; prosecutor Dee Hobbs had a better chance than Daniel to hold the seat. D pickup District 55 Sheffield (R) vs. Murphey (D) Probably the Democrats should have passed on this race to fill the seat being vacated by Dianne Delisi. Bell County is very Republican. But Sheffield was a flawed candidate with a checkered past, and Murphey was well known and well liked in the district. Didn't matter. There just weren't enough Democrats in the district for Murphey to make a race of it. R hold