On November 3, voters across Texas’s 254 counties will select a U.S. senator, 36 other members of Congress, a railroad commissioner, 7 state court judges, 8 members of the State Board of Education, 150 members of the state House, 16 members of the state Senate, and an enormous number of local officials: county attorneys, justices of the peace, and community college trustees. No state stages so grand a pageant of democracy.
National politics . . . well, as you know, that’s a mess right now. A pandemic, a recession, endless wars, a deeply unpopular president, an often uninspiring challenger, and looming constitutional crises. There’s upheaval in Texas too. Republicans have controlled the Legislature and all statewide offices for almost two decades. Democrats have a chance to take back the state House, just in time to help redraw the electoral districts that Republicans have fashioned to their advantage.
It was the loss of the House in 2002 that marked the completion of Texas Democrats’ slow exile from power. But do they have the wherewithal to reverse it? Will 2020 be a minor bump in the road for the Texas GOP or a turning point in the state’s history? The election itself won’t fix the problems we face. But at least after a long summer spent worrying at home, we’ll know where we’re headed. So, let’s get on with it!