Final count on TeaApproved primary races (discounting the County Commissioner race where ALL were TeaApproved): 10 wins – 7 losses; the wins generally bigger than the losses.
Unseated 4 incumbents:
– Don Huffines beat John Carona
– Matt Rinaldi beat Bennett Ratliff
– Rodney Anderson beat Linda -Harper-Brown
– Bob Hall beat Bob Deuell
Lost 3 challenges to incumbents:
– Read King to Myra Crownover
– Jared Patterson to Angie Chen Button
– Danny Pelton lost to JD Sheffield
Lost 1 incumbent to a challenger:
– Stefani Carter lost to Linda Koop
Won 5 open seats:
– Van Taylor (unopposed)
– Ken Paxton beat Dan Branch
– Sid Miller beat Tommy Merritt
– Konni Burton beat Mark Shelton
– Matt Shaheen beat Glenn Callison
Lost 3 open seats:
– Wayne Christian lost to Ryan Sitton
– TJ Fabby lost to John Wray
– Philip Eby lost to DeWayne Burns
A number of old-time politicians were shown the door tonight. David Dewhurst, Dan Branch, Tommy Merritt, Bob Deuell, And Ralph Hall. The State Senate will be HUGELY different; Van Taylor, Don Huffines, Konni Burton and Bob Hall are NOT coming into the Senate to join the country club. And let’s not forget that Dan Patrick should be presiding. As far as the Establishment is concerned, the barbarians have battered down the door and have their feet up on the furniture; Too bad! The House had some small improvement in the primary but lost a bit of ground (and several opportunities for conservative gains) in the runoff. But the House was already pretty conservative.
Once again, more than anything else, the Tea Parties played DIFFERENCE MAKERS. As much as the Tea Parties (and the press, since we apparently are the boogeyman now) would like to credit the Tea Parties for Patrick’s 30 point win over Dewhurst, a margin like that represents every traditional conservative- social and fiscal- in the GOP combined with the Tea Parties for wins this big. Same with Ken Paxton’s; both races were already won within the GOP before a single ‘Tea Party’ vote was counted. Tea Parties WERE the difference in the narrower wins of John Ratcliffe, Sid Miller, Bob Hall, and Matt Shaheen. And they were the only reason folks like TJ Fabby, Philip Eby, Read King, and Jared Patterson were within single digits against tough establishment foes. And Tea Parties cannot salvage races with far too little traditional GOP support, as Katrina Pierson’s and Stefani Carter’s races clearly showed.
The one thing pretty darn clear from this cycle: excessive, personal sleaze tactics- especially at the last minute- have VERY low chances of success. And the lowlife consultants who make their living this way should be avoided by ALL sides, if a candidate REALLY wants a chance to win.
Our group was surprised with $62,000 over the period for the specific purpose of mailing out our multi-group voting guides to key areas and 130,000 of them went out. Those guides (naturally combined with the other fine efforts by and for the candidates) may have been the difference in in the Matt Rinaldi and Bob Hall races, and our efforts combined with the candidate setting up a PAC to emulation the exact same activity , may have been the difference in the Don Huffines race as well. Online downloads of the various voter guides were 15,000 in the primary, about 5,000 in the runoff. All in all, it made the major vetting and messaging effort worthwhile.
And, as a final note and for the third cycle in a row, we have a message to Murphy consultants: DON’T BOTHER COMING INTO COLLIN COUNTY: YOU’LL ONLY (politically) DIE TIRED. And we STRONGLY urge anyone ever thinking about running for any office in the county; hire anyone else you might find- but DON’T hire Murphy. It would be more useful to make a bonfire from your money.