We wrap up our runoff ballot questions this week with an insiders' whirl through a dozen open House seats on the July 31 ballot — a list that includes eight Republican and four Democratic races.
One race — HD-12 — found the insiders pretty evenly matched (they favored Kyle Kacal over Tucker Anderson 51-49), but in most of the races the conventional wisdom of these political and governmental insiders was clear.
The results, and the relatively brief set of verbatim comments offered up by the insiders this week, follows:
Who do you think would win an HD-137 runoff held today?
• "Gene has been working this district for many years and had built a string foundation to challenge Hochberg. Maybe Scott knew something all of us insiders did not… his days were numbered."
Who do you think would win an HD-117 runoff held today?
• "Annie's List will be pivotal here."
Who do you think would win an HD-115 runoff held today?
• "Ratliff is not a good household name in TX."
• "Grassroots not entitlement wins races."
Who do you think would win an HD-114 runoff held today?
• "Welcome back! Your dreams are your ticket out..."
• "Bill has the name ID."
• "Conservative, experienced, that's what HD 114 needs."
• "The "other" Keffer just won't work at it!"
Who do you think would win an HD-95 runoff held today?
• "Nicole Collier has a compelling story and is a rising star."
Who do you think would win an HD-91 runoff held today?
• "Please not this crazy, phony politician."
• "Stephanie's political experience will help her win the run-off."
Who do you think would win an HD-68 runoff held today?
• "Darn near did it the first time. Quite an accomplishment."
• "Money matters in a huge geographic district"
Who do you think would win an HD-67 runoff held today?
• "Paxton for Leach"
• "Cole's negative campaigning will bite him in the end."
• "If you've ever met Cole.... you'll vote for Leach."
Who do you think would win an HD-40 runoff held today?
• "Have you seen Gus and his wife? How can anyone vote against that supermodel couple?"
• "Terry has learned how to use his money to bring in the fold political families that control votes in the district. This race will not be close."
Who do you think would win an HD-26 runoff held today?
• "Rick Miller has proven that the evangelicals still have staying power in an area that has seen diversity blossom."
• "Voters want a strong leader, not a cute cheerleader."
• "Don't know this one"
Who do you think would win an HD-24 runoff held today?
• "Sitton is a good candidate, but he cannot compete against the machine."
• "A neurosurgeon wiling to give his time for $600 a month? Such a deal for the voters that they shouldn't pass it up."
• "Bonnen has the clear advantage in this one"
Who do you think would win an HD-12 runoff held today?
• "Kacal has Democrat history"
• "Who? Kacal is a bad ballot name (for a R primary)..."
• "Only reason Tucker did well in first round was many in the Waco market thought they were voting for Doc."
• "Kacal has the wind at his back. He actually lives in the district and has experience that should resonate with runoff voters."
• "It's too close to call. However, the most important story line is that the Farm Bureau cannot afford to lose this one."
• "Kyle knows the voters and Tucker is seen as a carpet bagger."
• "Without other local races on the ballot, the cream will rise!"
• "Who can avoid voting for a guy named Tucker?"
• "Even though the name Tucker Anderson sounds like an upscale men's clothing boutique and looks better on a ballot, with fewer races and candidates on the ballot, I am confident voters will understand Kyle Kacal better understands the views of those who live in the district."
Our thanks to this week's participants: Allen Blakemore, Andrew Biar, Bee Moorhead, Brandon Aghamalian, Bill Ratliff, Bryan Mayes, Bruce Gibson, Bruce Scott, Tom Duffy, Cathie Adams, Chris Britton, Clyde Alexander, Colin Strother, Corbin Van Arsdale, Clint Hackney, Craig Murphy, Dennis Speight, Darren Whitehurst, David Dunn, Denise Davis, Elna Christopher, Ed Small, George Allen, Gerard Torres, Gardner Pate, Hector De Leon, Jack Erskine, Jenny Aghamalian, James LeBas, Jay Pritchard, Jason Sabo, Jason Johnson, Jay Arnold, Pete Laney, Jerry Philips, Parker McCollough, John Esparza, Jon Fisher, Jim Sartwelle, Jason Skaggs, Jay Thompson, June Deadrick, Keats Norfleet, Kinnan Golemon, Ken Hodges, Kraege Polan, Keith Strama, Ken Whalen, Lydia Camarillo, Lisa Kaufman, Luke Marchant, Luke Legate, Matt Mackowiak, Mike Barnett, Dan McClung, Michael Grimes, Mark Jones, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Michael Wilt, Nora Del Bosque, Nef Partida, Norman Garza, Mark Sanders, Pat Nugent, Jay Propes, Ramey Ko, Randy Cubriel, Richard Khouri, Robert Miller, Bob Strauser, Russ Tidwell, Ruben Longoria, Scott Gilmore, Seth Winick, Shanna Igo, Snapper Carr, Steve Scurlock, Stan Schlueter, Jason Stanford, Steve Bresnen, Sherry Sylvester, Tom Banning, Tom Blanton, Thomas Graham, Thure Cannon, Tim Lambert, Tim Reeves, Tom Kleinworth, Ted Melina Raab, Tom Spilman, Trent Townsend, Tris Castaneda, Trey Trainor, Eric Glenn, Corbin Casteel, Wil Galloway, Wayne Hamilton, Ware Wendell, Angelo Zottarelli.