Running for Office With Second Chances in Mind

Everybody who put their name on the Texas ballot last week — the filing deadline for the 2014 elections — wants to win.

But not all of them expect to win, or even need to win, to keep their political careers alive. More than half of the people who signed up to run in next year’s elections are going to lose. That’s the math. Lots of losers move up eventually, often because their unsuccessful runs help build the organizations, financial contacts and reputations required of most winners.

When Ted Cruz, a Houston lawyer who had been the state’s solicitor ...

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