Waco state Sen. Kip Averitt, who doesn't want to serve another term and didn't lift a finger or spend a dime to win the Republican primary, is nevertheless leading in incomplete returns. His challenger, Darren Yancy of Burleson, was lagging by almost two-to-one with well over half of the precincts counted.
If Averitt wins and then declines the nomination, the Republican Party chairs in the district's ten counties will choose a replacement to put on the November ballot. There are no Democrats on the ballot, but because the GOP gets a chance to name a new candidate, the Democrats — if they want it — would have the same opportunity.
It's a critical seat for Waco, with redistricting coming up in the next session of the Legislature. If the next senator is from another part of the district — the suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, for instance — Waco could get shut out of redistricting. So even though he won't be their next senator, the political folk in McLennan County are yelling for Averitt.
Democrats there are a little more hesitant. They don't want a race that would draw a big Republican turnout that could threaten another local: U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco.