Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, fell 108 votes short to challenger Lance Gooden — a former aide — in the northeast Texas district she has represented since 1999. In a race in which 12,478 votes were cast, that's almost certain to lead to a recount.
Brown has held off tough challenges before — she was under 52 percent in her GOP primary win two years ago. She's been hit in the past for breaking a term-limits promise — she said she'd only serve four terms but changed her mind when the expiration date came around. And she's usually had institutional help from Austin, where former Speaker Tom Craddick watched out for a loyal supporter. He's not there now, and her race didn't seem to be on anyone's radar until the last few days. That was apparently too late.