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The Brief: April 13, 2010

All good things must come to an end — even primary season.

Rick Green and Judge Debra Lehrmann at a Young Republicans debate in San Antonio.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

All good things must come to an end — even primary season.

Today, 18 runoffs will be held around the state.  It’s largely a Republican event. Only two of those 18 include Democrats. 

Three of them feature statehouse incumbents fighting to keep their jobs. They are, in no particular order, Fred Brown, R-Bryan, Norma Chavez, D-El Paso, and Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock.  They face Buddy Winn, Naomi Gonzales, and Charles Perry, respectively.

Outside the House, races to watch include that between Republicans Rick Green and Debra Lehrmann for Texas Supreme Court. And don’t forget Brian Russell and against Marsha Farney, both vying for a spot on the State Board of Education.

For more, we turn to the Tribune’s Ross Ramsey:

Three more races for open seats have been contentious and relatively expensive but won't change the overall map however they turn out.

In the first, Mabrie Jackson and Van Taylor are in a GOP runoff for retiring state Rep. Brian McCall's seat in Plano. McCall is for Jackson, while two other Collin County representatives have endorsed Taylor. The bottom line is that there'll be a Republican in the seat either way, as no other major party candidate is on the ballot in the November election.

In the second, Dr. Susan Curling and Dan Huberty vie for Joe Crabb's seat in suburban Houston. Same formula, except that there's a Democrat on the ballot in November. The general election could change the partisan math in the House, but the runoff won't.

The last, also a GOP contest, is in Lubbock, where Carl Isett is retiring and has endorsed John Frullo as his successor. Mark Griffin, a former Texas Tech regent, stands in the way — and finished well ahead in round one.

Everyone else is battling it out for chance to challenge a Republican in November.  If you want to see who gets that chance, all the results will show up here as they come in.

CULLED:

• There’s a new group on the Texas political scene: the Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas. Founded by state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, it currently features 57 other Republican legislators and five Republican primary winners. Accordting to its website, it was founded because Tea Party conservatives and others that “need to know there are Republican legislators who share their beliefs and will uphold their principals.”

• Time for Plan B.  The State Preservation Board is expected to be briefed today on the new scaled back plans for the historic Texas Governor’s Mansion. Reporter Mike Ward of the Austin American-Statesman writes, “According to at least six people who were briefed privately on the new plans, a two-story addition would be built onto the back of the 153-year-old mansion's kitchen wing to house a fire stairway and provide additional kitchen and storage space, along with at least one small bedroom.”

• Congratulations!  It was announced yesterday that The Dallas Morning News won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

“We have managed to clean up the police department as best we could. It’s not 100 percent clean and I am not going to suggest otherwise.” — Jose Reyes Ferriz, the mayor of the border town of Ciudad Juarez.

MUST READ:

 Most Texas home insurers profitable againThe Dallas Morning News

• Wind in the WiresThe Texas Tribune

• Ron Paul: Tea party abuse overblownPolitico

 Democratic nominee White responds to challenges by workingSan Antonio Express-News

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