Will bragging rights in the Republican primaries for Texas House seats go to the management now in place or to those opposed to the current leaders? Watching these races involving incumbents will provide some answers.
by Jay Root and Tony Plohetski, Austin American-Statesman
Big changes are coming to the controversial funding agreement between Texas Mutual Insurance and the Travis County district attorney's office. The changes follow an investigation by The Texas Tribune and the Austin American-Statesman.
At our 10/23 Hot Seat conversation at the Texas Tech University, state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, and state Reps. John Frullo, R-Lubbock, and Drew Springer, R-Muenster, talked about water, transportation, public education and other issues in play in the 83rd session.
Some are waiting to see what the courts will do. Others want to see if any opponents surface. Regardless, with six days to go until the filing deadline, how many incumbents haven't filed yet? A whole bunch.
The biggest caucus in the Texas House is the Republicans', now with 101 members. Next? The Democrats', at 49. And then there’s the freshman class — one of the biggest in years — with 38 members. All but six are Republicans, and many of them replaced Democrats. They face some challenges.
John Frullo, Jim Landtroop, Charles Perry and Four Price each won election to the Texas House last month, representing districts in a part of the state where the population is dwindling. At least one of them should leave the car running at the curb.
The addition of five Hispanic Republicans to the Texas House means the Mexican American Legislative Caucus will now include at least a few dissenting voices on issues like immigration. "It does Latinos a huge disservice to say we all think alike," says state Rep.-elect Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock.
Charles Perry is on his way to the Texas House, having defeated Rep. Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock, and fellow Republican John Frullo won the GOP nomination for an open seat in his predominantly Republican district. Perry has no opposition in November. Frullo will face Democrat Carol Morgan.
Today’s elections in 18 Texas primary races, all but two involving Republicans, probably won't change the overall temperature of the statehouse or our delegation to Congress. The partisan makeup of those places isn't at stake until November. But for three House incumbents and challengers in two other races — for the State Board of Education and the Texas Supreme Court — how the vote turns out is a big deal.
With a few days to go before the April 13 runoffs, we check in on the last four on our list: three of them with incumbents in Bryan, El Paso, and Lubbock defending their seats, and a fourth for an open seat, also in Lubbock.
The runoff between John Frullo and Mark Griffin shares one important characteristic with the adjacent race in HD-83: It pits inside-the-tent Lubbock Republicans against a coalition of social and libertarian conservatives who are distinctly unhappy with government in Washington and Texas. In that frame, Frullo's the insurgent and Griffin represents the establishment.