Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Results of the GOP Primary

First, the local: John Thompson handily defeated the old-school, hard-right challenger Kathie Freeman, 3700 to 1371.

Second, the statewide: Rick Perry won a clear majority, avoiding a runoff against Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

"From Driftwood, Texas, to Washington, D.C., we are sending you a message tonight: Stop messing with Texas," Perry told supporters, who spent the cold evening listening to country music and roasting marshmallows.

(Yes, because the fifth highest poverty rate in the nation combined with massive cuts in government aid to the poor and sick is something that really deserves to be DEFENDED.)

With Hutchinson's defeat, the main political question in the state is: will she honor her promise, which she's already altered twice, to resign her Senate seat after the primaries? The current oddsmakers say no; after all, bare-faced lying and hypocrisy have never hurt Republican candidates yet.

Of the five propositions put before Republican primary voters, all passed- and only the last, the requirement to get sonograms before getting abortions, passed with less than ninety percent of the vote. (The percentages on Prop. 5 were 69%/31% in favor.)

Although most incumbents easily defended against challengers on the Republican side, there are a couple of very interesting outcomes in contests for the Texas state school board races. The former chair of the board, and the driving force behind efforts to bring young-Earth creationism into science classes and far-right revisionist history into social studies, Don McLeroy, is almost certainly going to a recount... on the wrong end. Current unofficial returns show him losing to moderate Republican challenger Thomas Ratliff, 58,338 to 57,528- a difference of only 810 votes. Another hard-right Republican incumbent on the school board, Geraldine "Tincy" Miller, lost by a slightly larger margin to George M. Clayton, a school teacher running specifically against agenda-driven changes to the Texas state curriculum.

So, on that last point, perhaps there is some little hope for the future. At the least, if these numbers hold up, two of the seven young-Earthers on the fifteen-member state board of education will be thrown out.

And that's not counting what might happen if the Democrats find some previously unknown reserves of competence and actually win some races this year...

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