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Five Texas Takeaways from Election Night

After a bitter and expensive showdown, Wendy Davis held onto her seat in the State Senate.
After a bitter and expensive showdown, Wendy Davis held onto her seat in the State Senate.

Now that our election night hangovers have been slept off, we can now cut through the chatter and attempt to forecast what last night's election results mean to you, Dear Reader.

Dallas County is really, really blue Republicans had a strong showing in local legislative races, easily fending off challenges to their state and U.S. House seats, but county government was a different story. Democrats swept Dallas County, winning contested races for sheriff, tax assessor-collector, criminal and civil judgeships, and seats on the commissioners court.

None of that's particularly surprising, given the county's leftward tilt and the way outgoing commissioner Maurine Dickey's District 1 was redrawn, but it does give Dems a 4-1 advantage on a commissioners court that is often divided along party lines.

This concerns the Morning News, which bemoans the loss of "balanced government," but let's be honest. Theresa Daniel, the DISD administrator who won the seat Dickey is vacating, is by all indications a highly competent technocrat. And soon-to-be-indicted John Wiley Price was up against a guy nicknamed "Lingy." Given the circumstances, it's hard to get too exercised about the results.

The earth is 6,000 years old Or is it? After being upset in her reelection bid two years ago, Geraldine "Tincy" Miller rolled former DISD board member Lois Parrott to return to the State Board of Education. She is joined on the board by 10 fellow Republicans, at least six of whom have professed support for teaching the "weaknesses" of evolution and displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools. That leaves a majority of the 15-member board in the opposite camp, which would be heartening if the margin weren't so slight. These are the people, after all, who will be selecting new biology textbooks in 2013.

Ted Cruz is unstoppable For months, even before he out-demagogued Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican Senate primary, it's been obligatory to include the phrase "Tea Party darling" when discussing Ted Cruz. Now, thanks to 4,456,599 Texans like this guy ...

... we'll spend the next six years referring to the silver-tongued former solicitor general as Senator Tea Party Darling Ted Cruz.

Heavy-handed attacks are not always a good prescription for winning Last night, a sleazebag lawyer who takes bribes from lobbyists poorly concealed behind potted plants dragged through the mud a saintly pediatrician whose only goal in life is to save the lives of children to win a state Senate seat. Or was it that a heroic single mother who worked her way from a trailer park to Harvard law beat back a challenge from an leering predator who wants women raped and kids robbed of a chance at a decent education?

However you frame it, Democrat Wendy Davis held on to her state senate seat in Fort Worth, narrowly defeating Republican challenger Mark Shelton in the state's pettiest, most expensive race for the state legislature. Hers was part of a strong showing statewide by Democrats, who picked up seven seats in the state House.

Lest you think that means demographics and voting patterns have shifted leftward faster than was projected, consider briefly the House's projected makeup, with 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats. That's a long way from purple.

R.I.P. America Obama won, which means a lot of things. We'll leave it to The Nuge to explain what they are.


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