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Taking Shelter From the Storm, Dallas Republicans Are Fired Up in the Palomar

With a monster show of force, and a little help from the weather, Dallas County Republicans have made their presence known tonight, bringing Central Expressway and Mockingbird Lane to an absolute standstill pulling their Large Vehicles into the Hotel Palomar for their election night cash-bar bacchanal.

We've heard from a handful of State Legislature victors so far onstage, the most recent of whom, Angie Chen Button, just took her bow quickly before the packed house because, as she said, "You are not waiting for my speech. You are waiting for other people's speech." Still, her attitude echoes the amped-up feeling from most folks in here: "I am so happy," she said. "We are looking good."

Running tight against D.A. Craig Watkins, Danny Clancy told us he's "cautiously optimistic" so far. "I've said since day one that we were gonna lead this ticket, and it is a lot of pressure," he said, just after shaking hands with Dale Emmert, whose son Wade is also running very close to his Democratic competition tonight in his race for County Judge. Clancy said he would've hoped for a bigger lead from the early voting numbers, but, of course, "the weather changes a lot of things."

Earlier tonight, young Daniel Branch took a victory lap across the stage in the absence of his Stage Lege incumbent dad Dan, who's down in Austin tonight partying with House Speaker Joe Straus.

Jeb Hensarling was here in person, though, offering his thanks with a nod at the national trend toward the G.O.P.: "I hear the people saying, 'We don't want to be France. We don't want to be Greece. We want to be America," he said, departing the stage trailed by sign-waving throngs and a girl wearing, of all things, a San Francisco Giants visor.

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