Now that the state of Texas has completed state runoff elections, residents of the Lone Star State now have a set ballot for this November. Among the top races, State Senator Dan Patrick handily won the GOP’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor over current office-holder David Dewhurst, and will go on to face Democratic standard-bearer Leticia Van de Putte this fall. State Senator Ken Paxton bested Dan Branch for the GOP nod in the Attorney General’s race, while Sid Miller grabbed the nod for Agriculture Commissioner over fellow State Rep Tommy Merritt. The runoff election, with its low turnout on a rather damp weather day for much of the state, was a decisive victory for Tea Party forces. David Alameel easily defeated LaRouche Democrat Kesha Rogers in the US Senate Primary, and now faces Republican incumbent Jon Cornyn in November.
As Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News observes, the Democratic and Republican ballot choices offer a stark contrast in more ways than just party ideology, as the GOP slate for 2014 turns out to be far more white and male than in previous years…
The Texas Republican Party has a girl problem.
A glance down the list of GOP nominees set after Tuesday’s runoffs makes it look as if U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth has signed up for shop class.
She is the lone woman among the 50 congressional, statewide and top judicial Republican candidates.
In a year when the marquee races for governor and lieutenant governor will feature Democrats Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte, the Grand Old Party looks like it’s going stag.
Candidate Lisa Fritsch warned during the primaries of “the party of all these men and the same old recycled candidates.”
And Fritsch is a staunch conservative who was challenging Greg Abbott for the nomination for governor.
State party chairman Steve Munisteri said he’s noticed.
“I would tell you I’ve had discussions with elected officials and party leaders about this very issue,” he said Tuesday. “Frankly, it is a concern.”
Some would say that it’s fitting for the GOP slate to match it’s extreme preferences for the past in both optics and policy. This overly white, overly male ticket may be just what the doctor ordered to encourage a new electorate in Texas. Women and minorities show noticeable prominence on the Democratic side of the aisle, and no one should be surprised that they are the ones talking about the issues that matter to most Texans… jobs, healthcare for families and the educational future of the Lone Star State.
Of course with limited resources, whose to say if Davis, Van de Putte, Railroad Commissioner candidate Steve Brown or any of the other Democrats can break through the long-held GOP glass ceiling. But one thing is for sure… with all Primaries in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to try.
(photo credit: The Texas Tribune)