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Thoughts This Fortnight
TCR Endorsed Candidates Have Big Night Overwhelming Majority of TCR Endorsed Contested Candidates Win Outright or Advance to Runoff
TCR would like to congratulate all its endorsed contested candidates who either won outright or who placed in the top two and have advanced to the May 24th Runoff Election.
The 20 who won outright include: Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th Congressional District; Justice Debra Lehrmann, Supreme Court Place 3; Justice Eva Guzman, Supreme Court Place 9; State Representative Dan Huberty, District 127; Dr. Tom Oliverson, State Representative District 130; Sharon Hemphill, 125th District Court; Jeff Hastings, 151st District Court; Phil Gommels, 178th District Court; Mary McFaden, 339th District Court; Judge Clyde Leuchtag, County Civil Court at Law 1; Jim Leitner, Harris County Attorney; Sheriff Ron Hickman; Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan; George Moore, Harris County School Trustee, Position 1, Precinct 2; Eric Dick, Harris County School Trustee, Position 2, Precinct 4; Commissioner Steve Radack, Harris County Commissioner, Precinct 3; Judge Lincoln Goodwin, JP Precinct 4, Place 1; Constable Mark Herman, Constable Precinct 4; Ted Heap, Constable Precinct 5 and; Marc Cowart, Precinct Chairman 548.
Another 4 will now face runoff contests, including: Gary Gates, Railroad Commissioner; Ray Wheless, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2; State Representative Wayne Smith, District 128 and Rick Ramos, Harris County Republican Party Chairman.
Simpson Slip and Fall Eerily Similar to a National Campaign
Every election is filled with both predictable results and some interesting surprises.
One of the more interesting surprises from Tuesday night's Harris County Republican Primary elections was local Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson's failure to win on the first ballot in a three-way race for re-election. Not only was the incumbent not able to win on the first ballot, he finished second behind insurgent candidate Rick Ramos and ahead of the colorful Tex Christopher, who himself was able to rack up nearly 48,000 anti-Simpson votes. Both Ramos and Christopher trailed Simpson in spending by a large measure as observed by Big Jolly Politics front man David Jennings who opined, "And he (Simpson) came in second after spending $183,645.24 in this election cycle to keep an unpaid position. His two opponents combined spent $25,000. Think about that."
Yes, think about that. Then think about the fact that Simpson is the darling of the Republican establishment who racked up endorsements and large contributions from special interests. And he had the power of incumbency at his back. About the only thing that Simpson's opponents had going for them was a much more conservative message and tons more energy and enthusiasm. Yet, the anti-Simpson vote swelled to nearly 61%.
So here's the recap of Simpson: a low energy, de facto frontrunner backed by the establishment who outspent his much more conservative opponents with little results. It seems that a comparison can be drawn between Simpson and another campaign at the national level.
It sounds a lot like the Jeb Bush campaign, doesn't it? And we all know what happened to Bush.
To Stop Trump, It's Cruz or Bust
The presidential candidate field appears to have shrunk to 4, following the statement by neurosurgeon Ben Carson on March 2nd that he doesn't "see a political path forward." Carson's statement indicated that he would not participate in the March 3rd presidential debate, but stopped short of declaring that he was dropping out of the race, although it is a move considered inevitable in light of his lack of success in the previous caucuses and primary elections.
The winnowing of the field, which started at 17, cannot happen fast enough for those who oppose frontrunner Donald Trump, who benefits from an expanded field in which the vote is splintered among the remaining three candidates including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Governor John Kasich.
It appears highly unlikely that the Trump campaign machine can be stopped until this field narrows further by two more candidates; however, none of the remaining three alternatives to Trump appear willing to concede and allow the anti-Trump vote to coalesce behind the most viable alternative which, in our opinion is Senator Ted Cruz, who has thus far scored victories in Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska. Following his Super Tuesday wins, Cruz has collected 226 delegates, trailing Donald Trump with 319, but double that of Rubio at 110 and far ahead of Kasich at a paltry 25. It seems unlikely that Rubio and Kasich will quit the race before the primary contests in their home states of Florida and Ohio, respectively, which will occur in two weeks on March 15.
There is further speculation that all of the candidates will continue their campaigns, hoping to keep Trump from accumulating the 1237 delegates he needs for nomination and forcing a brokered convention. This is a dangerous gambit though, which serious opponents of a Donald Trump nomination should immediately and vociferously oppose. Anti-Trump forces must rally behind a single candidate and focus their opposition before it is too late. Based on the current delegate count, political organization and conservative message, TCR believes that to stop Trump, it is looking like Cruz or bust.
Sneak Peek At November Election Democrat Ad
From a conservative PAC, a preview of what's coming from the Democrats in November if Trump is the nominee. Unlike in the past when the Democrats made the race card up, this time they will use Trump's own words!
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his sixteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fourteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.