Train A Comin’

Looking at last night’s election results: Wins!

Can we be frustrated by the pace of winning? Yes. But let’s be encouraged by the fact that we aren’t tired of winning yet! Any disappointments from last night should spur us all to work harder and smarter in the months and years ahead.

It’s easy to get caught up scoring the quick wins, but our job is to change the culture of Texas government. It can never be about any one person or any one election. We must keep our eyes on the goal.

And last night continued the advance forward and upward.

Think about this. The top target of the liberal school administrators was Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Everyone was quaking in their boots about the perceived power of superintendents to re-write Texas politics the way they re-write textbooks.

Voters – including classroom teachers – had none of it. As a result, Dan Patrick earned 75% of the vote.

Despite unprecedented efforts by the Austin lobby to dislodge them, every single Taxpayer Champion is returning to the Legislature. One even got a promotion to the Senate.

Meanwhile, establishment Republicans were defeated outright in one Senate and two House districts. One do-nothing House member is in a run-off, while five House seats formerly held by Austin cronies are headed for a second round.

And yet again, not a single sycophant of the Austin crony class has escaped the House chamber for the Senate or statewide office. (As my friend Jim Graham of Texas Right to Life likes to say, “The RINOs have been kept in the House pen.”)

Make no mistake: the House and Senate have moved right.

We still have more to do.

But remember: in 2014, conservatives swept the statewide offices with a conservative platform. They then delivered on their promises and were overwhelmingly re-elected last night. First lesson: those who govern like they campaign will win.

Second (harder) lesson: obstructionists in the House and Senate can win, but only when they spend a lot of money trying to obfuscate their records. They now understand that being in the Texas Legislature isn’t going to be fun if they plan to continue obstructing the conservative agenda endorsed by voters.

There’s a train coming. They can get on board or get run over. Or they can follow disgraced House Speaker Joe Straus in getting as far from the tracks as possible.

Earlier today, Lt. Gov. Patrick put it well: “The liberal Republican era in the Texas House is over.”

Looking at the 11 propositions on the ballot, Republican primary voters made it clear they want real reforms, real fast. They won’t abide any further delay on property tax relief, education reform, border security, and the general enactment of the GOP platform.

Let’s all take a few minutes today to smile about the wins, navel-gaze at the losses, and then get to work. The opportunities are many, we must strive for them.

Take Action

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

Read All Posts