Price vs. Brassfield: test of GOP sanity

I have drawn a conclusion about the state of the Texas Republican Party, which is that if state Rep. Four Price of Amarillo is taken to anything approaching a close finish in his primary contest against a challenger from Fritch, then I believe the Texas GOP has gone around the bend.

What does the rising Republican legislative star need to do to vanquish Drew Brassfield? I’m thinking he needs to win the GOP primary by something like 25 to 30 percentage points.

Brassfield, the Fritch city manager, is challenging Price for reasons I don’t quite grasp. He is campaigning as some sort of “conservative option” to the lawmaker who has represented House District 87 since 2011.

As if Price isn’t a conservative. Is that what Brassfield — and his Empower Texans benefactors — are suggesting? I guess they believe he isn’t conservative enough.

Actually, the Amarillo lawyer who’s done a bang-up job representing his legislative district, is tailor-made for this political post. He has been re-elected every two years with token opposition since he first won election to the seat held by David Swinford of Dumas from 1991 until 2010.

The Texas Republican Party’s internal strife mirrors much of what is going on around the country, with mainstream GOP officeholders being “primaried” by challengers from the far-right fringe of the party. So it is with Price, who under normal circumstances would breeze to re-election.

My hope is that he does so again this year, even with a well-funded challenge from a young man who is getting a lot of campaign money from political activists based way downstate.

If Price is forced to sweat his re-election out a couple of days from now, if Brassfield makes this a contest, then I fear the Texas GOP has flipped its wig.

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