I am going to admit what ought to be obvious: The Republican dominance of the Texas political landscape is confusing in the extreme to me.
Every GOP statewide candidate running for election or re-election in the just-completed midterm campaign won by a lot over their Democratic challenger. Leading the way, of course, was Gov. Greg Abbott, who won re-election to a third term by 11% over Beto O’Rourke … who I believe now needs to get back to working a day job and bringing home a paycheck. Beto’s days as a pol appear to be over.
The rest of the ballot showed similar victories. Perhaps most stunning to me was the result of the Texas attorney general’s contest. GOP incumbent Ken Paxton pounded Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza by a margin similar to what Abbott scored.
What baffles me is how Paxton managed such an impressive victory while campaigning under the shadow of a state felony indictment that came down in 2015, just after Paxton took office. The indictment alleges securities fraud. Paxton hasn’t gone to trail yet. It is not even clear when that will happen.
Moreover, there have been questions relating to the way he runs the AG’s office; seven top deputies quit and then blew the whistle on Paxton, alleging that he does favors for a top donor, suggesting criminal behavior.
Texas Democrats keep talking a good game about wrestling some of these offices out of GOP hands. Every election cycle, though, produces the same sorry result: Republicans win by comfortable margins.
Yes, the state’s population is growing rapidly. Its demography is changing to what “experts” suggest is a more Democrat-friendly electorate.
I want the state to become more of a battleground, with the two major parties battling head-to-head over ideas, philosophy and policy. I am tired of Republicans winning these fights and then foisting their far right-wing agenda on a population that doesn’t buy into it.
When will it change? I do not know. I am just going to keep wishin’ and hopin’ the day comes sooner rather than later.