Texas Senate Showdown: Dividing Lines

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Republican Primary: Redistricting and Cruz's Case for Himself

Texas was originally scheduled to be a Super Tuesday state in the GOP presidential race, but the redistricting fight forced the primary back to April. Now, with no agreement in sight, that date looks likely to be pushed back another month.

If Texas votes after the GOP has coalesced around a nominee, turnout will be lower. That helps former the non-Dewhurst candidates: Solicitor General Ted Cruz, football analyst Craig James and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. Lower turnout means less poorly informed Republican voters (har-har), who are more likely to select the Republican whose name they recognize. A later primary date also gives those candidate more time to promote themselves and spread their message.

At CPAC last weekend, Ted Cruz continued his efforts to get national Republicans to coalesce around his candidacy. In an interview with RedState, he laid out the core argument of his candidacy: he was a successful Solicitor General who fought back on the Ten Commandments on state grounds, gun rights, and stands as the only pure conservative in the race. The Senate needs him, he argues, because the Senate will be the battleground on all essential federal issues – from ObamaCare to tax reform.

Democratic Primary: Sadler Takes on Dewhurst

Former State Rep. Paul Sadler is challenging Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's abandonment of public schools head-on. Today, Sadler called on Dewhurst to resign if he doesn't call a Special Session of the Legislature to deal with Texas's school funding crisis. “Massive cuts to education this year, followed by systematic cuts planned for next year, will create a 'Double Robin Hood' scenario for many public schools,” Sadler said in a press release. “I call this 'The Dewhurst Disaster.'”

There is growing bipartisan support for a Special Session because this school funding crisis has left our public schools drastically underfunded. Teachers are calling on the Perry-Dewhurst administration to take action. Sadler has also started a petition to end the Dewhurst Disaster: sign it here.

Dewhurst spokesperson Matt Hirsch fired back at the Sadler campaign today, with a statement full of lies:

“It didn't take Paul Sadler long to demonstrate his tax-and-spend liberal credentials. We don't need a special session to spend more money and drain the Rainy Day Fund. The reason Texas overcame an enormous budget shortfall last session is because David Dewhurst prioritized spending on public education and balanced the budget within available revenue — without raising taxes and while protecting the Rainy Day Fund. It's that same conservative approach that David will take to Washington.”

Texas did not “overcome” the budget shortfall. Rick Perry and David Dewhurst's shot Texas in the foot by underfunding education when our schools desperately need new money to accommodate population growth. All so they wouldn't have to raise any taxes on their sugar daddy donors or their corporations. An uneducated workforce hurts our state's economic future for years to come, but David Dewhurst just doesn't care.

Nor, by the way, do any of the other Republicans, who have no problem with Texas's school crisis.

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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