For many living in states not called Texas, it might seem odd that a place most regard as the “reddest” state in the union would fight so hard to gain ground in traditionally-liberal districts. Isn’t a solid governing majority and clean slate of statewide office holders enough?
Not if you want to keep building.
And build Texas has, by electing a full slate of Republicans on the statewide level, defeating Battleground Texas’ initial efforts to elect a Democrat statewide, and making key inroads with both battleground districts and battleground demographics.
Perhaps our most notable achievement this cycle was flipping Wendy Davis’s Senate District, SD-10, in favor of Republicans. When Tea Party candidate Konni Burton first announced her candidacy for Davis’s old seat, many wrote her off as a long-shot; on election night, however, she proved them wrong.
Via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“It’s hard to believe that over 20 months ago I started having conversations with conservatives across Tarrant County about the need for someone to challenge Wendy Davis,” Burton, a Colleyville conservative with Tea Party ties, told about 300 supporters gathered at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. “We were all sick and tired of being represented by a liberal in Austin who didn’t reflect the conservative values of District 10.
“Tonight, our neighbors have spoken,” she said. “Nationally, the American people have rejected the president’s agenda for our nation. In Texas, the people have sent the Democrats packing, and in Tarrant County, we replaced one of the most radical liberals in Texas with a conservative voice.”
The building didn’t stop with SD-10. Non-traditional outreach efforts implemented statewide made inroads with the Latino community; Senator John Cornyn earned 48% of the Latino vote, while Lieutenant Governor Elect Dan Patrick thumped his Democrat opponent by capturing 53% of the Hispanic male vote. Pro-life candidate Will Hurd upset entrenched Representative Pete Gallego in the battle for a District that stretches from San Antonio all the way to El Paso, and deep blue Dallas County elected its first female DA—who also happens to be a Republican.
The trend spread beyond Texas, and we saw candidates like Mia Love and Tim Scott rise from the attack ad ash heap to secure their seats, and drive back the liberal narrative of the “old, white Republican male.”
In the wake of the 2012 election, Legal Insurrection dedicated itself to a renewed focus on both protecting the positive change we’ve managed to make, and supporting local candidates who work hard to build up conservatives’ momentum.
The point of all this, then, is not to win every battle that comes our way; that would be a futile fight, and pretending it’s not is a colossal waste of time. But by focusing on local level, and supporting strong candidates at every level of the ticket, we engage in the kind of base-building that leads to the kind of momentum that eventually wins elections on the national level.
The kind of candidate that wins at the top of the ticket doesn’t just appear out of thin air—that level of respect and savvy is learned and earned. If we’re serious about rolling back the destructive policies of the Obama administration, we need to be willing to accept this.
We earned a great start on Tuesday night; let’s get to work, and not waste the opportunity we’ve been given.DONATE
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