November 21, 2005
More GOP self-targeting

Jaime Castillo has more on attempts by the state GOP to purge itself of members who committed heresies on school finance reform (see here for some background).

According to the El Paso Times, the border city's biggest GOP muckety-mucks are "abandoning nine-term state Rep. Pat Haggerty and throwing their political muscle and money behind his GOP challenger."

The same story also quoted state Rep. Carter Casteel, a moderate Republican from New Braunfels, who said she has been the subject of a push poll designed to gauge how deep her support is in the district.

The calls, which she said were received by some constituents, including her husband and one of her sons, were an automated effort from the Texas Republican Party.


"For those of us who helped build the Republican Party, we hope that whoever is behind these efforts remembers that we did so by addition, not subtraction," said state Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.

"If those reports are accurate," he said, referring to Haggerty and Casteel, "then it would appear that some people in our party need to go back to elementary school to re-learn simple arithmetic."

Straus, who hails from one of San Antonio's most prominent families, should know.

He got crosswise with the party leadership, particularly Gov. Rick Perry, in July by joining 12 other Republicans to vote against a major tax bill, known as House Bill 3.

But he is unapologetic, saying, "I'm going to continue to vote my conscience and my district as long as I'm in the Legislature."

As I said before, targeting Pat Haggerty in HD78 would be one of the nicest things that the state GOP could do for Democrats, in that it would take out an overperforming incumbent in a lean-GOP district. They can pretty much mess with Carter Casteel without worry, as she's in an incredibly red district - the low score was achieved by Victor Carillo, with 75.2% of the vote. If they get any bright ideas about Straus, his seat is not as safe a Republican one as Casteel's, but it's still pretty safe. Maybe with the right candidates on both sides and a strong Democratic wind it could be competitive, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it.

Any more of these out there? We're getting close to filing time, so we'll know soon enough. Thanks to Aaron Pena for the link.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 21, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

Kuff, I don't agree that the GOP targeting of moderate Republicans does anyone any good. Perry and the TRP will just insert someone who will refuse to work with Democrats.

Posted by: Marie on November 21, 2005 3:13 PM

We are targeting Democrats who did the same thing too, so don't get too excited about making any "gains" next year, best concentrate on holding down your own losses.

The votes against the property tax cuts and the CAD caps cut both ways, and they will cut very very deeply! :^D

Posted by: ttyler5 on November 21, 2005 3:36 PM

Actually, for the first time in a while, most of the Democrats are going to be safe. I'd say the only ones facing any sort of real heat would be the rural D's, but they are in the same position as most of the moderate R's -- they voted their district, and it's harder to come after members for listening to their constituency than lots of the RPT-folks realize.

Posted by: Dems are safe on November 21, 2005 6:56 PM