Paul Burka has a useful overview of the Republican runoffs for State House seats. There are no such Democratic runoffs; despite numerous primary challenges, there were only two open seats on the Dem side, one of which was ceded to Roland Gutierrez, so there were no multi-candidate races. Burka includes an analysis of the impact of each runoff on the Speaker’s race, and the outlook for November. I’d classify the latter as follows:
HD52 – Tossup/Lean Democrat
HD55 – Likely Republican
HD81 – Safe Republican
HD112 – Lean Republican if Dunning, likely Republican if Button
HD144 – Lean Republican
You really need to read Burka’s report on Randy Dunning, who if elected is an early favorite for the 2009 Ten Worst list. The Dallas Observer has more on this guy. It makes for an interesting choice for us Democrats. Do we root for the much saner Angie Chen Button, who will likely be a straightforward conservative not unlike the retiring Fred Hill and who would seem to be a much better bet to hold the seat, or for the nutty Dunning, who’d be more beatable but an utter disaster if he did get elected? It’s like a more extreme case of the Emmett/Bacarisse race for the County Judge nomination. I could go either way on this one.