Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hensarling leaves open seat without Obvious Successor....

"Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly;
For what can the man do who succeeds the king?—
Only what he has already done."
Ecclesiastes 2:12

At this point, we assume you've heard:

This is...unfortunate, at least right now.

We've never been under any illusions about Jeb Hensarling, but historically he's tended to be less loathsome than the average Texas Congressman.  He's usually been pretty good against corporate welfare.  We retain fond memories of the conniption fit he gave to friends of the Texas Association of Business in 2015.

Which is our longwinded way of saying that we wish he'd waited two more years to make this decision.

To understand why, consider Jeb Hensarling's district:

Compare Hensarling's district to the obvious successor:

While Bob Hall is the most obvious person to run for Hensarling's seat (and, given Hall's military background, he'd be a good fit for a federal position), there's an obvious problem: We need Bob Hall to stay put in the Texas Senate.  If Bob Hall were to jump into a Congressional race, it would leave his Texas Senate seat in peril of being scooped up by Cindy Burkett.  At this time, a Texas Senate seat is more valuable than a congressional seat.

Moving from the Texas Senate to the house, Hensarling's congressional district overlaps the following Texas house districts:

Note: Redline boundaries were done by hand and are thus APPROXIMATE.
Hensarling's Congressional district overlaps the following state reps:
  • Lance Gooden.
  • Travis Clardy.
  • Jason Villalba
  • Morgan Meyer.
  • Cindy Burkett (open seat).
  • Dan Flynn.
  • Byron Cook (open seat!!!)
  • Cole Hefner.
    • Note: We didn't actually realize that Hefner overlapped until we looked it up.  That being said, it's only a tiny sliver.  While Hefner might be a possibility ( *ONLY* if he can cover his state rep seat), it still seems like a stretch.
With the exception of Hefner, none of those names are particularly exciting.  The biggest shame is that a number of those incumbent state reps are facing strong challengers (or, in Cook's case, have already been chased out of the race by a strong challenger.  Which, once again, brings our lament: Our bench in this part of the state is going to be a lot stronger in 2020.

Unfortunately, it's 2018; while we'd love to upgrade this seat, right now almost all of the obvious candidates would be downgrades.

Bottom Line: If you're an ambitious county commissioner with a strong record anywhere in this district, now might be a good time to swing for the fences.

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