Republican Representative, Ralph Hall, the oldest member of Congress, lost a runoff election to former U.S. attorney, becoming the first House or Senate incumbent to be defeated this primary season. While some are celebrating what seems like a push for the Tea Party Movement, political science professor for West Texas A&M, Dr. Dave Rausch, says the voting for the primary run-off??s may be more of a wave against incumbents than association with the Tea Party.
??A couple of races there was a clear tea party type support but in many of them it was just an anti-incumbent movement, so it was hard to tell,?? said Rausch.
Major results and victories for the run-offs were Ken Paxton??s win for attorney general and Dan Patrick??s win over Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. The latter, likely the most surprising of the wins, has many saying that Texans are moving toward a more conservative voting trend.
??It shows that people are very conservative and turning more so, and they want to continue the conservative policies of the state,?? said one of the vice presidents of the Tea Party of Amarillo.
Area Democrats said that this push for tea party association with candidates is an unfortunate trend amongst voters.
??I think it is very sad for Texas and for the nation in particular to have such a strong reaction this tea party rhetoric. It just makes no sense at all. There??s no common sense to those people and the last thing they care about is the voters,?? said Jan Allen, former chair of the Randall County Democratic Party.
The only statewide democratic runoff between Kinky Friedman and Jim Hogan was for Agriculture Commissioner, and Hogan came out victorious. Allen said that she felt pleased with the result.
Tea Party supporters here in the Panhandle said the results of the run offs are a clear indication that Texans are looking for change and believe the chosen candidates will fight for that change.
??The candidates that came up in the runoff election will stand up for Texas and I think that they will fight the federal government, tooth and nail,?? said Revell.