Friday, April 27, 2012

DFW Area House Races

Another area of the state with a plethora of primary races is DFW, spearheaded by Tarrant County with 10 of its 11 House seats in contested primaries -- 7 Republican and 3 Democratic.  Only Harris County had more Republican primary voters than Tarrant County in 2010, and that second in the state ranking will continue this year with 7 out of the 8 Republican Tarrant County seats having contested primaries.  Collin and Denton County are also solidly Republican counties with all 7 House seats being held by Republicans, plus 2 new Republican seats from redistricting.
There is 1 open Democratic seat in Dallas County (Mallory Caraway), 2 in Tarrant County (Veasey and the new District 101), and Rep. Lon Burnam (D - Fort Worth) is facing a stiff primary challenge.
The question everyone is pondering is what will be the composition of the primary electorate.  With no contested presidential race on either side, all parties agree that turnout will be less than a normal presidential year.  The prevailing thought is that it will be a more partisan electorate in both the Democratic and Republican primaries, with a predominance of 3D and 3R voters.  On the Republican side, this would arguably favor the more conservative candidate.  However, it will also favor the candidate with the resources and campaign execution that is effectively able to identify and turn out his/her voters.

Below is my current analysis of these races.  Of course, this is simply a snapshot 4-1/2 weeks in advance of the election, and much can and will change between now and when all of the votes are finally cast.  A final caveat from one astute observer of DFW:  "There are a lot of races up here that just are not mature enough to make predications." Nevertheless, here goes.
Collin County

Dist. Incumbent      Candidates
33    New seat       Jim Pruitt R
                     Scott Turner R
Assessment:  Turner is the conservative favorite, although Rockwall County gives Pruitt a chance.

67    Jerry Madden   Jeran Akers R
                     Roger Burns R
                     Jon Cole R
                     Jeff Leach R
                     John Pitchford R
Assessment:  It will be a runoff, and Burns, Cole and Leach are the leading competitors for the two spots.

70    Ken Paxton     Scott Sanford R
                     Bracy Wilson R
Assessment:  I give Sanford the edge.

Dallas County

Dist. Incumbent      Candidates
110   B. Caraway     Cedric Davis D
                     Toni Rose D
                     Larry Taylor D
Assessment:  Likely a runoff between Rose and Taylor, with Davis having a chance to make the runoff.

114   Will Hartnett  David Boone R
                     Bill Keffer R
                     Jason Villalba R
Assessment:  Likely a runoff between Keffer and Villalba.

115   Jim Jackson    Lib Grimmett R
                     Steve Nguyen R
                     Andy Olivo R
                     Bennett Ratliff R
                     Matt Rinaldi R
Assessment:  It will be a runoff, and Nguyen, Ratliff and Rinaldi are the leading competitors for the two spots.

Denton County

Dist. Incumbent      Candidates
64    Myra Crownover Myra Crownover R
                     Mike Brucia R
Assessment:  Crownover wins.

65    Burt Solomons  Mike Hennefer R
                     David Loerwald R
                     Ron Simmons R
Assessment:  Simmons is the favorite; question is whether he can avoid a runoff with Loerwald.

106   New seat       Amber Fulton R
                     Pat Fallon R
Assessment:  Fallon wins.

Tarrant County

Dist. Incumbent      Candidates
90    Lon Burnam     Lon Burnam D
                     Carlos Vasquez D
Assessment:  Very close race.  Never count Burnam out, but the CD 33 dynamics are hurting him.

91    Kelly Hancock  Stephanie Klick R
                     Ken Sapp R
                     Charles Scoma R
                     Lady Thombs R
Assessment:  Runoff between Klick and Sapp.
92    Todd Smith     Roger Fisher R
                     Jonathan Stickland R
Assessment:  Toss up, but I give slight edge to Stickland.

93    Barbara Nash   Pat Carlson R
                     Matt Krause R
                     Barbara Nash R
Assessment:  Runoff between Nash and Krause.

94    Diane Patrick  Tina Lanza R
                     Diane Patrick R
Assessment:  Patrick wins.

95    Marc Veasey    Nicole Collier D
                     Jesse Gaines D
                     Jamal Masimini D
Assessment:  Collier and Gaines are the frontrunners. 

96    Bill Zedler    Bill Zedler R
                     Mike Leyman R
Assessment:  Zedler wins.
97    Mark Shelton   Craig Goldman R
                     Chris Hatch R
                     Susan Todd R
Assessment:  Runoff between Goldman and Todd.

98    Vicki Truitt   Giovanni Capriglione R
                     Vicki Truitt R
Assessment:  Truitt wins, but it will be close and the race is tightening.

101   New seat       Vicki Barnett D
                     Paula Pierson D
                     Chris Turner D
Assessment:  Turner wins; question is whether he can avoid a runoff with Pierson.