Texas Senate race: Texas GOP to have to fight over ‘unfair’ election rules
SAN ANTONIO — Republicans will try to hold on to the seat of retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but with the help of a $1.8 million television ad buy, the campaign says it has a realistic shot of making the seat a competitive one.
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On Tuesday, the Democratic Party’s largest outside group will air an ad featuring former Gov.
Greg Abbott in a race that will test whether the state’s Republican Party can withstand an expensive and high-stakes challenge from Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro.
The ad shows a shot of a Texas family at a Texas flag-raising ceremony and features Abbott, who won the gubernatorial election in 2018.
It also features Castro’s daughter and brother-in-law, both Democrats.
“I’ve worked hard to get here and now I’m standing on the same platform with Kay Bailey,” Castro says.
“But this is a race we all have to win.”
In Texas, an election is a referendum on a Republican governor and a Democratic-controlled Legislature, but in 2018, it will be a referendum of how the Republican Party operates.
Democrats will likely hold on in Texas, but the state will be far more competitive than it was in 2018 because of the GOP’s push for statewide redistricting.
The race is a key test of whether the GOP has a shot at retaking the state Senate.
Republican Greg Abbott, now the governor, has been reelected twice in a row and has a commanding lead in the state House.
The Republican-controlled state Senate has also been the subject of some partisan fights.
Democrats are targeting two of the state Supreme Court justices in the race: Judge Nancy Bradley and Associate Justice Michael Breyer.
The two seats are not in Democratic control and have become battlegrounds since the GOP took over the state Legislature in 2017.
Democrats also have the chance to use a special election to pick a new U.S. attorney to replace retiring Judge John Garvey, who was charged with sexual assault and other crimes.
The GOP has vowed to hold Garvey in office until the next general election.
The special election will be held in December 2019.
Republican Rep. Bill Flores, who represents the southern part of the Lone Star State, is also running against Democrat Jonathon Crow, who is running for a seat in the U.N. General Assembly.
Crow was charged in 2018 with felony child abuse for allegedly abusing a 15-year-old boy in his care.
Flores has denied any wrongdoing.
Democrats say they plan to spend a lot of money in the runoff and hope to raise $3 million.
It is a significant sum for a race where there is a $5 million limit.
That money would be used to hire more state workers and buy more television ads.
“This race is all about what happens in November,” said Greg Fitzsimmons, a Democratic consultant and political strategist who worked for Rep. Carlos Curbelo in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.
“It’s about who gets to represent the people of Texas and who is able to win the general election.”
Republican pollster Rick Wilson, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, said he expects the race to be close.
“I think the race is very close, very close,” Wilson said.
“The most important thing is the turnout.”
In the primary, the incumbent was well ahead of her Democratic opponent, who beat him by about 13 percentage points in a crowded Republican field.
But there are several factors that could affect the outcome in the general.
Pat McCrory, who has said he will not seek re-election in 2018 due to the 2018 election, is running again.
Democrats are also likely to spend money to help get out the vote and to bolster their campaigns, and to run up the score in the final weeks of the race.
The campaign’s $1 million ad buy was coordinated by a Republican ad buy firm called Jigsaw.
The firm has also worked for the Republican Governors Association, which has been running a similar television ad in the past two weeks that highlights the fact that Gov.
John Kasich has not made any legislative changes since he took office in 2018 and has raised $7.2 million for his re-entry campaign.