Sunday, August 21, 2005

Vulnerable Republicans, Is Rep. Krusee?

This article, School finance failure may spur turnover, is another in the long line of post special session #2 Republican excuse and blame articles. One thing different about this article is that Rep. Krusee is quoted in it. It's a good article and it brings up the fact that some powerful Republican legislators have already drawn primary challengers:
Emerging, like all of his Republican colleagues, bruised and battered from two years of failure to resolve the school finance issue, the popular House Appropriations Committee chairman faces a potentially dangerous primary challenger: the vice chairman of a school board in his district.

[and]

Mr. Pitts and other lawmakers predict that when the 80th Legislature convenes in January 2007, it could have as many as 40 freshmen. That's twice as many newcomers as this year
Like I said it's mainly about Republicans drawing primary challengers. Now as far as the "Run Everywhere" argument goes a district where an incumbent Republican gets beat would be a great opportunity for a Democrat. We need to get candidates ready in these districts. If the incumbent loses in a primary that would give a Democrat a better chance than running against an incumbent. Makes sense to me. Now back to Rep. Krusee. Here is the section of where he is quoted:
Some may quit

Some representatives could lose to strong opponents. Others, sick of spending so much time away from their jobs and families while fighting a fruitless battle in Austin, are simply burned out and considering retirement. Still others, including three House GOP committee chairmen, have announced plans to seek higher office.

With more than six months until the primaries, at least 11 House members have already drawn primary opponents who are current or former school officials in a perfect position to beat the drum on school finance. In Mr. Pitts' district, some superintendents are already showing support for his opponent, Duke Burge of Midlothian.

Dozens more members are certain they will draw opponents as well. And nearly a dozen House committee chairmen – most of them Republicans – are thought to be considering retirement.

"Without a doubt, everybody's vulnerable because we failed," said House Transportation Committee Chairman Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock. "It's hard to explain away failure."


Those dire predictions might just be fatigue and paranoia talking, some members and experts say. Fighting an incumbent who hasn't committed a crime or cheated on a spouse is no easy task, and lawmakers could yet find a solution to the school finance issue by the time the March primaries roll around.

But either way, Mr. Pitts and dozens of other House Republicans face what could be the fight of their political careers over the next six months, as frustrated voters – hearing only that lawmakers failed – seek to punish incumbents for breaking promises to cut property taxes while fixing the state's ailing public school system.

"There's some explaining that they're going to have to do, and in some cases there's going to be challenges that have to be dealt with," said Mike Baselice, an Austin-based Republican pollster. "They're going to have to define themselves like they haven't had to do in some time. And in some cases, and probably most of them, since they were first elected."
That's an interesting statement, "..everybody's vulnerable..", and so far he hasn't even tried to explain away the school finance failure. In his case is he referring to getting a primary challenger or to the general election next year? We already know he's going to have a challenger next November. It seems unlikely that the Republicans in Williamson County would back a challenger against Krusee in the primary or even stay neutral. Who knows, maybe since he's just got a pension raise and now has all those transportation contacts it's time to retire. Whatever the case is I thought it was interesting.

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