As the results from the 2014 Primary poured in on Tuesday night, the impact of the work from the home schooling community became more and more evident. The 2014 November elections are shaping up to be an historic landslide victory for traditional values and parental rights!
With six out of seven THSC-endorsed statewide executive candidates either winning outright or else advancing into the Runoff leading by a wide margin, the slate of candidates officially elected to office in November could be one of the most home school friendly in Texas history. Candidates Ken Paxton (Attorney General), Dan Patrick (Lieutenant Governor), Glenn Hegar (Comptroller), Sid Miller (Agricultural Commissioner), and Wayne Christian (Railroad Commissioner) are all advancing to the Runoff with a significant lead on their respective opponents.
All six THSC-endorsed statewide judicial candidates won their elections without a runoff. They are: Texas Supreme Court Justices Nathan Hecht, Phil Johnson, and Jeff Brown, as well as Court of Criminal Appeals candidates Kevin Yeary, Bert Richardson, and David Newell. Chief Justice Nathan Hecht is currently the only remaining Texas Supreme Court justice who was on the bench for the Leeper decision. As the author of that decision, Justice Hecht, along with all five of the other conservative candidate listed above, will be instrumental in the defense of parental rights in Texas.
Conservatives Put Down Roots!
THSC saw landslide victories in the defense of State Senator Donna Campbell and State Representatives Jonathan Stickland, Matt Schaefer, and Charles Perry, who all successfully fended off opponents, each winning their districts by more than a 22% margin. All four of these Incumbents drew opponents by standing up against the establishment during the 83rd Legislative Session.
THSC-endorsed State Representative candidates Mark Keough (HD 15) and Wayne Faircloth (HD 23) and State Senate candidate Paul Bettencourt (SD 7) all won their open-seat races without a runoff. State Representative candidates Stuart Spitzer (HD 4), Molly White (HD 55), Tony Tinderholt (HD 94), Rodney Anderson (HD 105) and Matt Rinaldi (HD 115) and State Senatorial challenger Don Huffines (SD 16) all achieved monumental victories by unseating establishment incumbents from across the state who had long since overstayed their welcomes in the Texas Legislature.
These victories demonstrate the turning of the tide in Austin against the liberal House and Senate leadership, and they send the message that traditional values and conservative principles are here to stay!
On to the Runoff!
In addition to the executive Runoffs, home school champions are heading to the Runoffs throughout the Texas House and Senate as well. Texas House candidates T.J Fabby (HD 10), Ted Seago (HD 16) and Matt Shaheen (HD 66) and Texas Senate candidates Bob Hall (SD 2) and Konni Burton (SD 10) are all advancing to the Runoffs with a firm foot in the door.
The victories achieved by the home schooling community in the Primary provide a solid platform from which to launch our offensive for the Runoffs on May 27!
Feeling the Heat
With many of their liberal friends overturned in the Primary, the establishment incumbents who have managed to hang on into the Runoff are feeling the heat from the home schooling community, who are hot on their heels. Conservatives and home schoolers from across the state are organizing into an unstoppable force of which the establishment is all too aware.
Across the state, liberal incumbents have outspent their challengers by hundreds of thousands of dollars, only to find that the grassroots uprising throughout Texas outnumbered their campaign dollars by a wide margin. While the establishment bartered their votes through backroom deals and costly media ads, the home schoolers and grassroots activists won their candidates’ support with long hours and worn shoe leather, walking the neighborhoods day in and day out until Primary Election Day.
Every Vote Counts
Even among home schoolers, complacency can easily become a staple in our problem-solving kit. The thought, “My vote does not matter” or, “Surely someone else is already doing that job” is an easy response in the realm of politics. However, many people who withhold their vote, even if only for the Primary, do not fully consider the effects of their actions.
The results of the 2014 Primary could not have demonstrated this truth more clearly. Five of the victories that we achieved were won by less than 2% of the vote. It is safe to say that without the participation of the home schooling community, these candidates would not have won their elections.
Although our victories were substantial, I could not help but notice a few missed opportunities that may have been avoided if we had just pushed even a little bit harder. As I watched the results come in, several races stood out to me. Conservative Comptroller candidate Glenn Hegar leapt out ahead of the pack and took a firm lead before finally stopping at 49.99% of the vote—just 122 votes short of a clean Primary victory. The idea that a runoff for a statewide race could have been avoided by 122 votes is astonishing. With more than a half dozen races being lost by merely a few percentage points, I am reminded more and more that every vote counts, and that God’s provision entails more than merely accepting opportunity when it sits down on our doorstep. We have to take the initiative to reach out and grab it when we see it walking by.