Seems like negativity paid off in the local April 13 Republican run-offs. In southwest Travis County's House District 47, developer and real estate investor Paul Workman
defeated lawyer Holly Turner
, 54% to 46%, but only after a scorched-earth campaign smearing her as a carpetbagger, an attorney, and the wife of a lobbyist. Workman now faces incumbent Rep. Valinda Bolton
, D-Austin, in November, in what is likely to be a brutal campaign. Up in Williamson County, former staffer to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Texas State University System Vice Chancellor Larry Gonzales
destroyed John Gordon
, the godfather of the WilCo GOP, 71% to 29%, after the former ran a raft of TV ads using footage of Gordon being pulled over for traffic violations. Gonzales will challenge freshman Rep. Diana Maldonado
, D-Round Rock, in the general election.
In total, there were eight GOP House run-offs in the state, mostly for vacant seats but with mixed results for incumbents. Capitol institution Delwin Jones, who first entered the House in 1964 as a Democrat, was soundly defeated by Lubbock developer and tea partier Charles Perry. Similarly, in El Paso, in the sole Democratic House run-off, Naomi Gonzalez booted out unpopular and trouble-plagued incumbent Norma Chávez after an ugly campaign. Nor are the primaries all settled: In Houston's HD 146, Democratic incumbent Al Edwards is contesting his narrow 10-vote loss to longtime rival Borris Miles in district court.