State Lege: Same, Same, but Different

We could have told you in advance, not much change happening at state level


Incoming state representative Gina Hinojosa (Photo by John Anderson)


Don't bother with a crystal ball: The 85th Texas Legislature will look almost exactly identical to the 84th.

State Lege: Same, Same, but Different

Blame gerrymandering, turnout, voter suppression, and the disemboweling of the Voting Rights Act. Next session, the GOP will hold the Senate under Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick by a 20-11 margin, making a conservative agenda seemingly inevitable.

For the last few sessions, the House has been the firewall to cool the increasingly radical agenda coming out of the upper chamber. There seemed a little bright news on that side of the Dome, with Democrats actually gaining five seats – though two of those were seats that the Dems had lost in interim special elections, and simply flipped back.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa still praised the gains and made a not-so-subtle gesture to potential Republican fractures: "I know the outstanding Demo­cratic leaders elected tonight will get the job done, and I know they are ready to work with any Republican who is serious about moving our state forward."

There are new faces in the Travis County delegation, but no real change. On the Senate side, Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, didn't have a challenger, while Dawn Buck­ing­ham kept Senate District 24 Repub­lican, defeating Democrat Virginia "Jennie Lou" Leeder to replace retiring incumbent Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay.

The House remains a five-one split, Demo­crat to Republican. Incumbent Dems Eddie Rodriguez, Donna Howard, Celia Israel, and Dawnna Dukes all held their seats (although Dukes will step down in January, triggering a special election), and are joined by outgoing AISD trustee Gina Hinojosa, who replaces veteran legislator Elliott Naishtat. Meanwhile, sole Republican Paul Workman saw off Dem challenger Ana Jordan by 12 points.

There are new faces, but no real change in the Travis County delegation.
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Texas House, Texas Senate, Dan Patrick, Voting Rights Act, Gilberto Hinojosa, Dawn Buckingham, Troy Fraser, Judith Zaffirini, Virginia Leeder, Dawn Buckingham, Troy Fraser, Eddie Rodriguez, Donna Howard, Celia Israel, Dawnna Dukes, Gina Hinojosa, Elliott Naishtat, Paul Workman, Ana Jordan, November 2016 Election

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