December 2, 2014      4:27 PM
Kolkhorst looks to avoid runoff as contest to succeed Hegar in the Senate turns nasty
Five candidates running on a compressed schedule; Kolkhorst goes on defense in the final days as Gary Gates pummels her on illegal immigration
– The mad dash to succeed Comptroller-Elect Glenn Hegar in the Texas Senate has turned quite
negative in the final days leading up to this Saturday’s special election. The
perceived frontrunner, Rep. Lois
Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, has sought to create a sense of inevitability through
high-profile endorsements and has focused her message on border security.
a well-funded Republican rival, Rosenberg businessman Gary Gates, is working hard to turn illegal immigration into
Kolkhorst’s worst issue and has touted the endorsement of former Congressman Ron Paul as a way to say he’s the “true
conservative.” There are three other candidates, but none of them have campaigned
for as long or spent nearly as much money as Kolkhorst and Gates.
yes, there are serious dollars in play. Gates, so far, has spent $1.7 million to
Kolkhorst’s roughly $915,000.
resigned his Senate seat about three weeks ago, on the last possible day he
could do so in order to trigger an expedited special election. He’s trying to
hand off the seat to Kolkhorst, a rural lawmaker who somehow has the blessing
of the Republican establishment, some Tea Party figures, and a major
newspaper editorial board. Hegar faced Gates years ago in a nasty GOP
nomination fight for this Senate seat, so there’s little doubt that bad blood
exists between the two to this day.
stars seem to have aligned for Kolkhorst in a way that’s truly remarkable, according
to some veteran Texas Capitol observers. To underscore their point, how often
do you hear Midland oilman Tim Dunn’s
spokesman Michael Quinn Sullivan agree
with the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board? Well, in this case they
agree Kolkhorst should be elected to the Texas Senate.
By Scott Braddock