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March 7, 2018      1:04 AM

SB: After bruising primary, the Texas House on track to stay independent

Speaker Straus set the stage for rational House Republicans to run the table; Gov. Abbott’s losing two of the three races where he challenged House incumbents. If the House GOP bows down to Abbott & Patrick next session, it won't be because voters in their districts told them to

Four years ago, if you asked how to win a GOP primary in Texas, the answer would be for the candidate to try to get to the right of Sen. Ted Cruz.

Since then, Cruz did violence to his relevance by flaming out at the Republican National Convention when he refused to endorse the ticket, only to later completely crater with those who were still on his side by doing the one thing they respected him for not doing: Endorsing Donald J. Trump for the White House. Cruz has mostly regained his footing among Republicans, but some polling has shown his numbers remain weak among self-identified independents.

Tonight, Cruz lost a Texas House race in the Piney Woods after endorsing the challenger to Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall. Paddie stomped his opponent 63 to 36 even with Cruz and the Wilks Brothers against him while Empower Texans blanketed his district with negative mail.

In 2018, Republicans are largely following the leader, but it ain’t Cruz.

By Scott Braddock

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