With the election over and Washington D.C. looking to continue to wander astray from our values, it is clear that attacks on religious freedom, marriage, and life will continue. But, with strong conservative, pro-family candidates winning at all levels of government in Texas, Texans can take heart in the unique opportunity Texas has to lead our country in standing for the core Texas values of faith, family, and freedom.
In the most high profile statewide race, conservative Republican and tea party favorite Ted Cruz, easily won the race for the U.S. Senate. In doing so, Cruz becomes the first Hispanic from Texas to serve in the U.S. Senate (see Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz discuss Ted Cruz’s historic win).
The Texas Senate will have several new faces come January, including conservative Republicans Ken Paxton, Dr. Donna Campbell, and Kelly Hancock. While the 19-12 Republican to Democrat split in the Senate will stay the same, the addition of these conservative, pro-family senators should shift the Texas Senate in a more conservative direction.
In the Texas House, Republicans will continue to dominate the numbers, winning 95 of the 150 seats. Among the 95 strong will include a large class of conservative, pro-family freshmen, including Matt Krause in HD 93, Jonathan Stickland in HD 92, Jeff Leach in HD67, Giovanni Capriglione in HD 98, Ron Simmons in HD 65, Steve Toth in HD 15, among many others. With many calling for a more conservative session than 2011, and conservative Representative Bryan Hughes already announcing that he is challenging Joe Straus for the Speakership, we expect major conservative reforms to be a push in the upcoming legislative session. We especially look for the Texas Legislature to be primed for strengthening religious liberty protection in our state constitution.
Republicans also managed to keep their stronghold on the State Board of Education, winning 10 of the 15 seats. Conservatives Ken Mercer, David Bradley, Barbara Cargill, and Pat Hardy all easily won reelection and Tincy Miller will be returning to the board as well after having been beat in the 2010 Republican Primary. With the addition of conservatives Marty Rowley, Donna Bahorich, and Tom Maynard, conservatives look to have increased their control of the board.
And in other races, Republicans continued their winning streak at the state level by winning all statewide races, including the two races for Railroad Commissioner, three Texas Supreme Court races, and three Court of Criminal Appeals races.
Overall, from top of the ticket down, pro-family and grassroots conservative candidates had a strong showing at all levels of Texas government. Regardless of which direction Washington D.C. goes, Texas, now more than ever, is in a unique position to lead the country on critical issues – especially the values issues of religious liberty, life, and marriage and family. We look forward to working on these critical issues as we head to the 2013 legislative session.