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Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and his allies outpaced expectations in Tuesday’s primary, sustaining only scattered losses while holding onto most of their seats and picking up a couple of new ones.
Fears that populist winds and the outsider candidacies of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would somehow turn the higher turnout of a presidential year into a bad thing for Team Straus proved just that — unfounded angst.
While off-year elections and, in any year, GOP runoffs may be hazardous to the speaker’s side, this year’s primary produced very decent results for Straus.
Oh, yes, he struck out at unseating the most vociferous, irritating backbenchers in his caucus, such as Reps. Jonathan Stickland of Bedford, Matt Rinaldi of Irving and Tony Tinderholt of Fort Worth. Impressively, Stickland and Tinderholt cruised to re-election each with 58 percent of the vote; and Rinaldi, with more than 53 percent.