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This year’s general election ballot doesn’t offer many shady spots to a Republican trying to escape the presidential campaign’s glare. But for those who want to stay out of that national conversation — the speaker of the Texas House, to name one — there are a handful of races at home that offer plausible excuses.
Joe Straus told the Texas delegates at the Republican convention in Cleveland that he’ll be busy this election cycle helping a half-dozen Republican incumbents who have real challenges in the general election.
It’s a dodge. A thin dodge.
There are only a handful of races up in the air in Texas, if by up in the air you mean “yeah, maybe.”
But Straus talked local in Cleveland when he was ducking reporters’ questions about whether he was endorsing Donald Trump. “I know there’s some tension over the presidential nomination, but not everything that happens at a nominating convention is about the top of the ticket," he said. “There are a whole lot of people here working where I am on down-ballot races.”
Straus did say he won’t be supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton, but didn’t say he would vote for Trump.
No matter how the presidential race goes in Texas, few of the candidates running down-ticket races have much to worry about. Officeholders left voters with district maps that take away voters' real choices over who serves in legislative or congressional office.