GOP holding on to razor-thin advantage in Texas House

Fort Worth Star-TelegramNovember 5, 2008 

At least for now, Republicans are holding onto control of the Texas House of Representatives by the slimmest of leads — 25 votes to be exact.

That's the margin of victory that incumbent Republican Linda Harper-Brown of Irving had over Democrat Bob Ramano in District 105 after Tuesday's election. According to unofficial election night returns, Harper-Brown received 19,833 votes to Ramano’s 19,808.

If Harper-Brown’s lead holds, Republicans will maintain a 76-74 edge in the Texas House, said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

But that’s a big "if."

Steven Tillery with the Dallas County Democratic Party said the campaign will be watching the next few days as mail-in ballots come in and an unknown number of provisional ballots are assessed.

"At that point, I’m sure we’ll have to take a look at it and see what our options are," Tillery said.

Democrats were pushing for a thin majority in the House, where Republicans entered Tuesday’s election with a 79-71 majority. Democrats needed a net gain of five seats to take over the majority and oust Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland.

"I think we’ll still see a change in speakership," Jillson said. "I think we’ll see dozens of people declaring for the speakership."

Allan Saxe, an associate political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, said changing demographics across the board have narrowed the Republican advantage in Texas.

Read the full story at star-telegram.com

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