Mar. 9 Newsmakers: Primaries set stage for political showdowns

Published On: Mar 07 2014 02:20:57 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 10 2014 12:00:00 AM CDT

Houston Newsmakers March 9, 2014

HOUSTON -

Primaries set the stage for political showdowns, a new leader for the GOP and the legal chance for same sex marriage in Texas.

A surprisingly strong showing by State Senator Dan Patrick shakes the foundation of three term incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Mark Jones, Ph.D. Chair of the Political Science Department at Rice University is a guest on this week's 'Houston Newsmakers' with Khambrel Marshall and says it will be tough for Dewhurst to recover and that Texas Senator Ted Cruz has had an effect on his chances.

"Ted Cruz had a damaging impact on David Dewhurst because he presented an image to Texas republican primary voters that David Dewhurst was an establishment moderate as someone they couldn't trust," Jones said. "That image has stuck with him and if you look, 72% of the people did not vote for him."

Jones weighs in on the Governor's race and what issues will shape that campaign as well and looks at the big issues for this season's political campaigns.

Paul Simpson will be the new Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party after beating 12 year incumbent Jared Woodfill. Simpson says efforts by Democrats make his role especially important in trying to keep Democrats from turning this red state blue.

"I think it's already turned purple. We're going to push it back to being red, absolutely bringing our message out to the whole county. Not just preaching to the choir but winning converts," he said.

How real are the chances that same sex marriage will become the law of the land in Texas? University of Houston Law Center Professor Aaron Bruhl says that after a federal judge struck down the Texas law against it, the Supreme Court will make the ultimate decision and while the Supreme Court will make the final decision, he has seen a trend developing in lower courts.

"These courts are saying that although we want the states to do their own thing in many areas, on matters of basic equality it's the same everywhere," he said.

Watch Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall Sunday at 10 a.m., right after 'Meet the Press' with David Gregory.

More Information:

•Mark Jones, Ph.D, Chair, Department of Political Science, Rice University,  713-348-4842, http://politicalscience.rice.edu
•Paul Simpson, Chair-Elect Harris County Republican Party  713-838-7900  www.harriscountygop.com
•Aaron Bruhl, J.D., Associate Professor, University of Houston Law Center, 713-743-2100, www.law.uh.edu

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