Two area Republican lawmakers sent to the political sidelines by voters Tuesday were likely the victim of an anti-incumbent environment that continues to prevail over legislative and congressional races, a political analyst said Wednesday.State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, was denied an eighth term and Rep. Barbara Nash, R-Arlington, a second term by relative newcomers.Reports of Truitt's deal with a hospital district confirmed the perception among disheartened and in some cases cynical voters that incumbents have designs on benefiting personally from their office, said Jim Riddlesperger, a professor of political science at Texas Christian University.Nash likely lost because of the same mindset."The overwhelming lesson in this is a frustration with government, particularly with people who are very conservative," said Riddlesperger, speaking of voters who have embraced a philosophy through the Tea Party."When you have something with what Vicki had, the facts don't matter all that much because it just confirms the feelings of people who have this anti-incumbency feeling."No-bid contractsThe company Truitt and her husband own reportedly benefited from no-bid contracts with the Tarrant County Hospital District. Truitt, who lost to Giovanni Capriglione in the District 98 primary, did not respond to phone messages.She has denied that anything untoward occurred and said her business with the hospital district began years before she was first elected in 1998.Capriglione, a private-equity manager who lost to her in the primary two years ago, got 55.5 percent of the vote to Truitt's 44.5 percent in unofficial returns.Nash said she believes that her political career was the victim of Texas' redistricting battle, which resulted in a district that she said made her new constituents strangers.New boundaries sent the Arlington Republican, who enjoyed the support of Gov. Rick Perry and Mayors Betsy Price of Fort Worth and Robert Cluck of Arlington, into a district west along Texas 10 and 121 into north Fort Worth and up to the Denton County line."I'm disappointed, but I'm not sad," said Nash, who will spend time with her new twin grandchildren. "I didn't feel like I was running as an incumbent. The district was always problematic for me."From where I lived, from Park Row all the way up to the Denton County line is a little unrealistic for a state rep district."Matt Krause, a Fort Worth attorney, got 50.7 percent of the vote. Nash received 37.6 percent and Patricia "Pat" Carlson 11.7 percent.Getting out the voteThe size of the districts in Texas does make a difference, Riddlesperger said, especially in a year when the presidential primary isn't hotly contested and voter turnout is lower.The winners of such primaries generally do a better job of getting their voters out, Riddlesperger said.Capriglione, who enjoyed Tea Party support, and Krause both said good old-fashioned retail politics -- face-to-face interaction with voters -- ultimately keyed their victories.Capriglione said he knocked on the door of almost 7,000 homes during the campaign. Krause said he visited about 5,500."Retail politics is still the most effective way to do politics," Riddlesperger said. "The problem is the House districts have just gotten so big that you can't do that."Two state House primaries are going to runoffs July 31.Former Tarrant County GOP Chairwoman Stephanie Klick and onetime North Richland Hills Mayor Pro Tem Ken Sapp are headed to the next phase of the primary in District 91. Sapp got 39.9 percent of the vote to Klick's 31.9 percent.Two other candidates split the rest.In the Democratic race to replace outgoing state Rep. Marc Veasey, who is running for Congress, Nicole Collier and Jesse Gaines will vie for a place on the general election ballot in a runoff for House District 95.Collier got 48.2 percent of the vote and Gaines 38.4 percent. Dulani Masimini received 13.4 percent.Three constable races will also need runoffs: Jason McCaffity and Darrell Huffman in Precinct 3, Jon Siegel and Glen Bucy Jr. in Precinct 6, and Michael Campbell and John Thompson in Precinct 8.Also headed to a runoff are Tom Corbin and Susan McCoy, who both want to become the next judge in the 153rd District Court.
More mudslinging is expected in the U.S. Senate race. 5A
Judge in gas well case is defeated. 1B
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