For 30 years, a Geren has represented Fort Worth in either Congress or the Texas House.
But this primary election seemed closer than the rest, and state Rep. Charlie Geren wasn't sure of winning till late Tuesday.
Yet he was darn sure why he was pressed into a closer race with Freedom Caucus-aligned Republican Bo French, a younger movement conservative challenging one of Austin's fiercest old-guard defenders.
"The lying men in Cisco, Texas, and Midland, Texas … and they're liars," Geren told a Star-Telegram reporter, apparently referring to wealthy church elder Farris Wilks and his brother, Dan, along with Midland oil executive Tim Dunn, co-founder of a Christian private school.
This primary election always decides less about red or blue and more about exactly which shade of red rules Texas.
Geren was up against a challenger almost entirely funded by two political action committees bankrolled by faith-driven West Texas energy millionaires.
Empower Texans PAC and its cohort in recent campaigns, Texas Right to Life PAC, spent enough money to fill Fort Worth mailboxes daily, and Geren responded.
More than maybe any other Texas Republican, Geren counts on the votes of public school teachers and parents who oppose private-school vouchers. But that also makes him a perennial target for some faith-and-values conservatives.
This time around, his friends worried whether Geren's crossover public school voters would be over in the Democratic primary riding the blue wave with U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke.
Geren also dealt with nagging ads about his support for independent-minded House Speaker Joe Straus, and about various piddling votes that meant little except to the Empower Texans PAC's enemies' list.
French's best argument involved a child welfare complaint someone anonymously lodged against his family close to his 2016 election day loss to Geren. But that was two years ago, and French hadn't said much about it until this campaign go-round.
In the campaign's final days, French's wife, Sheridan, made a heart-tugging video defending her family. But her video offered a more convincing appeal than any of Bo French's mostly critical campaign ads.
Geren carried near west Fort Worth boxes by a 3-1 margin and also won suburbs such as River Oaks and Azle. French's strongest precincts were in the Marine Creek area outside Loop 820.
Geren's victory and the more convincing win by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, kept local leadership in the Texas House over candidates backed by West Texans.
"I think it's clear they just sent lie after lie in the mail, and nothing was true," Capriglione said late Tuesday. He easily defeated Keller challenger Armin Mizani.
"They did try to buy the election," Capriglione said. "The people saw right through it. They tried to buy the election and have people in Austin who would do their bidding instead of represent the district."
Every Republican primary sinks into a game of political bumper cars between business conservatives and the Tea Party or Freedom Caucus. But the Wilks brothers' money has lifted the game to a premium price range.
Both sides agree for guns and against abortion, but they disagree on school vouchers and business incentives.
One year the business side will pick up a few seats, the next year Empower Texans will gain. (The way it looked Tuesday night, neither side moved the ball far.)
This rivalry is like a Texas football rivalry: It's gone on forever, and it'll go on forever.
It'll keep going long after the inevitable day when Geren retires from the Texas House.
But that won't be this year.
Bud Kennedy, 817-390-7538. @BudKennedy