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Texas Take

Feb 8, 2018

Forget that civilized political discourse thing that you may think elections are all about. Texas' Republican primaries are beginning to look more like a full-on street fight.

It's a state where GOP leaders pride themselves as being conservative with a capital "C.  But l-i-b-e-r-a-l is the label that's getting the throwdowns rolling.

Gov. Abbott is accusing three incumbent House members of being too liberal as he campaigns for their challengers, and they're throwing punches back at him. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is helping fund the challenger to a sitting senator.

Incumbent Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has no nice things to say about GOP challenger Trey Blocker, and vice versa.

And incumbent Land Commissioner George P. Bush and challenger (and predecessor) Jerry Patterson? They aren't playing nice with each other, either.

Other candidates are blasting their opponents for being-shows at public forums, for lying about their voting record and for being incredibly disingenuous in their rat-a-ta-tat attacks. Even an endorsement by President Trump's son touched off a brief spat.

The spokesman for Ken Paxton, Texas' indicted attorney general, went off on lazy reporters for trolling Twitter and writing "crappy articles" without ever going out to cover Real News.

Geez. Is no one happy? Really not happy, in fact, just weeks before the March 6 primary.

Our sponsor this week: The Texas Association of Counties.

With Mike Ward, the Houston Chronicle's Austin Bureau chief, and Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, it's Texas' leading online podcast about Lone Star politics -- coming to you in collaboration with Texas Public Radio.