The biggest non-surprise campaign announcement since Kay Bailey Hutchison announce her run for governor happened today. HD-20 GOP state Rep. Dan Gattis announced he is running to replace state Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) in SD-5, Gattis announces for Ogden seat.
KLBJ-AM also had a story up for a little while over the weekend, that’s no longer available on it’s web site. It had this line in it, (Text below is from my RSS Reader):
Gattis running for State Senate
Representative Dan Gattis (R-Georgetown) says he is running for the State Senate seat currently held by Senator Steve Ogden (R-Bryan). Ogden announced last week that he will not be seeking re-election. Gattis says he has been preparing for the run for higher office for several years. Gattis says he met with Ogden last week and received his blessing. [Emphasis added].
The URL for the post, (http://www.590klbj.com/News/Story.aspx?ID=1139454), is no longer available on their web site. While a blessing is not exactly an endorsement, it makes one wonder if that “blessing” line was too close to an endorsement for someone’s comfort? Especially since Gattis is likely to have a primary opponent. There’s likely to be a “rest of the district vs. Williamson County” type split in the primary. The rapid growth in Williamson County since 2000 has changed the make up of SD5 considerably. Essentially it is transitioning from a rural district to one that is 50-50 rural-suburban, which can create animosity between the rural and suburban parts of the district. And that is likely to play out during the GOP primary. Ogden likely wouldn’t want to get in the middle of, especially if he has plans for another/higher office. Here’s the current story at KLBJ-AM with audio from Gattis and Ogden, Gattis running for State Senate.
Ogden’s departure from the Senate sets up an open seat election in Senate District 5 to replace him. And with Gattis leaving the state house that means there’s an open seat race in HD-20 as well. While these two districts lean Republican, everyone knows it’s easier to win an open seat election, (see Diana Maldonado), than it is to beat an incumbent. Which means the GOP is going to have to spend money and energy, in both of these elections, where they wouldn’t had Ogden decided to run for reelection. The stage is set for a couple of good Democratic candidates, with enough resources, to make a run at these two seats.