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Mike Kanin is the Publisher of the Austin Monitor. As such, he doesn't report on much--aside from the workings of the Monitor--any more. In his previous life as a freelance journalist, Kanin has written for the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer.
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Republican wave sweeps Hays County Democrats out of office
The national Republican wave took down a host of veteran Hays County public officials in Tuesday’s mid-term elections. As Democrats across the country fell, Hays voters elected Republicans in every countywide contest where they faced a Democratic opponent.
As part of it all, State Rep. Patrick Rose lost his bid for a fifth term in the Texas House. His opponent, trucking logistics consultant and lacrosse league organizer, Jason Isaac took the seat with 53 percent of the vote.
At the county level, sitting Hays County commissioners Jeff Barton and Karen Ford lost their respective races to return to the Hays County Commissioners Court. With victories by county judge Republican candidate Bert Cobb, and future commissioners Mark Jones and Ray Whisenant, that body will hold a four to one Republican majority come January.
Isaac told In Fact Daily that he was elated. “I felt the whole time that we could do this,” he said, adding that his win over Rose wasn’t only a ride on the national party’s coattails. “I know we won,” he said. “The wave might have helped a little bit…(but) we outworked (Rose).”
He added that he hoped to help the State of Texas “get back to common sense government…(and) cut spending. I want to be a model for business,” he continued, “I want people to say my business runs like the Texas government.”
As of Tuesday night, Rose had not returned phone calls.
Rose was seen as a fairly conservative Democrat who earned himself committee chair assignments from the Republican leadership. Still, his race with Isaac had featured high-pitched rhetoric that sought to cast Rose as a liberal.
Commissioner Barton was philosophical about his loss. He compared it to the struggles of his out of work countrymen. “My company decided they wanted to go in a different direction,” he said “It happens.”
He said that he took responsibility for the loss. Still, he felt that national sentiment had played an unnecessary role. “I believe in personal responsibility so I…lost,” he said. “A big contributing factor was the national mood, of course….At the local level I don’t think those issues (that carried the Republicans) apply.”
Barton then criticized the bitter partisanship that has rocked the United States. “We’ve got to get over this thing in (the U.S.) where the other side is the enemy,” he said. “We have a whole lot more in common than not.”
The soon-to-be former commissioner said that he was looking forward to some relaxation and time with his family. He noted that he hadn’t had a day off since July.
Cobb, who collected 56 percent of the vote, told In Fact Daily that he is “humbled and gratified by the faith that the people of Hays County have placed (in me).
“I’m amazed,” he continued, “for an unknown to come out of the woodwork (like this).”
Cobb said that he was getting a plan together and that he would like to deal particularly with water issues when he takes over the court.
Barton unseated current Hays Judge Liz Sumter in a March primary.
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