It may seem crazy that the 2014 political season is already upon us, but the fact remains that it is. The Texas GOP will have several contested races for statewide positions. There's always the possibility that someone else will jump in, but at this point, anyone not already running is pretty far behind. I will address the top three statewide races here (Yes, I am ignoring the Democrats):
This race is Greg Abbott's to lose, but keep in mind that 2012 brought us a Senate race that was David Dewhurt's to lose, and he did. I have known Attorney General Abbott and his main opponent, Tom Pauken, for several years. I met both of them through my association with Baylor's Young Conservatives of Texas chapter. I supported Pauken in his 1998 bid for Texas Attorney General, and I have supported General Abbott in his statewide races since 1996. To me, the Texas Republican Party would be proud to have either of these men as the nominee, and the State of Texas would be well-served by either one.
I used to like David Dewhurst. No, really, I did. However, I supported Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race, and Dewhurst lost even more of my respect with his gross mishandling of the last day of the first 2013 Texas Legislative Special Session. His attempt to use his influence to get a family member out of jail didn't help, either. Dewhurst is facing three serious challengers: Jerry Patterson, Todd Staples, and Dan Patrick. Any of these three would be an improvement. I have known Jerry Patterson the longest time, but at the moment, I remain undecided.
With Greg Abbott seeking the Governor's mansion, this position is up for grabs. Three men have announced: Dan Branch, Ken Paxton, and Barry Smitherman. Smitherman was just elected to a full term on the Railroad commission in 2012. Branch is a State Representative and is far too chummy with Texas Speaker of the House, Joe Straus for my tastes. Paxton is a State Senator, and is my pick here. Smitherman has the advantage of having won a statewide race before, but Ken Paxton is the type of man I would like to see in the AG's office.