This Texas election was ridiculous. So were some results. Now, on to Bush vs. Paxton

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So much for the baloney.

After one of the most bizarre political seasons in recent memory, we can get down to asking whether George P. Bush can beat Attorney General Ken Paxton and whether Tim O’Hare or Deborah Peoples can run Tarrant County.

We should have expected a fortnight of foolishness when challengers started accusing long-standing Republican leaders of being closet socialists, public health tyrants or chlld traffickers.

Honestly, this was one of the most ridiculous primary seasons ever.

With such poison delivered daily via the U.S. mail, who can blame the voters for the outcome?

Candidates for state attorney general, basically the state’s head civil court lawyer, claimed they were going to act like caped crime-fighters or magically stop illegal border crossings.

Meanwhile, candidates for criminal district attorney, who actually fights crime, argued over who loves Florida Republican Donald Trump most or who would punish police least.

At the top of the ticket, Gov. Greg Abbott, a dignified former attorney and judge, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination by even more votes than expected.

But even Abbott had to endure a Bizarro World trio of opponents: a cranky retired Army officer, a cornpone comedian and a wealthy Highland Park developer with more money than political savvy.

On the opposing side, El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke had what amounted to a free pass to the November election.

But Democrats faced their own blizzard of political mailings thanks to more than $500,000 in PAC gifts to Fort Worth district attorney candidate Albert John Roberts.

Roberts still lost the nomination outright to Grand Prairie lawyer Tiffany Burks. (In the fall, she will face either North Richland Hills Republican Phil Sorrells or Haslet-area Republican Matt Krause.)

Then there was the through-the-looking-glass campaign to lead Tarrant County as county judge.

Basically, Fort Worth Republican Betsy Price was demonized and nearly drummed out of the Republican Party for her work as the Republican mayor of a predominantly Democratic city. In that job, she actually had to show empathy and kindness to protesters, Black residents and LGBT residents.

Tim O’Hare, left, and Deborah Peoples will meet in the race to lead Tarrant County as county judge.
Tim O’Hare, left, and Deborah Peoples will meet in the race to lead Tarrant County as county judge.

Price’s punchless, 20th-century style campaign made the mistake of never responding directly to Southlake lawyer O’Hare’s fusillade of attacks, some of them just political hyperbole but a few maliciously deceptive.

Basically, O’Hare attacked Price for doing what good mayors do. It’s just not what aspiring Republican political candidates would do.

The O’Hare-Peoples campaign for county judge thus will become the showcase campaign on the local fall ballot, particularly if all the downtown business leaders who have said they’d prefer Peoples actually write her checks.

Meanwhile, Republican voters face May 24 runoffs to decide candidates for attorney general, district attorney and two Texas House districts in north Fort Worth and its suburbs.

(That’s not to be confused with the completely different election 17 days earlier, May 7, for local city councils and school boards.)

Bush’s challenge to Paxton can only get weirder after the challenger ran circus-like TV ads.

Paxton still got mote than 40% of the GOP vote even though (1) he’s free on felony bond, (2) his staff has mutinied against him and (3) he faces criminal bribery allegations involving an affair.

He still led the voting, primarily because he is endorsed by Trump.

I told you this election was bizarre.