1. In West Virginia, a 17-year-old high school senior defeated an incumbent state legislator in the GOP primary for a seat in the WV House of Delegates. Saira Blair will turn 18 in July. In last week’s primary, “she beat a sitting state delegate who was seeking a third term in office. With all 13 precincts in her Martinsburg-area district reporting, Blair beat state Del. Larry Kump (R) by an 872-728 vote margin.” (It’s probably worth mentioning that her father, Craig Blair, is a West Virginia state senator; not all the news stories I read mentioned that fact.)
Blair will face Democratic nominee Layne Diehl in November. The Republican is favored in this district (the 59th House District, in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, a little bit south of Hagerstown, MD, on I-81). Blair is set to begin college as a freshman at West Virginia University in the fall, but if she wins the general election, she says that she will take a semester off in the spring so that she can attend the legislative session, which sits from January to March.
2. Several months ago, I looked briefly at the GOP primary for judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. As Grits for Breakfast noted in this post, “Barring a miracle, no Democrat (including Wendy Davis) will win a statewide race in Texas in 2014”; therefore, the real action in this election is in the GOP primary.
To follow-up, the primary was in March (though I missed it at the time); here are the results.
In the contest for Place 3 on the CCA (replacing retiring Judge Tom Price), San Antonio District Judge and former AUSA Bert Richardson defeated San Angelo District Judge Barbara Walther. (Judge Walther was briefly famous, or infamous, for signing the orders for the seizure of hundreds of children at the YFZ Ranch in April 2008.) (BTW, Place 3 is the position for which criminal defense lawyer and blogger Mark Bennett is running as a Libertarian.)
In Place 4 (replacing Judge Paul Womack), appellate prosecutor Kevin Yeary pulled ahead of Houston public defender Jani Jo Wood, roughly 55-45. (Perhaps, as a hypothetical matter, we can envision a race in which a Republican primary electorate chooses a public defender over a prosecutor; but I am drawing a blank when I search for concrete, real-world examples.)
In Place 9 (replacing Judge Cathy Cochran), Harris County ADA David Newell beat District Judge W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall.
3. Huge surprise: “Republicans drag their feet on fixing the Voting Rights Act.”
4. David Weigel: Can Georgia Democrats make the state turn blue ahead of schedule? (I’m going to guess, No.)
5. Also from Weigel: Six Lessons From the Year’s First Big Primary Night.