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Ascension – Best Case Scenario


Best case scenario By Weston Hicks at Agenda Wise Reports

The best case scenario involves the Governor and Lt. Governor breaking custom in a final act of service to Texans.

Customarily, winners of the Presidency and Senate races resign their current offices in the days following the election. However, there’s no law that forces them to do so. It’s only required they resign before they take their new office.

The 83rd Legislature is likely to be more conservative than the 82nd, and will definitely be more accountable without outgoing moderates, the 83rd.

The 83rd Legislature will convene roughly one week after the US Legislature convenes, and roughly a week and a half before the Presidential inauguration.

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst possibilities

Whenever the Lt. Gov resigns, president pro tempore Mike Jackson will have 30 days to call a “committee of the whole” to choose a new Lt. Gov.

This gives a couple of possibilities for Lt. Governor Dewhurst to help conservative Texans.

First, he could be seated in the US Senate a week late, waiting until 5 minutes after the 83rdLegislature is convened to resign. This is uncommon, but no more uncommon than the date of resignation mattering. At this stage, there is nothing to indicate a late seating would be disallowed.

Short of that, Lt. Governor Dewhurst could wait until the day before he’s seated in the US Senate to resign his current office. This would make it very hard, physically and politically, for Senate Pro Tempore Mike Jackson to call a Committee of the Whole from the outgoing 82nd Senate to choose a Lt. Governor replacement.

In order to use the 82nd Senate he’d have to call the committee inside a week, bending over backwards to get a lame duck Senate to Austin, when the newly elected, more accountable Senate is already in town preparing for the new session.

Governor Perry

All Perry would have to do is wait for the 83rd Legislature to convene to resign, which is well before the Presidential inauguration.

The Gov. and Lt. Gov. choosing to do this is the best outcome for conservative Texans, but it’s not sure thing.

After all, Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst could pretty easily, even justifiably, say they’d never be so presumptuous as to assume a win on election day.

Having pushed off taking a position until after the election, it becomes very easy for President-elect Perry and Senator-elect Dewhurst to say they must go to Washington DC to prepare, and that they trust the system in place for ascension.

On the other hand, if Governor Perry waited, he’d be seen as a game-changer and protector of his state on his way into a first 100 days of a presidential term all about game-changing. Washington DC and Americans would be put on notice about President-elect Perry’s loyalty, boldness, and ability to juggle many things.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss likely noise to come from people who would like a lame duck 82nd Legislature to choose the next Gov. and Lt. Gov. of Texas.

Weston Hicks

Weston Hicks researches and writes about associations in the Texas political realm, media choices, and political strategy. Over the past year he has advised on grassroots and voter initiatives. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Texas at El Paso and a J.D. from University of Texas School of Law. He enjoys spending time with wife and three children, reading theology and political theory, and watching FC Barcelona. You can reach him at whicks@agendawise.com.


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