DALLAS (November 7, 2012)--Texas Republicans preserved their firm grip on the state Legislature, but lost their supermajority in the state House of Representatives and couldn't knock off an incumbent Democrat in a key state Senate race.
Redistricting had all but guaranteed Republicans would lose a few seats in the commanding 102-48 majority they held in the House in 2011 that allowed them to pass any bill they wanted through that chamber.
Democrats rebounded Tuesday to reduce the Republican edge to in the House to 95-55.
While the GOP remains the dominant force in the Legislature, the Democrats' small gain could prove important when negotiating combustible issues such as public education funding in the 2013 session.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, won re-election, blocking Republican efforts to create a supermajority capable of suspending the rules to pass conservative legislation.
The Fort Worth Democrat defeated state Rep. Mark Shelton, who tried to rally tea party support and add to the Republican majority.
Unless someone switches parties, Republicans will continue to have 19 votes, while Democrats will have 12, which places Democrats in a better position to demand compromises on key legislation or slow down legislation they oppose.
Davis has fought for greater spending on public education and health care for the poor.
Shelton had promised to reduce the size of government and cut taxes.