by BRAD ROLLINS
Dripping Springs attorney Rick Green lost a close Republican Primary runoff on Tuesday to Fort Worth district judge Debra Lehrman for a state Supreme Court seat.
Green, a former legislator whose district included his home county of Hays, took 160,572 votes (48.2 percent) to Lehrman’s 172,813 (51.8 percent). In Hays County, where the statewide race was the only one on the ballot for either party, Green won the lion’s share of a light turnout with 944 votes (66.2 percent) to Lehrman’s 481 (33.8 percent).
“I just got off the phone congratulating Judge Lehrman,” Green wrote on his Facebook page at about midnight. “Victory comes sometimes in ways we have difficulty understanding initially. We must keep the big picture in mind. This race was a victory for those who share our values…”
Green, who announced his bid last year at a Kyle event, campaigned as an insurgent Christian conservative taking on a legal and political establishment that firmly backed his opponent.
Former Chief Justice Tom Phillips circulated a letter earlier this month that urged fellow Republicans not invite scorn for the state “by electing someone who is likely to attract criticism and ridicule for himself and our entire judiciary.” Phillips was one of five former justices who supported Lehrman, who was also backed by the powerful Texans for Lawsuit Reform and the Texas Medical Association.
That support from the system translated into a significant fundraising advantage for Lehrman, who collect more than $280,000 since she and Green emerged from a six-candidate field in the March 2 runoff.
Green fielded an extensive grassroots network that included nearly 24,000 fans on his Facebook campaign page. Supporters flocked to the page by the hundreds on election night to leave encouraging messages for their bested candidate.
“We will support you on whatever God leads you to next. You had a great run and scared the pants of your opponents,” one of them wrote. Another said: “Just signing in to let liberal Texas know they can kiss my ass.”
Green lost a narrow race to State Rep. Patrick M. Rose in 2002, who made electoral headway by portraying the incumbent as ethically compromised. He pointed, for example, to a late-night infomercial Green filmed for health supplement FocusFactor in his capitol office.Email | Print