GOP Makes Huge Gains In Texas House

Texas – Texas Democrats suffered staggering losses in the state Legislature, losing their House leader and several longtime incumbents who weren't even considered vulnerable.

Twenty-one Democrats lost yesterday, including 14-year veteran Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, the longtime Democratic House leader, who was defeated by rancher Marva Beck.

Corpus Christi Democratic Reps. Solomon Ortiz Jr. and Abel Herrero, along with Rep. Paula Pierson of Arlington, all fell in Election Night upsets. Other Democratic incumbents who lost include Reps. Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs and Valinda Bolton of Austin.

Democrat Rep. Kirk England of Grand Prairie was defeated by Rodney Anderson by fewer than 200 votes. Democrat Ellen Cohen of Houston lost to Republican Sarah Davis by less than 800 votes.

Democrat Donna Howard of Austin held off Republican Dan Neil by 15 votes.

In Round Rock, first-term Democrat Rep. Diana Maldonado lost her seat to Republican graphic designer Larry Gonzales.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.