Rice political scientist available to comment on Texas primary election

David Ruth

HOUSTON — (May 21, 2012) — With the Texas primary right around the corner (May 29), Rice University political scientist Mark Jones is available to comment on the various local and statewide races.

Jones said there are a number of competitive races across the state, and now is the time for voters to become involved if they want to make an impact in Austin or Washington.

“The primary features several competitive statewide races, nearly a dozen competitive U.S. House races and close to three dozen competitive Texas House and Senate contests where the winner is all but certain to be victorious in November,” Jones said. “This contrasts notably with the dearth of competitive contests in the fall, when only one U.S. House seat, one Texas Senate seat, fewer than a dozen Texas House seats and no statewide positions will be truly in play.”

Jones said that the primary’s marquee race is the Republican U.S. Senate primary, where Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst hopes to avoid being forced into a runoff by winning more than half of the vote, while his principal opponents (Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert) simultaneously strive to keep Dewhurst under the 50 percent threshold and to finish second, thereby earning a spot in the July 31 runoff.

Jones, who is the chair of political science at Rice and a fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is a leading expert on American and Texas politics and is often quoted in the national media. He has authored reports on the partisanship of Texas state senators and representatives and he wrote guest columns about the 2012 GOP primary races and the political affiliation of Lt. Gov. Dewhurst.

To speak with Jones, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its “unconventional wisdom.” With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.