Texas Clout Takes a Hit as Democrats Take Control

Dallas, TX – Had voters re-elected Congressman Nick Lampson, he'd have taken the helm of a U.S. House subcommittee that oversees NASA projects and guides its budget.

But voters in the district that's home to the Johnson Space Center took a pass.

Instead, they elected Republican Pete Olson. He's built Washington contacts from years working as a Senate aide and in the Pentagon, but he'll be a freshman in the minority party.

And Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has said she's considering resigning her seat next year to run for governor. That's before her term ends in 2012, and she'd take 14 years of seniority with her.

The White House also will be emptied of its Texas connection when President Bush leaves.

Texas can brag that it has the largest Republican delegation in the House _ 20 GOP members and 12 Democrats. But when Democrats expanded their majorities in Congress and took the White House, that eliminated any advantage.