Unlike this year’s U.S. Senate races, mainly being fought in Trump-friendly states, many of the most contested House electoral battles are for Republican-held seats in more Democratic-leaning places. That enhances the odds of Democrats winning control of the House and presents a dilemma for Republican incumbents: Do they strike some distance from President Trump or continue to march in lockstep with him in Congress? Don’t look for any mass Republican defections, even if the probe of any Trump ties to Russia escalates.

Gauging the paucity of comments received about the glaring absence of longtime McLennan County Precinct 2 Commissioner Lester Gibson from commissioners court meetings, and over many months, many constituents appear unconcerned. One reason might well be his handy, efficient assistant, Pat Chisolm-Miller, who has 22 years of knowledge about the precinct and inner workings of county government. She obviously has been able to oversee at least some of Gibson’s obligations and duties, even though she does not sit on the court as an elected policymaker.

In an editorial last week, the Trib editorial board argued against the Republican tax bill on the grounds it amounted to increased deficit-spending, contrary to long-established conservative principles, and was passed in haste, confusion and secrecy by lawmakers, some of whom obviously had not read the bill. Result: a groundswell of pushback, including from those unacquainted with the concept of newspaper editorials:

Since his very first election in the tea-party tidal wave of 2010, McLennan County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ben Perry has consistently impressed us as a bold leader and consensus builder. Rather than ducking problems or applying bumper-sticker slogans to complicated challenges facing the county and constituents, he routinely has rolled up his sleeves, sounded out his fellow commissioners and constituents for input and offered practical and thoughtful solutions. We strongly recommend Ben Perry be re-elected to a third term on the county commissioners court.