Cong. Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the crowd from his helicopter. [LBJ Library photo #48-6-23 by Unknown.]

Cornyn, Cruz Learned What LBJ Knew: Runoffs Matter

Aug 12, 2013

by Dave McNeely
[posted by on August 12, 2013]

The latest United States senators from Texas, Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, know what a predecessor, Democrat Lyndon Johnson, knew well: runoff elections matter.

LBJ was Senate Majority Leader when fellow Sen. John F. Kennedy beat him for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960. But because he was a powerful senator, from a critical state, Kennedy picked him as his running mate.

LBJ might never have been a senator had Texas copied the 39 states without runoffs in primary elections.

In 1948, Johnson, after 11 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, ran an open Senate seat. The most formidable of the 11 Democratic candidates was former Gov. Coke Stevenson. read more