Republicans Win Appellate Court Nailbiter Races

, Texas Lawyer

Jim Sharp wasn't feeling too sharp the morning of Nov. 5. He'd been up all night watching election returns -- results that eventually showed he had become the first Democrat elected to Houston's 1st Court of Appeals in more than a decade. Sharp's win means something, several political observers say: Intermediate appellate courts in large urban counties — especially in Dallas and Houston — are no longer seen as the completely safe seats for Republicans they once were.

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