The Texas Legislature has shaded slightly more to the right, despite Democrats’ pickup of seven House seats this week, experts said Wednesday. While Democrats boosted their numbers to 55 in the 150-member House on Tuesday, several political consultants said that a raft of Republican retirements and bruising primary battles have pushed both chambers’ GOP majorities further into the conservative column. “The [GOP] caucus is much more noticeably conservative on the Senate side, no doubt about it,” said Republican strategist and former speechwriter Eric Bearse, who advises House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. In the House, Bearse acknowledged there may be some rightward tilt. But he said, “It’s pretty hard for the caucus to be more conservative than it has been.” Just wait, others said. “In general, it’s just going to be a more conservative House,” said Republican consultant Jordan Berry, who advised a slew of successful insurgents in this year’s GOP nominating fights. A Dallas Morning News analysis shows that nearly a dozen Republican replacements in the House appear likely to be more conservative than their predecessors, while only about a half-dozen are more moderate. In eight other districts, the newcomers will be about equally conservative, according to the newspaper’s survey of campaign managers and lobbyists. The tilt could shape lawmakers’ approach to economic, if not educational, policy next session.

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