There were some old and new lessons learned in Dallas County’s judicial races last week. The old one is the Republican primary is no longer a free ride for some incumbents; the new one is incumbents don’t stand a chance if they attract credible challengers willing to go on the offensive early and often. In Dallas, all three incumbents who drew challengers in the Republican primary went down in flames, surprising many political observers.

From now on, keeping a job as a judge in Dallas, where most judicial elections are decided in the Republican primary, may be a much more difficult process, observers say.