Rash of retirements triggers Texas political bonanza

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An unusual slew of retirements by seven members of Congress and some prominent legislators is triggering a stampede among conservatives in Texas- and even some Democrats - who see a rare chance to move up.

Five Republicans and two Democrats have announced that they'll be leaving office next year, along with the powerful GOP speaker of the Texas House and some of his top lieutenants.

It seems more of an actuarial blip than a seismic political shift. But it's turned what once looked like a low-wattage off-year election into a political spectacle.

Texas will see an especially large cast of ambitious conservatives going at each other. The frenzy may also give rising Democratic stars potentially larger footholds in the country's largest red state.