HOUSTON (FOX 26) - When the black cloud of potential criminal prosecution gets cleared from the presumptive Democratic nominee, the ramifications ripple through local and state political contests across the country.
"That's just going to throw gasoline on the fire and it will explode for conservatives," said State Senator Paul Bettencourt in reaction to the FBI decision not to recommend charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Here in tightly contested Harris County, Republicans hope to transform the FBI's recommendation of no prosecution into a turn-out boosting, rallying cry.
"Just how careless is Secretary Clinton? That's going to be the question and that black cloud will continue to follow her all the way to election day," said Bettencourt.
Fox 26 legal and political analyst Chris Tritico says Hillary Clinton may have avoided indictment, but will not dodge scathing Republican assault on her credibility - exposure made possible by the server scandal.
"They are going to continue to bash her saying it was Bill Clinton and the President who intervened and made sure she didn't get charged. They got everything they wanted out of this investigation," said Tritico.
But in the wake of the FBI recommendation, Harris County Democratic Party Chairman Lane Lewis says a revitalized candidate at the top of the ticket will make more likely Democratic victory in dozens of local races.
He also believes continued GOP harping on Hillary's e-mails will change few if any votes.
"The only ones beating that drum are Republicans and that's just to distract from the fact Trump is horrible candidate," said Lewis adding, "They have spent millions and millions and millions of dollars investigating this stuff with nothing to show for it. All that money could have been spent on education, infrastructure, health care, national security."