With apologies to Charles Dickens, this was an election cycle marked by the worst of candidates and the best of candidates. This is our rendering — our timeline — of the progression from Gov. Rick Perry’s remarkably unsuccessful campaign for president to U.S. Sen.-elect Ted Cruz’s surprising political debut.

Along the way the state’s political maps were redrawn by federal judges, its political primaries and runoffs delayed until May and July, respectively, and its Legislature was remade by those cartographers and the state’s voters. Texas voters also sent eight new representatives to Congress. Six of the state's 31 senators will be newbies, and the Texas House will welcome even more newcomers: 44 of the 150 members taking office in January have never served during a legislative session.

Interactive: An Election Timeline