It was an interesting and long night. Save for a few run-off elections, the dust of the 2018 primary has finally settled.
In statewide GOP Primary races, there were few stones left to be unturned as to who would win. However, a couple of statewide races were closely watched.
Texas Land Commissioner – Incumbent George P. Bush beat out Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, escaping a run-off as well, garnering 58% of the vote in a 4-way primary battle.
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture – Incumbent Sid Miller also escaped a run-off, getting 55% of the vote in a 3-way race with former lobbyist, Trey Blocker, and Jim Hogan, who last ran for Agriculture Commissioner as a Democrat.
Texas Railroad Commissioner (1 of 3 seats up) – Incumbent Christi Craddick handedly defeated her sole primary opponent, getting 75% of the vote.
In the statewide Democratic Primary races, there will be a run-off before Governor Abbott knows who he will face come the General Election. Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff received 42.9% of the vote, while the son of late Texas Gov. Mark White, Andrew White, only received 27.4% of the vote, pushing those two into a run-off in May. Governor Abbott still maintains a $41 million campaign war chest.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had a great night as did his endorsements. The Senate picked up two new members, and eventually…a third. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s wife Angela Paxton (Highland Park) won a tough primary over Phillip Huffines (Dallas), the brother of sitting Senator Don Huffines (R – Dallas). Incumbent Craig Estes (R – Wichita Falls), a traditional pro-business republican lost to the more conservative State Rep. Pat Fallon (R – Prosper), and socially conservative incumbent Bob Hall (R – Edgewood) warded off a serious challenge by State Rep. Cindy Burkett (R – Sunnyvale). That third new member? Likely either current State Rep. Ana Hernandez (D – Houston), who announced today, or current State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D – Houston), who also announced today, as State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D – Houston) is leaving for D.C. after winning her Congressional bid.
Other closely watched races in the Texas Senate GOP Primary:
SD-17 Incumbent Joan Huffman (R – Houston) easily won her challenge from candidate, Kristin Tassin, with Senator Huffman getting 72% of the vote.
SD-31 Incumbent Kel Seliger (R – Amarillo) had an all-out win avoiding a run-off in a 3- way primary race against Mike Canon and Victor Leal, with Senator Seliger getting 50.47% of the vote.
In the House GOP primaries, two traditional pro-business republican incumbents were beat last night and replaced with more socially conservative members. Incumbent Jason Villalba (R – Dallas) was ousted by Board Member of the Park Cities Republican Women, Lisa Luby Ryan (Dallas), and incumbent Wayne Faircloth (R – Galveston) lost to Mayes Middleton (Wallisville), owner of Middleton Oil Company – in a race that saw large amounts of campaign cash and Governor Abbott endorsing Middleton. However, several House GOP incumbents fended off challenges from well-funded, socially conservative candidates. Rep. Sarah Davis (R – West University Place) and Rep. Lyle Larson (R – San Antonio) both held onto their seats, despite their opponents receiving Governor Abbott’s endorsement. Other traditionally pro-business candidates, Rep. Charlie Geren (R – Fort Worth), Rep. Four Price (R – Amarillo), and Rep. Dan Flynn (R – Canton) all won their primary race despite strong challenges from socially conservative candidates. Another nail-biting GOP primary race saw incumbent Ken King (R – Canadian), barely avoiding a run-off, getting 50.45% of the vote.
Other closely watched races in the Texas House GOP Primary (winner underlined):
HD-9 Representative Chris Paddie (R – Marshall) vs. Garrett Boersma
HD-11 Representative Travis Clardy (R – Nacogdoches) vs. Danny Ward
HD-18 Representative Ernest Bailes (R – Shepherd) vs. Emily Kebodeaux Cook
HD-47 Representative Paul Workman (R – Austin) vs. Jay Wiley & Patricia L. Vredevelt
HD-55 Representative Hugh Shine (R – Temple) vs. C.J. Grisham and Brandon Hall
HD-60 Representative Mike Lang (R – Granbury) vs. Jim Largent and Gregory Risse
HD-64 Representative Lynn Stucky (R – Denton) vs. Mark Roy
HD-73 Representative Kyle Biedermann (R – Fredericksburg) vs. Dave Campbell
HD-98 Representative Giovanni Capriglione (R – Southlake) vs. Armin Mizani
HD-106 OPEN SEAT – Jared Patterson (Frisco) vs. Clint Bedsole
HD-126 OPEN SEAT Sam Harless (Houston) vs. Kevin Fulton and Gail Stanart
HD-150 Representative Valoree Swanson (R – Spring) vs. James Wilson
In the House Democratic Primaries, former State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (San Antonio) won back his old seat after a failed run for the Texas Senate in 2016. He beat out incumbent Diana Arévalo (D – San Antonio) tallying up 50.61% of the total vote. Incumbent Ryan Guillen (D – Rio Grande City) staved off a challenge from State District Judge Ana Lisa Garza, with Rep. Guillen getting 55% of the vote. East Austin based incumbent Dawnna Dukes (D – Austin) was edged out of her seat, with challengers Sheryl Cole and Jose “Chito” Vela III heading to a run-off in May. Other Democratic incumbents who lost include longtime State Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D – Dallas), who lost to attorney Jessica Gonzalez (Dallas), and State Rep. Tomas Uresti (D – San Antonio), (brother of the recently indicted State Senator Carlos Uresti (D – San Antonio)), who lost to former Bexar County Democratic Party Chair, Leo Pacheco (San Antonio).
Lastly, a handful of primary races were not decided last night. Primary run-offs are scheduled for May 22nd, 2018. The run-offs will be a strong indicator of who will replace retiring Speaker Straus, as leader of the Texas House. The outcome of which could be a factor in the race for the next Speaker of the Texas House. It is a wide-open speaker’s race, with many candidates still contemplating whether or not they will throw their hat in the race. Run-offs include:
HD–4 GOP: Gregory “Keith” Bell (Forney) v. Former State Rep. Stuart Spitzer (Kaufman)
HD–8 GOP Cody Harris (Palestine) v. Thomas McNutt (Corsicana)
HD–13 GOP: Ben Leman (Brenham) v. Jill Wolfskill (Austin County)
HD–54 GOP: Brad Buckley (Killeen) v. Incumbent Scott Cosper (R – Killeen)
HD–62 GOP: Brent Lawson (Grayson County) v. Reggie Smith (Van Alstyne)
HD–107 GOP: Joe Ruizicka (Dallas) v. Deanna Maria Metzger (Forth Worth)
Winner will face incumbent Rep. Victoria Neave (D – Dallas) in the General Election.
HD–121 GOP: Steve Allison (San Antonio) v. Matt Beebe (San Antonio)
SD–17 Dem: Rita Lucido (Houston) v Fran Watson (Houston)
Winner will face incumbent Sen. Joan Huffman in the General Election.
HD–37 Dem: Incumbent René Oliveira (D – Brownsville) v. Alex Dominguez (Brownsville)
HD–45 Dem: Rebecca Bell-Metereau (San Marcos) v. Erik A. Zwiener (Driftwood)
Winner will face Republican Ken Strange (Wimberly) in the General Election.
HD–46: Dem: Sheryl Cole (Austin) v. Jose “Chito” Vela III (Austin)
HD–47 Dem: Elaina Fowler (Austin) v. Vikki A. Goodwin (Austin)
Winner will face incumbent Rep. Paul Workman (R – Austin) in the General Election.
HD–64 Dem: Mat Pruneda (Denton) v. Andrew Morris (Sanger)
Winner will face incumbent Rep. Lynn Stucky (R – Denton) in the General Election.
HD–109 Dem: Carl Sherman (DeSoto) v. Deshaundra Lockhart Jones (DeSoto)
HD–133 Dem: Sandra Moore (Houston) v. Marty S. Schexnayder (Houston)
Winner will face incumbent Rep. Jim Murphy (R – Houston) in the General Election.