A historic Election Day is around the corner, November 8, 2016, and while the Presidential race garners most, if not all of the attention, down ballot races are key to Texas politics.
Voter turnout in Texas is set to be record breaking. Over one million people have registered to vote since the March primary, bringing the total number of registered voters in Texas up to 15.1 million. So far, 3.3 million voters have cast their ballot in the first 9 days of early voting.
All of the members of the Texas House of Representatives are up for reelection, but almost two-thirds of the candidates will not face an opponent this election. The remaining one-third (53 to be exact) of House candidates will face off against a major-party opponent in the general election. In the Texas Senate, of the sixteen seats up for grabs this election cycle (senators run for four-year terms), only four will face a major-party opponent in the general election. Republican Dawn Buckingham taking on Democrat Virginia “Jennie Lou” Leeder to replace retiring Sen. Troy Fraser is the only Senate race seen as somewhat competitive.
Republicans in Dallas County districts are considered “low hanging fruit” for Democratic challengers, since these districts have a very slim Republican majority (around 53%) of eligible voters. Both Rep. Kenneth Sheets and Rep. Rodney Anderson are running against female Democrats and there is concern of the impact Hillary Clinton voters will have on down ballot races.
Some other Dallas County Republicans facing tough challengers are Rep. Jason Villalba, Rep. Linda Koop, Rep. Cindy Burkett and Rep. Matt Rinaldi.
Other “swing” seats and races to watch include two rematches: previously elected Philip Cortez takes on incumbent Rep. Rick Galindo in San Antonio, and former state representative Mary Ann Perez takes on Rep. Gilbert Pena in Pasadena.
Former Democrat, turned Republican Rep. J.M. Lozano is always a close South Texas race to watch. Rep. Lozano faces fitness instructor Marisa Yvette Garcia-Utley.
The only statewide race on the ballot is for Texas Railroad Commissioner, where Republican, former State Representative Wayne Christian looks to be a shoe in.
We will give you the full rundown on November 9th of the wins, losses and surprises. Don’t forget to vote! To find your polling location visit: