Early voting is well underway for the Texas Primaries. Election Day is next Tuesday, March 6th. With a wide-open speaker’s race – all eyes are on who will win the primaries in the Texas House. The Republican Primary has several races where traditional pro-business Republicans and socially conservative Republicans are fighting it out for control of the Republican Party. While some of the primary races will be forced into a run-off election, much of the dust will settle by the end of the day on March 6th. Traditonal pro-business, and rertiring Republican Speaker Joe Straus’ House Leadership PAC shelled out just over $550,000 in House GOP primary races over the course of the last 3 weeks. Other top Republican primary contributors include Empower Texans and Farris Wilks, who has plowed nearly $2.7 million into state races (and typically backs socially conservative candidates) over the course of this election cycle.
In the Texas Senate, several incumbents are under attack in their Republican primaries. With Senator Van Taylor vacating his Texas Senate seat for an open U.S. Congressional seat, Phillip Huffines (Brother of sitting Texas Senator Don Huffines) and Angela Paxton (Wife of sitting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton) are duking it out in a high profile Republican primary campaign for Texas Senate District 8. Also, incumbent Senator Bob Hall faces a primary challenge from current State Representative Cindy Burkett. Lastly, the recent federal indictment of Texas Senator Uresti has several Democrats looking at a potential move if and when he is forced to step down from his seat.
In the Texas House, there will be a special election on May 5, 2018, to replace Rep. Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell), who is resigning to take a governmental relations position at Blinn College in Brenham. The filing deadline for that special election is March 5, 2018. As in the Texas Senate, several incumbents are under attack in their Republican primaries.
Here is a list of primary races to watch:
SD-2 Incumbent Bob Hall vs. State Representative Cindy Burkett
SD-8 Phillip Huffines vs. Angela Paxton
SD-17 Incumbent Joan Huffman vs. Kristin Tassin
SD-30 Incumbent Craig Estes vs. State Representative Pat Fallon and Craig Carter of Nocona
SD-31 Incumbent Kel Seliger vs. Mike Canon and Victor Leal
HD-2 House Pensions Chair – Dan Flynn vs. Bryan Slaton
HD-8 OPEN SEAT – Cody J. Harris vs. Thomas McNutt and Linda Timmerman
HD-9 Representative Chris Paddie vs. Garrett Boersma
HD-11 Representative Travis Clardy vs. Danny Ward
HD-18 Representative Ernest Bailes vs. Emily Kebodeaux Cook
HD-23 Representative Wayne Faircloth vs. Mayes Middleton
HD-25 House Ways & Means Chair – Dennis Bonnen vs. Damon Rambo
HD-47 Representative Paul Workman vs. Jay Wiley and Patricia L. Vredevelt
HD-55 Representative Hugh Shine vs. C.J. Grisham and Brandon Hall
HD-60 Representative Mike Lang vs. Jim Largent and Gregory Risse
HD-64 Representative Lynn Stucky vs. Mark Roy
HD-73 Representative Kyle Biedermann vs. Dave Campbell
HD-87 Public Health Chair – Four Price vs. Drew Brassfield
HD-88 Representative Ken King vs. Jason Huddleston and Richard Beyea
HD-98 Representative Giovanni Capriglione vs. Armin Mizani
HD-99 House Administration Chair – Charlie Geren vs. Bo French
HD-106 OPEN SEAT – Jared Patterson vs. Clint Bedsole
HD-114 Representative Jason Villalba vs. Lisa Luby Ryan
HD-122 House Natural Resources Chair – Lyle Larson vs. Chris Fails
HD-126 OPEN SEAT Sam Harless vs. Kevin Fulton and Gail Stanart
HD-134 House General Investigating & Ethics Chair – Sarah Davis vs. Susanna Dokupil
HD-150 Representative Valoree Swanson vs. James Wilson
In statewide races, the Republican primary is all but a mere formality for Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar, as the first three are expected to easily win their primary race, and the latter two have no primary opponent. However, a couple of statewide races are still up in the air:
Texas Land Commissioner – Incumbent George P. Bush v. Former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Davey Edwards and Rick Range.
Incumbent George P. Bush (Son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush) recently received the endorsement of President Trump, but former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is a well-known name in Texas and previously served as Texas’ Land Commissioner from 2003 – 2015.
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture – Incumbent Sid Miller v. Trey Blocker and Jim Hogan.
Incumbent Sid Miller has received support from Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry and recently received support from President Trump, who called him, “Trump’s Man in Texas,” Even so, former lobbyist Trey Blocker and incumbent Sid Miller are financially competitive in this race, meaning this could be a close race come Primary Election Day.