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Texas Lobbyist News: Election Update from the Texas Lobby Group

Finally, the State of Texas has had their primary election!

As you will recall, redistricting – an every ten year occurrence – was wrapped up in numerous court battles.  Now the verdict(s) are in!

House of Representatives

Seven incumbents were defeated in the Texas House last night.  The most prominent included some powerful incumbents.  First, House Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler (R-Woodlands) lost to tea party challenger Steven Toth.  Senior member Vicki Truitt (R-Southlake), Chair of House Pensions and Investments, lost to Giovanni Capriglione.

Other incumbents such as Leo Berman (R-Tyler) and Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches) were also defeated.  In another highly watched race between two incumbent Republicans in East Texas, James White prevailed over Licensing and Administrative Procedures Chairman Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton.  Two first term members, Barbara Nash (R-Arlington) and Marva Beck (R-Centerville), both lost in their newly drawn districts.

Perhaps the best news of the night was the victory of House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) over a crowded field.  Pitts won easily with 60% of the vote, avoiding a run-off.

Other Committee Chairs easily won re-election.  Those include:  House State Affairs Chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), Natural Resources Chair Allan Ritter (R-Nederland), House Ways and Means Chairman Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville), Economic and Small Business Development Chairman John Davis (R-Houston), Government Reform Chairman Bill Callegari (R-Houston) and Land and Resource Management Chairman Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville).

House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) won handily in his district’s primary race.

Public Safety Chairman Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) and General Investigating Chairman Chuck Hopson (R-Jacksonville), both face run-offs in their Republican primaries. Representative J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) and Representative Jim Landtroop (R-Plainview) will also face run-offs.

The following Incumbents also prevailed in their House Primaries:

Dan Flynn (R-Canton), Lance Gooden (R-Terrell), Bryan Hughes (R- Marshall), John Otto (R-Dayton), Paul Workman (R-Austin), Ralph Sheffield (R-Temple), Doc Anderson (R-Waco), Myra Crownover (R-Denton), Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso), Doug Miller (R-San Marcos), Diane Patrick (R-Arlington), Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), Dan Huberty (R-Humble), Jim Murphy (R-Houston), Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), Debbie Riddle(R- Houston), Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco), Tracy King (D-Eagle Pass), Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth), Alma Allen (D-Houston), andGarnet Coleman (D-Houston) all return.


In re-match elections freshmen Republican House Members David Simpson andCharles Perry easily won again over former state Reps Tommy Merritt andDelwin Jones, respectively.  On the Democratic side, in another rematch, Representative Borris Miles again beat former State Representative Al Edwardsof Houston.  Former House Member Chris Turner (D-Arlington) beat former House member Paula Pierson in an open seat in the Democratic primary.

Congratulations to the 16 new members/ Representatives-Elect of the Texas House of Representatives (Primary winners with no General Election opponents):

HD 3 Cecil Bell (Republican)

HD 6 Matt Schaefer (Republican)

HD 9 Chris Paddie (Republican)

HD 15 Steven Toth (Republican)

HD 20 Marsha Farney (Republican)

HD 33 Scott Turner (Republican)

HD 35 Oscar Longoria (Democrat)

HD 57 Trent Ashby (Republican)

HD 69 James Frank (Republican)

HD 70 Scott Sanford (Republican)

HD 75 Mary Edna Gonzalez (Democrat)

HD 92 Jonathan Stickland (Republican)

HD 98 Giovanni Capriglione (Republican)

HD 101 Chris Turner (Democrat)

HD 106 Patrick Fallon (Republican)

HD 110 Toni Rose (Democrat)

The below races will have run-off races in July (In addition to the four previously mentioned):

HD 12 Republican – Tucker Anderson/Kyle Kacal (New District)

HD 23 Republican – Wayne Faircloth/Bill Wallace (winner will face Craig Eiland)

HD 24 Republican – Greg Bonnen/Ryan Sitton (Open Seat)

HD 26 Republican – Jacquie Chaumette/Rick Miller (Open Seat)
HD 40 Democratic – Terry Canales/Auggie Hernandez (Open Seat)

HD 67 Republican – Jon Cole/Jeff Leach (Open Seat)

HD 68 Republican – Trent McKnight/Drew Alan Springer (Open Seat)

Note:  This is probable, but 1 precinct is still out and McKnight has 49.03%

HD 91 Republican – Stephanie Klick/Kenneth Sapp (Open Seat)

HD 95 Democratic – Nicole Collier/Jesse Gaines (Open Seat)

HD114 Republican – Bill Keffer/Jason Villalba (Open Seat)

HD115 Republican – Steve Nguyen/Bennett Ratliff (Open Seat)

HD117 Democratic – Philip Cortez/Tina Torres (winner will face John Garza)

HD 137 Democratic – Jamaal Smith/Gene Wu (Open Seat)

The Other Chamber

The Texas Senate will have a record-setting number of new members.  Former State Representatives Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), Kelly Hancock (R-Fort Worth), Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), Ken Paxton (R-Plano) and Mark Shelton (R-Fort Worth) easily won victory last night, none forced into run-offs.  Each of these members have very conservative voting records from their days as Texas House members.

All but Schwertner (Now officially Senator-elect Schwertner) will face a general election opponent, but the districts are considered solidly Republican.  Shelton – who will face incumbent Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) in the General Election – is perceived to be the most competitive of the General Election races in the Senate.

Most of the Senate incumbent races turned out to be a cakewalk.  Republican Senators Nichols, Williams, Duncan, Estes and Seliger all easily won by huge margins.

The exception to the cakewalk was incumbent Jeff Wentworth’s seat in San Antonio.  The long-term incumbent faced the most highly contested race – with two opponents.  The votes split among the three – Wentworth, former-Railroad Commissioner and Elizabeth Ames Jones and Dr. Donna Campbell.  Wentworth will face a run-off with Campbell.

Statewide Races

The biggest news of the night was the race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison for U.S. Senator (in the Republican Primary).  Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was hoping to get above 50% to avoid a run-off.  But in such a crowded field, it didn’t happen.  Dewhurst will face former Solicitor General Ted Cruz in July.

In the Democratic party race for the same U.S. Senate seat, Paul Sadler will face Gary Yarbrough in a run-off.

In other news, both races for Railroad Commissioner will go into a run-off for the same reason; such crowded fields make it difficult for one candidate to get over the 50% hump.  Christi Craddick will face former House member Warren Chishum for one Railroad Commissioner Position; Incumbent Barry Smitherman will face Greg Parker in the other position.

Keep in mind, following redistricting and a slew of retirements, as evidenced above,Texas will have a new and different legislature next time around. 

Stay tuned for the July 31st Run-offs….. 

For the election results in their entirety you can go to:  http://enr.sos.state.tx.us/enr/