Texas 2018 Primary Election Results

March 8, 2018

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The results are in for the 2018 Texas Primary Election that took placeyesterday, March 6 — the first primary in the nation. As predicted, U.S.Sen. Ted Cruz will face former Congressman Beto O’Rourke in the Nov. 6General Election. Texas is poised to send two Hispanic women to Congressfor the first time. All incumbent statewide leadership fended off theirRepublican challengers and all incumbent judges won their primary races.Early voting numbers broke records for a nonpresidential election year asmore than 885,000 people voted prior to March 6 — a 50 percent increasefrom the previous high of 592,000 in 2014. Despite the “surge” reportedamong Democratic early voters, a record 1.5 million Republican votersturned out overall, the second highest number in state history.

Before the General Election takes place on Nov. 6, candidates in fivecongressional races and eight Texas House races will face each other onceagain in the Primary Runoff Election on May 22.

Congressional Races

All incumbent members won their primary races. Crowded fields of candidatesvied for eight open Texas congressional seats and five are headed to arunoff.

CD 2 (Poe) – Runoff: State Rep. Kevin Roberts v. Dan Crenshaw

CD 3 (Johnson) – State Sen. Van Taylor

CD 5 (Hensarling) – Runoff: State Rep. Lance Gooden v. Bunni Pounds

CD 6 (Barton) – Runoff: Ron Wright v. Jake Ellzey

CD 16 (O’Rourke) – Veronica Escobar

CD 21 (Smith) – Runoff: Chip Roy v. Matt McCall

CD 27 (Farnethold) – Runoff: Bech Bruun v. Michael Cloud

CD 29 (Green) – State Sen. Sylvia Garcia

In CD 7, Congressman John Culberson won the Republican primary butDemocrats came out in droves to attempt to turn the Houston seat blue — adistrict carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Democrats Laura Moser andLizzie Pannill Fletcher are in a runoff and this will be the congressionalrace to watch in November. Additionally, eyes are on the districts ofCongressmen Pete Sessions (also won by Clinton) and Will Hurd in Novemberas potential swing districts.

Statewide Races

Incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott handily won his primary with over 90percent of the vote. Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and AndrewWhite, son of the late Gov. Mark White, are in a runoff to determine whowill hold the golden ticket for the Democrats in November. The winner willface an uphill battle challenging Abbott, who has over $40 million in hiscampaign war chest and consistently ranks as the most popular statewideofficial.

The following incumbents also are expected to coast to re-election: Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Land CommissionerGeorge P. Bush, Railroad Commission Christi Craddick and Comptroller GlennHegar.

While Attorney General Ken Paxton should also easily win re-election, theDemocrats have picked his out as the statewide seat to attempt to turnblue. Paxton is being challenged by Justin Nelson, an attorney who has beenshown to raise significant campaign funds. The Democratic Attorneys GeneralAssociation already has begun attacking Paxton for his ongoing securitiesfraud legal battle, using material created by members of his own party.

Texas Senate

At this point, two new faces will grace the 31-member upper chamber duringthe 86th Legislative Session in 2019.

In the only open Texas Senate seat, Angela Paxton won the GOP primary 54.35percent to 45.64 percent against Phillip Huffines. Paxton is the wife ofAttorney General Paxton and Huffines’ twin brother serves in the TexasSenate. Angela Paxton secured the endorsement of Patrick. The candidatesspent roughly $10 million vying for Senate District 8 vacated by Sen. VanTaylor (R-Plano), who won his primary bid to replace retiring CongressmanSam Johnson.

State Rep. Pat Fallon successfully unseated incumbent Sen. Craig Estes(R-Wichita Falls) with over 62 percent of the vote in a three-way race.Fallon secured the endorsement of Patrick.

In other Senate news, last month Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) wasfound guilty on 11 felony charges, including multiple counts of fraud andmoney laundering. Uresti vowed to appeal the decision and will face federalsentencing in June, which could amount to years in prison and millions ofdollars in fines. He also has another trial in May on separate felonycharges of bribery and money laundering. Many in the Texas Democraticcircle have called for Uresti to resign his seat, as his term does notexpire until 2021 and state law allows him to continue to serve until allappeals are exhausted. However, no announcement by the embattled senatorhas been made. Following the February ruling, Patrick stripped Uresti ofhis committee assignments.

Texas House

There were 13 open seats in the 150-member Texas House heading into theprimary but there will be at least 19 new members in the lower chamberfollowing the March 6 results. Six incumbent members lost their primaryraces: two Republicans and four Democrats. Two former members will return,one of which unseated his successor. Two incumbents are in runoffs toretain control of their seats.

On the Republican side in three races in which Abbott endorsed opponents ofGOP incumbents, only one will not return next session if the other two canfend off Democratic opposition in November. Rep. Wayne Faircloth(R-Galveston) was defeated by Mayes Middleton, president of Middleton OilCo., an independent oil and gas company. Middleton was hailed as the moreconservative of the two.

Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas), one of the most moderate members of theTexas House, lost his seat to conservative Lisa Luby Ryan, an interiordesigner and businesswoman. Without an incumbent in the race, the Democratswill be eyeballing the seat in November.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Rep. Diana Arevalo (San Antonio) lost by115 votes to former Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher, her predecessor.Additionally, Rep. Tomas Uresti lost to opponent Leo Pacheco. Theaforementioned felony fraud conviction of Rep. Uresti’s brother, Sen.Carlos Uresti, did not work in his favor.

In Dallas, longtime Rep. Roberto Alonzo lost to Jessica Gonzalez, and inAustin, embattled Rep. Dawwna Dukes was ousted by House legislative stafferJose “Chito” Vela and former Austin City Councilwoman Sheryl Cole, who willcontinue to vie in a runoff.