An Election Recap

An Election Recap
Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash

Last night’s Texas primary lacked the drama of years past when there were multiple presidential contenders vying for their party’s nomination. Both Biden and Trump cruised to their respective victories, but up and down the ballot several races highlighted what to expect this November.

The Revenge Tour

Both Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton were looking to exact revenge on fellow Republicans. For Abbott, last night became a referendum against candidates who bucked his call by opposing school vouchers. Abbott released a statement last night touting the voucher issue. “Republican primary voters have once again sent an unmistakable message that parents deserve the freedom to choose the best education pathway for their child.”

Paxton’s revenge tour was all about last year’s impeachment in the Texas House and trial in the Senate. For the candidates that Paxton targeted, five lost and nine are headed to a runoff – and that includes current speaker Dade Phelan. If Phelan loses in May, it would be the first time in over fifty years a Texas Speaker has lost re-election. Paxton also notched victories against three incumbents on the Criminal Court of Appeals. 

A Senate Matchup

With almost 60 percent of the vote, Colin Allred has avoided a runoff and will head to November as the Democratic challenger to Ted Cruz. Allred is a former NFL player and attorney who touted his bipartisan credentials and support for abortion rights throughout his campaign. In 2018, Cruz narrowly beat Beto O’Rourke by about 219,000 votes.

District Attorney Races

Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg conceded to prosecutor Sean Teare last night. Teare had secured the endorsements of several high-profile Houston Democrats including former mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Things were not boding well for Ogg going into yesterday, and things took an even darker turn when she found her name had already been used when she went to vote. In Austin, current District Attorney José Garza easily defeated a well-funded challenger. 

Odds And Ends

Lauren Ashley Simmons is currently leading State Representative Shawn Thierry with just over 49 percent of the vote in. If she stays under 50 percent, this race is headed to a runoff. Thierry angered many of her constituents when she voted for three anti-LGBTQ bills in the last session.

Tony Gonzales, the Republican congressman, has been forced into a runoff against a social media personality. Gonzales was censured by the State Republican Executive Committee last year for voting on one bipartisan gun safety bill and a bill codifying same sex marriage. 

In the TX-32 congressional district, Julie Johnson fended off several other candidates to secure the nomination outright. If she wins in November (which is likely for a solid blue seat), Johnson will be the first LGBTQ member of Congress from Texas.