Several primary races for Congress and the Texas Legislature were finally decided last night, setting the ballot for the November election:
US Senate — Democratic Primary
Former Air Force pilot MJ Hegar of Round Rock defeated long time state Senator Royce West of Dallas. Around midnight last night, as Hegar enjoyed a 37,000 vote lead, she declared victory. At the time, West said the race was too close to call and would not have a statement until this morning. Finally, as all votes were counted, West conceded this morning. Hegar garnered just over 52% of the vote, winning by slightly more than 40,000 votes out of 955,500 total votes cast. Hegar will now face three term incumbent John Cornyn in November.
US House of Representatives
All but one race has been decided. In the race to replace Will Hurd, Republican from San Antonio, the two Republican candidates are separated by just 7 votes out of over 24,000 total votes cast. Tony Gonzalez, who has the endorsements from both Hurd and President Trump enjoys the slim lead and has declared victory. His opponent, Raul Reyes has not conceded and will await the counting of provisional and mail in ballots. Both candidates are retired military officers. The eventual winner will face Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones in November. Ortiz Jones was narrowly defeated by Hurd in the 2018 election.
In the Panhandle, incumbent Republican Mac Thornberry is not seeking reelection. In a hotly contested runoff, former White House physician Ronny Jackson handily defeated Agriculture lobbyist Josh Winegarner in a safe Republican seat.
Longtime Dallas Republican Congressman Pete Sessions, who was defeated in 2018, moved to Waco in an attempt to get his old job back, representing a new district. Sessions easily defeated Renee Swan and will face Democrat Rick Kennedy, a business consultant from Pflugerville in a safe Republican district running from Waco, through Bryan and down to Williamson County.
Other runoff winners include Austin attorney Mike Siegel who will now face incumbent Michael McCaul in a district that runs from Austin to west Harris County, and is a priority for the Democrats to flip. In the open District 22 based in Fort Bend County, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls will face Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni in the seat now held by Republican Pete Olson, who chose not to seek reelection. In District 24, educator Candace Valenzuela will face Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne in the seat north of Dallas now held by Republican Kenny Marchant, who also chose not to seek reelection. And finally, computer engineer Donna Imam of Cedar Park will now face incumbent Republican John Carter of Round Rock. This is another targeted seat for the Democrats, as Carter narrowly defeated MJ Hegar in 2018.
There were three races for Texas Senate races yesterday. In the Rio Grande Valley, longtime incumbent Eddie Lucio, Jr. defeated his opponent by 4 points to earn another term. Lucio was first elected to the Senate in 1990 and survived his first real challenge in years. In San Antonio, state Rep. Roland Gutierrez easily won the runoff, and will now face Republican incumbent Pete Flores of Pleasanton in a district that runs from San Antonio to El Paso. Flores was first elected in a special election in 2018, and will face a stiff challenge in this Democratic leaning seat.
In a special election for Austin based District 14, Democrat Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt leads a pack of 6 candidates with 49.7% of the vote. Her nearest challenger is Democrat state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, who is nearly 19,000 votes behind, and sitting at 33%. Rodriguez has committed to move on to the runoff, despite trailing by such a large margin. The reason for this special election is due to the resignation of longtime Austin Senator Kirk Watson to take a job with the University of Houston.
Texas House of Representatives
Three incumbents were defeated last night. Dan Flynn of Van, JD Sheffield of Gatesville, both Republicans, and Anna Eastman a Democrat from Houston. A fourth incumbent, Democrat Rep. Lorraine Birabil of Dallas trails her opponent by 90 votes but has yet to concede. One other runoff involving an incumbent was Democrat Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston winning handily.
Other runoff winners in Texas House races include Republican Cody Vast of Angleton, who is running in the seat to replace retiring House Speaker Dennis Bonnen; Republican Carrie Isaac of Dripping Springs who will now face Democrat incumbent Erin Zwiener in a swing district; Republican Justin Berry of Lakeway who has won the right to face Democrat incumbent Vicki Goodwin of Austin in a swing district that has switch parties several times over the past several elections; Republican Glenn Rogers of Eastland who will replace retiring Rep. Mike Lang is a solid Republican district; and Democrat Liz Campos of San Antonio, who is now assured reelection in a very safe Democratic seat that is currently held by Rep. Roland Gutierrez who is running for the state Senate.