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Summary of 2018 Primary Runoff Election

Posted By Jennifer Brown Emerson, Thursday, April 19, 2018

The primary elections took place on March 6th.  For many elected offices, the primary election is where the big and final decision is made.  There were numerous races (over thirty) where a single candidate did not receive a majority of the vote, therefore requiring a runoff election.  The runoff election in Texas will be held on May 22nd. There is a runoff election for the Democrat nominee for Governor, seventeen runoff elections in Texas Congressional races, one runoff in the Texas Senate and fourteen run-off elections in the Texas House. 

Texas Governor

Greg Abbott easily won his primary election.  Lupe Valdez (former Sheriff of Dallas County) and Andrew White (son of former Governor Mark White) are in a runoff for the Democrat nominee.  Valdez received a greater percentage of the vote in the primary but the contest between the two is a likely toss-up.  The winner of the runoff will face Governor Abbott in the general election in November and barring any major issues, he will easily win reelection in November.

US Congress

There were an unusual number of retirements from Congress this year which created opportunity for many who have wanted to run for Congress.  Those members that chose to not run for re-election include Ted Poe, Sam Johnson, Jeb Hensarling, Joe Barton, Lamar Smith, Blake Farenthold and Gene Green.  There are seventeen runoff elections in Congressional districts.  Those are as follows:

US House District 2 (seat being vacated by Ted Poe –R – Humble) – This is a Republican district and features Dan Crenshaw versus Kevin Roberts (former State Rep) in the run off.

US House District 3 – (seat being vacated by Sam Johnson R – Flower Mound) – This is a Republican district but there is a run off in the Democrat primary to see who will face Van Taylor (former Texas Senator who easily won his primary) in the general election.  The Democrat contenders are Lorie Burch versus Sam Johnson (pure coincidence on the name).

US House Distrct 5 (seat being vacated by Jeb Hensarling R – Dallas) – This runoff election features Lance Gooden (former State Rep) versus Bunni Pounds (a Republican fundraiser).


US House District 6 (seat being vacated by Joe Barton – R – Ennis) – There are runoffs in the Democrat and Republican primaries in this district. However, this is a mostly Republican district.  The Democrat contenders are Jana Sanchez and Ruby Woolridge and the Republican contenders are Jake Ellzey and Ron Wright.

US House District 7 (seat currently held by John Culberson – R – Houston) – This is a marginally Republican district and one that Democrats hope to win someday if not this cycle.  The Democrat primary pits Lizzie Fletcher versus Laura Moser and the winner will face incumbent Congressman John Culberson in November.  The Democrat primary made headlines as the National Democrat party came out against Laura Moser as they thought she was too liberal to have a chance to win this seat.

US House District 10 (seat currently held by Mike McCaul – R – Austin) The Democrat primary has Mike Siegel versus Tawanna Walter – Cadien and the winner of this contest will face incumbent Congressman Michael McCaul.  This is a solidly Republican district.

US House District 21 (seat being vacated by Lamar Smith – R – San Antonio)  This seat probably saw the largest numbers of contenders, over 18 on the ballot in the Republican primary.  There is a run off in both party primaries. The Democrat primary pits Joseph Kosper and Mary Smith Wilson.  The Republican primary has Matt McCall and Chip Roy vying for the nomination. 

US House District 22 (seat currently held by Pete Olson – R – Sugar Land).  This is a Republican district but there is a runoff in the Democrat primary to see who will face incumbent Congressman Pete Olson.  The primary contest has Sri Kulkarni and Letitia Plummer vying for the spot.

US House District 23 (seat currently held by Will Hurd – R – San Antonio).  This is a marginal district and the Democrat primary has Gina Jones and Rick Trevino fighting for the chance to face incumbent Congressman Will Hurd.


US House District 25 (seat currently held by Roger Williams – R – Weatherford).  This is a solid Republican district.  The Democrat primary pits Julie Oliver and Chris Perri against each other in an effort to face incumbent Congressman Roger Williams in November.

US House District 27 (seat being vacated by Blake Farenthold – R – Corpus Christi).  There are run off elections in both the Democrat and Republican primary for this seat which is a fairly solid Republican district.  The Democrat primary challengers are Raul Barrera and Eric Holguin while the Republican primary has Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud facing each other.  Bruun was the top vote getter in the primary but word is that this is going to be a very close runoff election.

US House District 29 (seat being vacated by Gene Green – D – Houston). This is a solid Democrat district.  Sylvia Garcia (former State Senator) won the Democrat primary outright in March.  In November, she will face the winner of the Republican primary contenders who are Phillip Aronoff and Carmer Montiel. 

US House District 31 (seat currently held by John Carter – R – Round Rock).  The Democrat primary contenders are Mary Jennings Hegar and Christine Mann.  The winner of that runoff will face incumbent Congressman John Carter in a Republican district.

US House District 32 (seat currently held by Pete Sessions – R – Dallas).  This is a marginally Republican district according to pollsters.  The Democrat primary runoff contenders are Collin Allred and Lillian Salerno.  The winner of that contest will face incumbent Congressman Pete Sessions in November.

Texas Senate

There is one runoff election for a seat in the Texas Senate.  The runoff is in Senate District 17 which is currently held by Republican Joan Huffman.  The runoff is in the Democrat primary and features Rita Lucido and Fran Watson.  This is a solid Republican district so Senator Huffman is very likely to keep her seat.

Texas House

There are fourteen primary runoff elections in the Texas House.  Seven of those fourteen are in districts where the incumbent decided to retire and not seek re-election.  Those are Lance Gooden, Byron Cook, Leighton Schubert, Jason Isaac, Larry Phillips, Helen Giddings and Joe Straus. The primary runoff elections in the House are as follows:

TX HD4 (seat vacated by Lance Gooden- R – Kaufman).  There was a crowded field in the solid Republican district.  The top two vote getters were Stuart Spitzer (who beat Lance Gooden in 2014 and was defeated by Gooden in 2016) and Keith Bell (a local businessman and former President of the School Board). This will be a close race to watch.

TX HD 8 (seat vacated by Bryon Cook – R – Corsicana). This solid Republican district features Cody Harris (farm and ranch real estate and management) and Thomas McNutt (VP at Collin Street Bakery) against each other in the primary.  McNutt ran against Cook last election cycle. Cody Harris was the top vote getter in the primary.

TX HD 13 (seat vacated by Leighton Schubert –R – Caldwell).  The Republican primary pits Ben Leman (Grimes Co. Judge) and Jill Wolfskill (energy industry) against each other in this solid Republican district.

TX HD 37 – This seat is currently held by Rep. Rene Oliveira (D – Brownsville) .  He faced a tough primary and was just shy of getting the required 50% in the primary.  He faces Alex Dominguez (attorney and Cameron Co. Commissioner) in the Democrat primary.  This will be a tough primary battle.

TX HD 45 (seat vacated by Jason Isaac – R – Dripping Springs).  This is a solid Republican district.  Ken Strange (Wimberley – School Board member) won the Republican primary outright. He will face the winner of the Democrat primary which features Rebecca Bell Metereau (professor at Texas State) and Erin Zweiner.

TX HD 46 (seat currently held by Dawnna Dukes – D – Austin).  Rep. Dukes faced several challengers in the primary and was not one of the top two vote getters.  Sheryl Cole (attorney and former City Council member) and Jose Vela (immigration attorney) face off in May to be the Democrat candidate in this House District which is a Democrat district.

TX HD 47 (seat currently held by Rep. Paul Workman – R – Austin).  Rep. Paul Workman currently represents this district which is the only Republican House district in Austin.  It is a marginal Republican district.  Rep. Workman won his primary and will face either Elaina Fowler (environmental remediation business) or Vikki Goodwin (realtor) in November.

TX HD 54 (seat currently held by Rep. Scott Cosper – R – Killeen).  Rep. Cosper faced a tough primary battle and several opponents in the primary.  While he was the top vote getter, he did not get over the 50% mark and will face Brad Buckley (veterinarian) in the May primary run off.  

TX HD 62 (seat vacated by Larry Phillips – R – Sherman).  This was another primary with a crowded field and the top two vote getters in the Republican primary in this majority Republican district were Brent Lawson (electrical engineer) and Reggie Smith (attorney).

TX HD 64 (seat currently held by Rep. Lynn Stuckey – R – Sanger).  This is a Republican district with Rep. Stuckey serving as the incumbent.  He will face a Democrat in the November general election and that will be either Andrew Morris (technical writer in defense industry) or Mat Pruneda (financial analyst).

TX HD 107 (seat currently held by Rep. Victoria Neave – D – Dallas). This is a toss-up district.  Rep. Neave will face the winner of the Republican primary runoff in November.  The two Republican candidates are Deana Maria Metzger (attorney) and Joe Ruzicka (retired Navy). 

HD TX 109 (seat vacated by Helen Giddings – D – DeSoto).  This is a Democrat district and the primary runoff features Deshaundra Jones (DeSoto City Council) versus Carl Sherman (Former DeSoto Mayor).

HD TX 121 (seat vacated by Joe Straus – R – San Antonio).  This primary field became crowded after Speaker Straus announced he would not seek re-election.  The top two vote getters in the Republican primary are Steve Allison (attorney) and Matt Beebe (cybersecurity business).

HD TX 133 (seat currently held by Rep. Jim Murphy – R – Houston).  This is a solid Republican district with Rep. Jim Murphy currently representing this district.  He will face a Democrat opponent in November and that will either be Sandra Moore or Martin Schexnayder.

*It is worth noting that in the general election in November, the party who holds the Presidency goes first on the ballot.  Thus, all Republican candidates will have an edge. 

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