House District 30, located between San Antonio and Houston, is represented by State Rep. Geanie Morrison, who has announced her retirement from the legislature.

AJ Louderback and Jeff Bauknight will face off in the May 28 runoff election to fill the open seat.

AJ Louderback

Louderback is an Air Force veteran and served as the Jackson County sheriff for five terms.

According to Transparency USA, Louderback’s campaign has mainly been individually funded. However, he has received contributions from Texans United for a Conservative Majority PAC and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Louderback currently has about $86,000 cash available as of the latest campaign report.

Louderback has received endorsements from Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham. He has also been endorsed by Grassroots America: We the People, Texas Home School Coalition, Texas Gun Rights, Texas Right to Life, and Texans for Vaccine Choice.

Jeff Bauknight

Bauknight is a businessman and currently serves as the mayor of Victoria.

Bauknight’s campaign has received over $300,000 from Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC, according to Transparency USA. He has also received contributions from Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Medical Association PAC. As of the latest campaign report, Bauknight currently has over $140,000 cash available.

Bauknight has received endorsements from Gov. Abbott, incumbent State Rep. Geanie Morrison, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Associated Republicans of Texas, Texas Alliance for Life, and Texas State Association of Fire Fighters.

The Issues

Over the past several weeks, Texas Scorecard asked all state legislative runoff candidates about issues important to voters as they head to the polls.

On Republicans allowing Democrats to chair House committees, Louderback said he strongly supports banning Democrat chairs. Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

On the matter of border security, Louderback said, “I strongly support using state assets and personnel to construct the border wall and defend the Rio Grande from future illegal crossings. Every illegal crossing is a crime, and these criminal aliens must be deported at the first available opportunity after they are apprehended.” He also suggested ending immigration incentives like in-state tuition for illegal aliens. Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

When considering banning the ownership of American land by hostile foreign governments, Louderback said if elected, he would fight to get a law passed that addresses this. Bauknight responded, “Texas should not allow federally defined citizens, companies, or governmental agencies that are national security threats to the United States from purchasing properties, mineral interests and timber, and land near sensitive government and infrastructure.”

In response to gambling expansion, Louderback said he does not support it and believes that social issues would result from expansion. Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

Louderback said regarding school choice, he supports Plank 101 of the Republican Party of Texas platform, which gives families the right to choose which schools their children go to. Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

On election security, Louderback affirmed that this issue cannot be pushed aside and that illegal voting must be punished. Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

With Second Amendment rights, Louderback stated the importance of this amendment as “The foundation of freedom for this nation is built on the 2nd Amendment.” Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

Louderback’s opinion on the speaker of the house is that Republicans must receive leadership from Republicans. Bauknight did not respond to this inquiry.

Election Day

The winner of the Republican runoff on May 28 will compete with Democrat Stephanie Bassham and Libertarian Jeinay LeBlanc in the November General Election.

Early voting for the runoff begins Monday, May 20, and runs through Friday, May 24.

Amelia McKenzie

Amelia is a senior at Liberty University in Virginia. She is studying Digital Journalism and is currently a fellow with Texas Scorecard.