The 2022 election cycle is already underway in Texas. As the proposed boundaries for districts up and down the ballot get finalized as a part of the delayed decennial redistricting process, many candidates are making their intentions known.
For Central Texas voters, former coalition Republican candidates Ellen Troxclair and Justin Berry now find themselves competing against one another in newly drawn Texas House District 19.
How Quickly the Tide Turns
In June, former Austin City Councilwoman Ellen Troxclair announced she was running for Texas Senate District 24 to replace outgoing Republican State Sen. Dawn Buckingham (Lakeway), who had announced her candidacy for Texas land commissioner just a few days earlier.
Similarly, Austin police officer Justin Berry had already made clear he was once again challenging Democrat State Rep. Vicki Goodwin (Austin) for Texas House District 47 in March, having narrowly lost to her in the 2020 general election by only one percentage point.
In August, both announced their support for each other’s races.
Though Troxclair had already been campaigning for that position for months, once the Texas Legislature began deliberating the proposed boundaries for state Senate districts during the recently concluded special legislative session, it became apparent that she no longer resided in District 24. As such, she instead announced for Texas House District 19, which was newly drawn to accommodate the growing population in and around Central Texas.
On Tuesday, Berry announced he intends to run for the District 19 seat as well, challenging Troxclair in the 2022 Republican primary election. The redrawn Texas House District 47 is now much more advantageous to a Democrat candidate.
Berry currently resides outside of the newly drawn district, but he intends to move his residence into the newly drawn lines, according to his campaign.
Preceding Berry’s announcement, Troxclair accused Berry of feeling “entitled” to the seat.
I’m surprised to hear that Justin Berry may be giving up on opposing Vikki Goodwin in HD47 to run against me in HD19 instead. I announced for HD19, an entirely new district w/5 counties, weeks ago. HD47 was 1/8 of Travis Co. Quite a stretch to act entitled to it. #txlege (1 of 2) pic.twitter.com/RgxwTVAVpq
— Ellen Troxclair (@EllenTroxclair) October 18, 2021
Berry punched back, telling The Texan:
But with regards to Ellen, it’s very unfortunate that Ellen chose to announce the day after she and I talked about my intent to run for HD 19. I supported and endorsed her for a run for Senate. Never wavered in that, even when their lines got redrawn in a way that she didn’t like…So, I told Ellen that I guess we’re just waiting to see, we know the lines still have some settling to do so we don’t want to be rushed to anything, we’ll go from there. Once the lines were set then we’ll know what’s gonna happen. I said I hope I’ve still got your support and that was when she chose to go against her word and run against me.
Texas House District 19
The newly drawn district 19 includes Gillespie, Kendall, Blanco, and Burnet counties, as well as the western portion of Travis County.
Much is Still Unknown About the 2022 Primary Election
Since the redistricting process was delayed, it is possible that candidate filing periods, the primary election, and any would-be primary runoff election get delayed.
The Texas Legislature approved a potential stop-gap measure in the second special legislative session to address this issue by prescribing certain dates for those events dependent on when the final proposed district boundaries are approved.