Updated 12/13/21 at 9:00 p.m. to reflect candidate filings that were made publicly available after publication of original article.
The stage is now set for candidates seeking their party’s nomination for elected positions up and down the ballot in the March 1 primary election.
On Monday, the candidate filing period concluded in Texas, and the most glaring takeaway is that many incumbent elected officials find themselves fending off multiple primary election challengers all at once, potentially signaling a growing angst among grassroots activists.
Statewide Elected Positions
Republicans have controlled all of the statewide elected positions for almost two decades. In this cycle, almost every statewide elected official will face multiple challengers from their own party.
For example, Gov. Greg Abbott is being challenged by seven others, including former State Sen. Don Huffines, former Florida congressman and former Republican Party of Texas Chairman Lt. Col. Allen West, and conservative humorist Chad Prather. Abbott was first elected in 2014, and this marks the first time he has had this many challengers for the position.
Similarly, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick finds himself challenged by five other candidates in the Republican primary, including longtime conservative activist and former president of the Texas Eagle Forum Trayce Bradford, Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller, Aaron Sorrell, and others.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose tenure has been tumultuous, finds himself taking on three other candidates: current Land Commissioner George P. Bush, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and longtime East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert.
One of the three railroad commissioners, Wayne Christian, is being challenged by four other candidates: DaWayne Tipton, Tom Slocum, Marvin Summers, and Sarah Stogner.
The agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, finds himself battling Republican State Rep. James White (Hilister) and rancher Carey Counsil.
The open seat for Texas land commissioner finds itself with a crowded field as well. Eight Republican candidates vying for that position, which include Republican State Sen. Dawn Buckingham (Lakeway), former ICE Special Agent Victor Avila, and activist Weston Martinez.
Liberal Republican Lawmakers
Liberal Republican lawmakers who have consistently been a thorn in the side of conservative activists’ efforts find themselves under assault, as well.
Three of them happen to have been lawmakers who supported the expansion of Medicaid, something contrary to their own political party’s platform. These include State Reps. Travis Clardy (Nacogdoches), who has three challengers, and Kyle Kacal (College Station) who has two, as well as Ernest Bailes (Shepherd), who has three challengers to include one who filed right before the candidate filing dealine.
What Does it All Mean?
When voters go to the polls in March, they will have plenty of names to choose from—which, for an incumbent, might spell trouble.
What is Next?
The primary election is currently scheduled for March 1, 2022. Early voting is February 14-25.
The winner of the primary election for each position on the ballot goes on to face each political party’s nominee in the November 8, 2022, general election.