Updated with an additional response from Raul Reyes.
Senate District 24 covers Sutton, Kimble, Kerr, Bandera, Medina, Gillespie, Llano, Burnet, Lampasas, Coryell, and Bell counties, along with portions of Williamson and Atascosa counties.
With State Sen. Dawn Buckingham currently running for land commissioner, the seat is now open—with Pete Flores and Raul Reyes facing off in a runoff election for the Republican primary.
Formerly a state senator for District 19, Flores was unseated by Democrat Roland Gutierrez in the 2020 election. Originally elected in 2018, Flores served for one term in the 86th Legislative Session. From this session, Flores received a rating of 65 from the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility Index as well as a 68 from the Young Conservatives of Texas legislative ratings.
Flores has raised more than a million dollars throughout his campaign and currently has more than $150,000 in cash on hand. His largest donors are Texans for Lawsuit Reform ($175,041), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick ($158,521), and the Associated Republicans of Texas ($50,000). Other notable donor names include Texans for Responsible Government, Texas Sands PAC, and Ross Perot Jr.
Additionally, Flores has received many endorsements from elected officials such as Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and former President Donald Trump (whose Texas endorsements are normally made at Patrick’s behest).
Flores also boasts the backing of more establishment-tied organizations, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Texans for Responsible Government, the Associated Republicans of Texas, Texas Values Action, Texas Alliance for Life, the National Federation for Independent Business – Texas, Texas Right to Life, Texas Home School Coalition, and the National Rifle Association.
While the pro-amnesty Libre Initiative and Americans for Prosperity endorsed Flores earlier this year, he quickly rejected their support.
An Air Force veteran and small-business owner, Reyes previously ran for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Texas’ 23rd congressional district in 2020. Reyes lost in the Republican primary to current U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales. Interestingly, Reyes received the endorsement of Ted Cruz in his 2020 bid for office, whereas Cruz endorsed Flores this election cycle.
Reyes has received multiple grassroots endorsements, including True Texas Project, Grassroots America: We the People, the Texas Eagle Forum, and local Republican clubs. Gun Owners of America – Texas also endorsed Reyes. Reyes also received Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s endorsement.
Raising around $330,000, Reyes currently has less than $30,000 in cash on hand, according to data from Transparency USA. Reyes’ top contributors include former Loving County Sheriff Billy Hopper ($300,000) and multiple members of the Saulsbury family.
For the past several weeks, Texas Scorecard has been questioning runoff candidates on various issues.
Regarding Democrat committee chairs, Reyes announced his support for ending the practice of awarding Democrat members of the Texas House committee chairmanships, while Flores declined to answer the question.
Protecting women’s collegiate athletics from men masquerading as women is an issue Flores supports, whereas Reyes did not respond at the time. “I am in favor of extending the protection for girls and women in all educational levels including collegiate sports,” Reyes told Texas Scorecard on Wednesday.
On the issue of property taxes, Flores says property taxes are levied by local governments and “our role [in the Senate] is limited,” but he did say he will continue to fight for lower property taxes. Meanwhile, Reyes stated his support for eliminating property taxes entirely and restructuring the Texas tax system.
Both Flores and Reyes agreed that the current border crisis is an invasion and that Texas needs to act to secure the border. They were also in agreement that parental rights in education should be protected and pornographic books in children’s schools should not be permitted.
Texas Scorecard asked candidates this week about ending corporate welfare (where large corporations receive taxpayer cash and tax benefits). Reyes responded in support of ending the practice, whereas Flores declined to answer the question.
Just three weeks away from Election Day, the May 24 runoff election will determine who will be sent to Austin to represent SD 24. Early voting begins on May 16.