Covering Chambers and part of Galveston County, HD 23 is currently held by State Rep. Mayes Middleton (R–Wallisville). Middleton won the Republican nomination for state Senate District 11 in the March primary. 

Meanwhile, the May 24 runoff election will determine whether Patrick Gurski or Terri Leo-Wilson wins the Republican nomination to represent HD 23. 

Patrick Gurski

A veteran, criminal law attorney, and former legislative staffer for retired State Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R–Houston), Gurski actively represents veterans in Galveston County. 

According to data from Transparency USA, Gurski has raised just under $60,000 and currently has less than $4,000 cash on hand. His largest donor is Galveston County Judge Mark Henry ($13,000), and one of the The 50 Club of Galveston County Directors (Todd Feritta) has also supplied campaign funds ($6,125). Other donors include Galveston County Commissioners Darrell Apffel ($5,000) and Joe Giusti ($5,000), as well as Galveston-area attorney Craig Eiland ($5,000). 

Gurski has received the endorsement of Gov. Greg Abbott as well several members of local government. Additionally, Gurski received endorsements from the Texas Municipal Police Association, the Texas Association of Realtors, the Combined Law Enforcement Agencies of Texas, the Texas Hospital Association, the Texas Oil & Gas Association Good Government Committee, and other local law enforcement unions. 

Terri Leo-Wilson

A former State Board of Education Member and State Republican Executive Committee member, Leo-Wilson has been active in Republican politics—local and statewide—for more than 40 years. 

Based on data from Transparency USA, Leo-Wilson’s campaign is mostly self-funded ($100,000+), and she currently has more than $80,000 cash on hand. Leo-Wilson has received several smaller donations from local individuals. 

Leo-Wilson has been endorsed by every member of the Texas House Freedom Caucus, including outgoing HD 23 State Rep. Middleton. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, several state representatives, and many local Republican precinct chairs have also endorsed Leo-Wilson. Furthermore, Texas Right to Life, the Texas Home School Coalition, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Texas Values Action, Concerned Women for America, Young Conservatives of Texas, and grassroots organizations such as Texas Eagle Forum and Grassroots America: We the People have all endorsed Leo-Wilson. Leo-Wilson also signed the Texans for Vaccine Choice pledge to prohibit vaccine mandates. 

The Issues

For the past several weeks, Texas Scorecard has been questioning Republican runoff candidates on issues important to Republican voters. 

Regarding ending the practice of Democrats chairing important committees in the Texas House, Leo-Wilson announced her support for abolishing the practice, whereas Gurski declined to respond. 

On the issue of protecting women’s collegiate athletics from men pretending to be women, Gurski and Leo-Wilson both support instituting protections. 

Property taxes are a hot topic as appraisals are being mailed and protested. Leo-Wilson advocates for complete elimination of property taxes, whereas Gurski advocates for appraisal reform to provide relief to Texans.

Protecting parental rights in education and safeguarding children from indoctrination into dangerous gender ideologies is another issue that both Gurski and Leo-Wilson support. 

Leo-Wilson announced her support for terming the border crisis an invasion and acting as a state to repel the invasion. Gurski declined to comment on the issue. 

Protecting children from obscene materials in schools by closing the loopholes in Texas obscenity laws is an issue that Leo-Wilson supports, while Gurski declined to comment. 

Ending corporate welfare—taxpayer-funded tax breaks for large corporations—is another issue that Leo-Wilson supports and Gurski declined to comment on. 

Election Day 

Less than three weeks away from Election Day, the May 24 runoff election will determine who will be sent to Austin to represent HD 23. Early voting begins on May 16.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard. A 2021 graduate of Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government, Sydnie is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.

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