With the shortened time period for the Republican primary runoff elections, many haven’t had time to follow the elections closely. To bring everyone up to speed we’ve compiled summaries of each race.
Wayne Christian, a former conservative lawmaker, is running against Gary Gates, a real estate developer in his seventh bid for public office after falling short six times prior. The Texas Oil and Gas Association and grassroots organizations from around the state are supporting Christian while the liberal Republican establishment of the Texas House is backing Gates.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Christian.
Criminal Court of Appeals:
The race for Place 2 features Ray Wheless, a Collin County judge that has championed criminal justice reform and opposed judicial activism. Running against him is Harris County judge Mary Lou Keel whose political involvement and judicial record have both come under scrutiny.
Campaigning for Place 5 are Brent Webster—a Williamson County prosecutor with support from most major conservative organizations and leaders, as well as many in the legal community—and Scott Walker, a Fort Worth judge who isn’t campaigning.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Wheless and Webster.
The race to replace retiring State Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) began as one in which improvement was almost guaranteed. Both State Reps. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and David Simpson (R-Longview) boasted strong conservative records in the Texas House, but Simpson’s recent political maneuvering and support from liberal Republicans like former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff has conservatives concerned.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Bryan Hughes.
State Sen. Troy Fraser’s (R-Horseshoe Bay) retirement kicked off a crowded primary in SD 24, but the runoff features only two. State Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene), a perennial failure on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, and Dawn Buckingham, a Lake Travis ophthalmologist and member of the Sunset Commission. King has come under scrutiny for a suspect personal record and liberal political record.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has made no endorsement in the race.
Residents of Texas House District 5 have had conservative representation for over a decade from State Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), but Hughes’ choice to run for the Texas Senate has put the seat up for grabs. Competing for the right to represent the district are Cole Hefner, a small business owner and former Upshur County Commissioner, and Jay Misenheimer, a businessman and member of the Lindale School Board.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Cole Hefner.
In southeast Texas, the retirement of one of lobbyist’s most favored lawmakers, House Budget Chairman John Otto (R-Dayton), kicked off a contested campaign for House District 18. The runoff features a conservative candidate, Liberty attorney Keith Strahan, and an establishment candidate, lobby favorite Ernest Bailes.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Keith Strahan.
Unlike most runoff elections this cycle in which conservatives were on offense, in House District 33 they’re playing defense against an encroaching establishment challenger. The incumbent, conservative State Rep. Scott Turner (R-Rockwall) who unsuccessfully challenged State Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) for Speaker, has endorsed John Keating, a Gulf War veteran and member of the Frisco City Council. Running against him is Rockwall realtor Justin Holland, who has tried to make the race about comparing zip codes rather than conservative bona fides.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for John Keating.
In House District 64, yet another liberal incumbent declined to run for re-election. In this district, State Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton) declined to put her record before voters after conservative small businessman Read King made clear he would be challenging her again—King took 45% of the vote against her in 2014. Instead, she’s endorsed Lynn Stucky, a local veterinarian who serviced a dog death mill for the City of Sanger and objects to free speech.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Read King.
No race this election cycle has been nastier than House District 73 where liberal Republican incumbent State Rep. Doug Miller is seeking to destroy the reputation of Fredericksburg small businessman Kyle Biedermann. The mudslinging has become so bad that even Miller’s supporters in the local press are calling him out. Miller was already under heavy scrutiny for kissing up to the lobby and spending donors’ money on a car.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Kyle Biedermann.
Pundits have billed this year’s election cycle as the “Year of the Outsider” and while that label is certainly relevant on the national scene, the best example might be found in House District 128. There, State Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown), a fourteen year incumbent and loyal ally of Austin lobbyists, is attempting to fend off a fierce challenge from pro-life attorney Briscoe Cain.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recommends a vote for Briscoe Cain.