2018 Texas Primary Results
By Bill Stevens
The top four officeholders in Texas won in their Republican Primary race or were unopposed. Though they will have opposition in the General Election, there is little reason to believe at this writing that any will be unseated. Despite the predictions of a Blue Wave in Texas, it seems that Governor Abbott, Lt Governor Patrick, Attorney General Paxton and Comptroller Hegar will remain in their posts.
Abbott will be opposed by winner of a run-off Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez or Andrew White, son of former governor Mark White.
Three other Republican statewide officeholder all faced primary challenges but survived without runoffs. So, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Ag Commissioner Sid Miller and (most importantly) RRC Chairman Christi Craddick will be on the General Election ballot.
Again, though each will be opposed by a Democrat, it is unlikely that any of the three will not be re-elected.
Republican Senators Hall (Dist 2, Dallas), Schwertner (Dist 5, Georgetown), Huffman (Dist 17, Houston), Campbell (Dist 25, Boerne) and Seliger (Dist 31, Amarillo) – all retained their seats in the primary. Though opposed in the General Election, each should be returned to their Senate seat.
Senator Craig Estes (Dist 30, Wichita Falls) was defeated by State Representative Fallon from Denton. Estes was first elected in 2000.
Also, it is significant that Angela Paxton (Dist #8, Dallas), wife of Attorney General Paxton, defeated Phillip Huffines, brother of current serving Senator Donald Huffines.
The winner in the General Election will replace Senator Van Taylor of Plano, who Is moving on as U S Congressman, Dist 3.
Democrats winning in the Primary is Senator Whitmire (Dist 15, Houston). There will be several Senate Democrat run-offs. (A more complete list will be analyzed and published at a later date.)
The current balance of the Texas House has been at 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats. Of course, with the resignation of Speaker Straus, the race is on for the Speakership. That will be determined by a vote of the House Members in January of 2019. Several member have announced and other names are being floated outcomes of this primary may well be a determinant of that result.
From yesterday’s primary vote, the makeup of the House seems like it will remain fairly constant – R vs D and Liberal vs Moderate vs Conservative. However, it is possible that the D’s will pick up 3 to 5 seats in the mix.
On the D side of the aisle, long serving Dallas Representative Roberto Alonzo (Dist 104) was defeated handily by Jessica Gonzalez.
Incumbent Diana Arvevalo (Dist 116, San Antonio) was defeated by former State Representative Trey Martinez Fisher.
Tomas’ Uresti, brother of now convicted Senator Carlos Uresti, was unseated by newcomer Pacheco. Representative Dukes of Austin was denied a runoff seat. However, Ryan Guillen of the Valley did prevail in his challenge as did Bobby Guerra. (The Conservative Guillen has served for several terms as a Committee Chairman for Speaker Straus and Guerra is a member of the Energy Resources Committee). All of these are safe D districts in the General Election.
It is significant that 17 term representative Rene Oliviera of Brownsville will be involved in a competitive runoff. Again, this is a safe D seat.
For the R’s there was no great movement or change toward the more conservative wing of the party and the philosophical makeup of the Republican House should be relatively stable despite the absence of Straus.
Governor Abbott endorsed opponents and actively campaigned against three Republican incumbents. However, Sarah Davis of Houston and Lyle Larson of San Antonio both prevailed under the pressure from the Governor. Wayne Faircloth of Houston, however, was defeated by Middleton.
Much of the House leadership remained in tact helping offset retirements of Straus and some of his committee chairmen. Returning for the General election will be familiar names of Flynn, Schaefer, Paddie, Clardy, Raney, Bailes, Bonnen, Workman, Shine, Sheffield, Stuckey, Simmons, Biederman, Four Price, Ken King, Capriglione, Geren, Anderson, Larson, Davis, and Huberty, and there are more.
There are will be new faces such as former state rep Steve Toth, Middleton who defeated Faircloth, Cynthia Flores, Candy Noble, Lisa Ryan who beat Jason Villaba, and Sam Harless replacing his wife Pam who formerly held the seat.