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Primary Elections Hold Mixed Bag for Republicans

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Election night, to those who are involved in politics, is like waiting on Santa Claus.  When you wake up in the morning, you get to see what you received and what you didn’t.  On Tuesday, there was a mixed bag left for Republicans in the state.

In national races, Senator Ted Cruz won with 85.35% of the vote or 1, 317,450 votes.  That is a larger number of votes than the total that voted in the Democrat primary.

In US House Disctrict 3, Texas Senator Van Taylor will face off in November against the winner of the Democratic runoff between Lorie Burch and Sam Johnson that will take place in May.

Bunni Pounds and Lance Gooden will go to the May runoff that will decide the winner of US House District 5 since there is not a Democrat opponent in that race.

Tarrant Co. Tax Assessor Ron Wright who received 45.12% of the vote will face off against J.K. “Jake” Ellzey in the May runoff US House District 6. Ellzey received  21.74% of the vote in the primary.

In US House District 21 when Representative Lamar Smith announced he would retire last November, 18 candidates entered the race. Chip Roy former Chief of Staff to Ted Cruz and Matt McCall will meet in the May runoff to secure their place on the November ballot.  They will face the winner of the Democrat runoff in that district between Derrick Crowe and Joseph Kopser.

Democrat Texas Senator Syliva R. Garcia won her place on the November ballot by winning US House District 29 outright.  She will be in a battle for the office in the general election against the winner of the Republican runoff between Phillip Aronoff and Carmen Maria Montiel.

In statewide race, one of the most perplexing was that of Land Commissioner. Commissioner George P. Bush won outright with 58.19% of the vote.  Commissioner Bush has been a topic of public discussion since last June when the State Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution asking for transparency in the day-to-day operations of the land office and non-profits that were organized by Bush. Even more attention was brought to the office when the Senate Finance Committee brought Commissioner Bush before them back in December, demanding that he provide transparency since the non-profits that he is a board member of are fully funded with taxpayer dollars… to which he refused.  Bush’s huge mishandling of the Alamo and his reimagining of the overall importance of the Alamo to today’s Texans even had both liberals and conservatives joining together against him.  With three other opponents in the race, one being former land commissioner Jerry Patterson, it was hoped that a runoff would occur.

Overall, incumbents kept their seats both in the Texas House and Senate.  One surprising upset was that in House District 114 where Rep. Jason Villalba was handily defeated by Lisa Luby Ryan.  Villalba is, if you will remember, the Republican representative that called for gun control and wanted to thwart parental rights when it came to vaccines.

In House District 88 Representative Ken King maintained his seat by narrowly defeating Jason Huddleston and Richard Beyea by 188 votes.

The Texas Freedom Caucus had a good night when all of their members won re-election and they gained the ability to pick up some new members with the wins in HD113-Jonathan Boos, HD 106-Jared Patterson, HD-23-Mayes Middleton, HD 15-Steve Toth, and HD114-Lisa Luby Ryan. Runoffs in HD4-former House Rep Stuart Spitzer/Keith Bell, HD8-Thomas McNutt/Cody Harris, HD13-Jill Wolfskill/Ben Leman, HD107-Deanna Maria Metzger/Joe Ruzicka, HD54-Brad Buckley/Incumbent Scott Cosper, HD62-Brent Lawson/Reggie Smith, and HD121-Matt Beebe/Steve Allison may favor them as well.

In the Senate, long time Senator Craig Estes was defeated by Rep. Pat Fallon 62% to 22.6%. This could be attributed to Lt. Governor Patrick and several other elected officials coming out and endorsing Fallon in the days leading up to the election when Estes came out with a mailer that seemed to attack Fallon for his religious views.

Senator Bob Hall, SD2, defeated Cindy Burkett who is the 4 term representative for HD113.

In the SD8 race, Angela Paxton was victorious over Phillip Huffines.  This seat is currently held by Van Taylor who won his bid for the US House District 3 race.

In the race for Senate District 31, long time Senator Kel Seliger barely beat out two opponents to keep his seat.  In the race, Seliger received 40,653 votes while his two opponents together garnered 39,983 votes.

Across the state in local races, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal was defeated and Commissioner Charlie Riley will face Greg Parker in a runoff in May.

Debi Hays will be the new Ector County Judge and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Greg Simmons won re-election.  Matt Stringer of Ector County will face Missi Walden in a runoff for JP (Pct 2).

Lubbock County gained two new county commissioners Jason Corley (Pct 2) and Chad Seay (Pct 4). Both replaced long time commissioners and in Parker County, longtime Republican County Chair Zan Prince was defeated by J. Scott Utley.


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