Texas Runoffs: Likely New Members Chosen in Four Districts
May 23, 2018 · 1:16 AM EDT
Governor. Greg Abbott (R) elected 2014 (59%). Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez won the Democratic runoff over Andrew White, son of former Democratic Gov. Mark White (1983-1987). Valdez will face the governor, who won renomination easily with 90 percent in the March 6 primary. If Democrats are going to win statewide in Texas this year, it’s more likely to be Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s challenge to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. Abbott has over $40 million in campaign funds, will win re-election, and likely be in the 2020 presidential discussion if President Donald Trump doesn’t seek a second term. Rating: Solid Republican.
2nd District. (Open; Ted Poe, R, not seeking re-election). Trump 52%. Former Navy Seal Dan Crenshaw defeated state Rep. Kevin Roberts in the GOP primary runoff. Crenshaw is the favorite to win this Harris County district, which stretches from the west to the north of Houston. But some Democrats believe the Democratic nominee, Todd Litton, has the profile to take advantage of an electoral wave. Rating: Solid Republican.
5th District (Open; Jeb Hensarling, R, not seeking re-election). Trump 63%. State Rep. Lance Gooden defeated former Hensarling campaign manager Bunni Pounds in the GOP runoff southeast of Dallas. The Democratic nominee, former Terrell City Councilman Danny Wood, had $2,000 in the bank on March 31. Rating: Solid Republican.
6th District (Open; Joe Barton, R, not seeking re-election). Trump 54%. Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright will be the GOP nominee after defeating retired Navy pilot Jake Ellzey in the runoff. Wright worked with Barton for nine years and was chief of staff for the last two. Wright will face journalist/consultant Jana Sanchez in the general election after 2016 nominee Ruby Woolridge fell short in the Democratic runoff. Rating: Solid Republican.
7th District (John Culberson, R, re-elected 56%). Clinton 49%. The DCCC took heat for trying to prevent Resistance activist Laura Moser from becoming the nominee before the primary, and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher cruised through the runoff. Fletcher, who had the EMILY’s List endorsement in a race between two women, ended the race with $563,000 on May 2. Culberson had $921,000 in the bank at the end of March and appears to be taking his race seriously. Rating: Tilt Republican.
21st District (Open; Lamar Smith, R, not seeking re-election). Trump 53%. Former Ted Cruz chief of staff Chip Roy won the GOP nomination in the runoff. Democrats have been excited about Joseph Kopser, a veteran who founded a tech business but he didn’t win enough votes in the primary to progress to the general election outright. He had more success in the runoff, defeating minister Mary Wilson. The demographics of the district could cause the race to get more competitive. Rating: Likely Republican.
23rd District (Will Hurd, R, re-elected 48%). Clinton 49.8%. Iraq War veteran/former USTR official Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic runoff against Rick Treviño, a teacher and Bernie Sanders national delegate. Ortiz Jones (who had $416,000 in the bank on May 2) faces one of Republicans’ strongest incumbents, who had $1.6 million cash on hand March 31, in an expansive border district. This is the type of district Democrats need to win for a majority but Hurd won’t be easy to defeat. Rating: Toss-Up.
27th District (Vacant; Blake Farenthold, R, resigned April 6.) Trump 60%. Business owner Michael Cloud is the prohibitive favorite in November after defeating former Texas Water Development Board Chairman Bech Bruun in the GOP runoff. The Democratic winner, Eric Holguin, had just $6,000 in the bank on May 2 compared to Bruun’s $89,000. Rating: Solid Republican.
31st District (John Carter, R, re-elected with 58%). Trump 54%. Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device and wrote a memoir that might turn into a movie starring Angelina Jolie, defeated Christine Mann in the Democratic runoff. Some Democrats are excited about Hegar’s chances in a wave, but she has a tough path ahead. Hegar enters the general election with $117,000 in the bank (as of May 2), while Carter had $351,000 at the end of March. Rating: Solid Republican.
32nd District (Pete Sessions, R, re-elected 71%). Clinton 49%. Civil rights attorney Colin Allred ($263,000), who played in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans, will be the Democratic nominee. Allred faced businesswoman Lillian Salerno, who had support from EMILY’s List, in the runoff.. Sessions, the former chairman of the NRCC, will be a tough opponent and had $1.5 million on hand at the end of March. Allred had $263,00 on May 2. Rating: Likely Republican.