- GOP candidates Dewhurst and Cruz move to a runoff for U.S. Senate in Texas
- 12 congressional races go to a runoff election on July 31
- Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D) loses to Beto O’Rourke (D), all other incumbents survive
- Mitt Romney clinches delegate race to GOP nomination
Gov. Rick Perry (R) supported his Lt. Governor David Dewhurst from the start and Dewhurst lead this race from day one to replace the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R). After winning a special election in 1993 and serving three full terms, Hutchison leaves as the longest serving Republican female in the Senate and won all four of her contest with at least 61%. Dewhurst lead all nine candidates with 45% of the vote, but failed to top 50% that is needed in Texas to avoid a runoff election featuring the candidates with the top two vote totals in the primary election. Cruz received 34% of the vote. Cruz was able to close the gap by performing stronger with Election Day voters (won by Dewhurst 42% to 37%) compared to those that voted prior to Election Day (won by Dewhurst 48% to 30%).
I have made several visits to Texas in the last year and spent some time in the Texas panhandle last week. There was a clear consensus on the ground that Dewhurst would finish ahead of Cruz, but fall just short of the magic 50% number. It was also clear, from ads and social media, that each candidate was battling to “out conservative” the other candidate to win the nomination. This race also saw over $6 million being spent from outside groups making it the most expensive Senate contest so far this year.
Here are the Texas GOP Primary results for the top four U.S. Senate GOP candidates with 98.5% reporting:
In the Democratic primary, former state Rep. Paul Sadler (D) will face educator Grady Yarbrough (D) in the runoff election. Sadler received 35% while Yarbrough received 26%. This is the first time in Texas history that both Republicans and Democrats will have a runoff election for U.S. Senate at the same time. The Republican nominee will begin the fall contest as the favorite to win.
Notable items from the Texas primary:
- Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX16) was defeated by Beto O’Rourke (D). A runoff was narrowly avoided with a 50.47% to 44.35% victory margin for O’Rourke. The district is a strong Democrat district. Reyes served eight terms.
- Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX4) was the only incumbent to win with under 60% of the vote. Hall received 58.9%.
- In the newly drawn District 23, Obama won by a narrow 50%-49% margin helping to shape what will be a highly competitive fall contest where Democrats have freshman Rep. Francisco Canseco (R) high on their target list. Canseco was unopposed in the primary. Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) who lost to Canseco in 2010, just missed avoiding a runoff with 48%. Rodriguez will face state Rep. Pete Gallego (D) in a July 31 runoff. Gallego received 38%.
- Democrat runoff elections will take place in TX5, TX7, TX16, TX23, TX27, TX33 and TX34
- Republican runoff elections will take place in TX14, TX15, TX25, TX34 and TX36
- In the battle to replace Rep. Ron Paul (R) in TX14, nine GOP candidates faced off in a significantly different district post redistricting. State Rep. Randy Weber (R) and Pearland City Council member Felicia Harris will battle again in a runoff election. The winner will be a strong favorite in this Republican district.
- Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX35) garnered over 73% of the vote and will face a strong candidate in Susan Narvaiz (R) in the fall where Doggett will be favored.
- Texas gains four seats due to reapportionment and now has 36 congressional districts. There will be at least seven freshman elected in the next Congress from Texas. Right now, only California with nine will send more new faces in January.