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Texas Runoffs Are Over, What’s Next?

The Texas primary runoffs wrapped up this week, and while some votes are still being counted, the winner of most races have been determined, so what’s next before the general election on November 5th?

Key Result from the Republican Runoffs

Eight Republican incumbents were forced into runoffs for state House seats in the March primary, as Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott endorsed their opponents. Only two incumbents managed to win runoffs.

Texas House District 1

State Rep. Gary VanDeaver defeated primary challenger Chris Spencer by about seven percentage points. VanDeaver was targeted by Abbott for his opposition to school vouchers, but said after his victory that he believes they can work together.

So far, there is no Democratic candidate for District 1.

Texas House District 21

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan defeated his primary opponent David Covey, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Paxton and other GOP figures. Both Phelan and Covey spent heavily on advertising, making it the most expensive Texas House race in state history.

Phelan was victorious, but his position as House Speaker is still uncertain as he became the number one target of the GOP’s right wing. Paxton even threatened Republicans willing to support Phelan’s bid for the speakership.

“To those considering supporting Dade Phelan as Speaker in 2025, ask your 15 colleagues who lost re-election how they feel about their decision now,” Paxton said. “You will not return if you vote for Dade Phelan again.”

Texas House District 33

Incumbent Justin Holland was defeated by Katrina Pierson by more than 10 points, at the time this article was written. Pierson served as Trump’s spokesperson during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Holland was seeking a fifth term in the House and was targeted for opposing vouchers.

There is no Democratic candidate for District 33.

Texas House District 44

Incumbent John Kuempel lost to Alan Schoolcraft, who managed to win by about ten percentage points. Schoolcraft served as a state Representative from 1981 to 1993 for districts 57 and 121.

Kuempel, who voted against vouchers, faced a tough primary against Schoolcraft who had the support of Abbott.

Schoolcraft will face off against Democratic candidate Eric Norman in the general election.

Texas House District 58

Rep. DeWayne Burns was defeated by Helen Kerwin. Burns was targeted for voting against vouchers and Kerwinf received high-profile endorsements from Trump, Abbott and Paxton.

There is no democratic candidate for HD58, but Kerwin will have to compete against Richard Windmann from the Libertarian Party.

Texas House District 61

Keresa Richardson overwhelmingly defeated incumbent Frederick Frazier by more than 30 percentage points. Frazier faced backlash for voting to impeach Paxton, and his previous campaign had different controversies, including two misdemeanor charges for allegedly impersonating a McKinney city code enforcement officer during the 2022 Republican primary runoff.

Richardson will face Democratic candidate Tony Richardson in the general election.

Texas House District 64

Andy Hopper defeated Rep. Lynn Stucky, who voted to impeach Paxton. In the primary, Hopper was criticized for accepting donations from a super PAC linked to white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

Hopper will compete against Democrat Angela Brewer in the general election for the House seat.

Texas House District 91

Rep. Stephanie Klick was defeated by her primary challenger David Lowe. Klick has represented the district since 2012 and defeated Lowe in 2022.

In this race, Klick was backed by Abbott and Phelan, while Lowe was backed by Paxton.

There is no Democratic candidate for HD 91.

In other Republican House races that didn’t involve incumbents, these are the winners:

  • HD 12: Trey Wharton defeated Ben Bius and will face Democrat Dee Howard Mullins in the general election.
  • HD 29: Jeffrey Barry defeated Alex Kankar and will face Democrat Adrienne Bell in the general election.
  • HD 30: A.J. Louderback defeated Jeff Bauknight and will face Stephanie Bassham in the general election.
  • HD 76: Lea C.S. Simmons defeated Summara Kanwal to advance to the general election against Rep. Suleman Lalani.
  • HD 97: John McQueeney defeated Cheryl Bean and will face Carlos Walker in the general election.

In the senate races, Brent Hagenbuch defeated Jace Yarbrough for the Texas Senate District 30. Sen. Drew Springer is not seeking reelection in 2024.

Hagenbuch was Denton County GOP chair and a former U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer.

Key Result from the Democratic Runoffs

Only one democratic incumbent was pushed into runoffs in the march primaries.

Texas House District 146

Lauren Ashley Simmons defeated Rep. Shawn Thierry. The incumbent was criticized for voting for bills against LBTQ+ community, an most of her fellow democrats sided with her primary challenger.

Thierry’s campaign was heavily founded by GOP donors and groups advocating for school vouchers.

Simmons will face Republican candidate Lance York in the general election.

In other Democratic races, these are the winners:

  • HD 37: Jonathan Gracia defeated Ruben Cortez Jr. to advance to the general election against Rep. Janie Lopez.
  • HD 77: Vince Perez defeated Norma Chávez and is facing no opponent from the Republicans.
  • HD 80: Cecilia Castellano defeated Rosie Cuellar and will face Don McLaughlin in the general election.
  • HD 97: Carlos Walker defeated Diane Symons and will face John McQueeney in the general election.
  • HD 139: With 95% of the votes counted at the time this article was written, no projected nominee has been called between Charlene Ward Johnson and Angeanette Thibodeaux. However, Johnson has an advantage of about three points over Thibodeaux.

Key Results in Senate Races

In the senate races, Texas Sen. Molly Cook is competing against Jarvis D. Johnson for the Texas Senate District 15 seat. This district was previously represented by John Whitmire, but when he was elected Houston Mayor in 2023, Cook won the special election to finish his term.

With 95% of the votes counted, there is still no clear winner.

In Senate District 30, Dale Frey defeated Michale Braxton to advance to the general election against Brent Hagenbuch.

As Texas gears up for the general election, these primary runoff results provide a glimpse into the evolving political landscape of the state. With significant races and high stakes, the coming months promise to be a pivotal period in Texas politics.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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