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In the country’s first primary of 2018, Texas voters on Tuesday will determine the party nominees for the November midterm elections. (Here’s a voting guide, by the way.)
The governor’s mansion, a seat in the U.S. Senate and some of the most powerful statewide offices are on the ballot. All of the state’s U.S. House seats are up for grabs — same goes for the entire Texas House of Representatives and half of the Texas Senate.
This year is particularly unusual in Texas because eight Congress members are not running for re-election. It’s rare for this many seats to be open in Texas at the same time, and lots of people are vying to claim them.
Locally, seats in the State Legislature that represent North Texas are on the ballot. And Dallas County will choose the Democratic challenger for district attorney — the current district attorney was appointed by the governor.
We’ll be following several local, statewide and congressional races that affect North Texas. Check here for updates throughout the evening.
Nine Democrats are challenging incumbent Greg Abbott for the highest office in the state. Front-runners include former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Houston businessman Andrew White. He’s the son of former Texas Gov. Mark White, who died last August. According to the latest Texas Tribune poll, Abbott will most likely win the Republican primary and Valdez was leading among Democratic poll respondents. View all of the gubernatorial candidates.
Dan Patrick is seeking a second term as lieutenant governor. In the GOP primary, he’s being challenged by Scott Milder, a public education advocate from Rockwall. On the Democratic side, Mike Collier, a Houston-area accountant who stepped down as finance chair of the Texas Democratic Party to run, is up against Michael Cooper, a sales manager at a car dealership in Beaumont. According to the Tribune’s poll, Patrick is a shoe-in for the GOP nomination, and Collier had a narrow advantage over Cooper among Democratic respondents.
Incumbent Sid Miller faces a pair of Republicans and one Democrat in his bid for four more years. Trey Blocker is his top Republican primary opponent, according to the Texas Tribune. Blocker, a former Austin lobbyist, has questioned Miller’s ethics and decisions as commissioner. The race between Miller and Blocker could be close. According to the latest Tribune poll, about 60 percent of likely Republican primary voters said they were undecided. But when they were pressed to make a decision, the majority gave their support to Miller. Jim Hogan is the third GOP candidate. Kim Olson is the lone Democrat.
In the Republican primary, incumbent George P. Bush has three challengers, including his predecessor Jerry Patterson, who ran the state’s General Land Office from 2003 to 2015. Patterson gave up the job to run unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor. Bush was elected land commissioner in his first attempt at elected office in 2014. According to the Tribune, he’s running with two issues at hand: the upgrading of the Alamo and helping victims of Hurricane Harvey with housing. Republicans Davey Edwards and Rick Range are also running. The Democratic race is a matchup between Miguel Suazo and Tex Morgan. Suazo gathered more Democratic support in the Tribune’s poll.
Sen. Ted Cruz is seeking his second term after spending a chunk of his first running for president. He won the Texas primary, but ultimately lost the Republican nomination to Donald Trump. His strongest Democratic challenger is U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, who easily outraised Cruz over the last three months, according to the Texas Tribune. O’Rourke collected over $2.4 million to the Texas Republican’s $1.9 million. Cruz still has more cash on hand, though. The incumbent faces four Republican challengers. O’Rourke’s up against two other Democrats, Edward Kimbrough and Sema Hernandez.
U.S. House 3rd District
Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, is retiring after 26 years in Congress. Texas’ 3rd Congressional District covers a big chunk of Collin County, including McKinney, Plano, Frisco and the Collin County portion of Dallas. Coincidentally, another Sam Johnson, a Democrat, is competing to fill the vacancy against Adam P. Bell, Lorie Burch and Medrick Yhap. On the Republican side, Van Taylor, who stepped down from his Texas Senate seat to run for Congress, joins Alex Donkervoet and David Niederkorn.
U.S. House 5th District
Rep. Jeb Hensarling is retiring after 14 years in Congress. The Dallas Republican is chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Texas’ 5th Congressional District includes part of southeast Dallas County, including Mesquite, and stretches cross Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson and Kaufman counties. Dan Wood is the lone Democrat. The Republican race is much more crowded with eight hopefuls.
U.S. House 6th District
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, announced last year that he was retiring after a nude picture of him went public and an Arlington activist sent the Fort Worth Star-Telegram a sexually suggestive message thread with Barton. He’s been in office for more than three decades, making him the longest-serving Texan in Congress. Eleven Republicans and five Democrats are competing in the primary for the Texas 6th Congressional District.
U.S. House 32nd District
In the crowded race for the Democratic primary in Texas’ 32nd Congressional District — a Dallas-area seat held by Republican Rep. Pete Sessions — three of the seven candidates are Obama administration alumni: Collin Allred, Lillian Salerno and Ed Meier. No matter which Democrat wins, it’ll be an uphill battle. Sessions has been in Congress for two decades. A former head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Sessions is a strong fundraiser with more than $1 million in the bank.
State Senate District 2
The GOP primary for state Senate District 2 is one of the hottest races in this election, according to the Texas Tribune. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, gave up her seat in the Texas House to challenge incumbent Republican Bob Hall. Hall was elected to the seat in 2014, when he upset longtime incumbent Bob Deuell by 150 votes in a runoff, according to The Dallas Morning News. Whoever wins will face Democratic challenger Kendall Scudder. District 2 covers parts of Dallas and towns to the north and east, including Terrell, Greenville and Bonham.
State Senator District 8
District 8 is Texas’ only open state Senate seat up for election this year. On the Republican side, Phillip Huffines, the Dallas County Republican Party chairman, and Angela Paxton, the wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, are spending millions to win the Collin County seat. It was left empty when state Sen. Van Taylor announced he’d be stepping down to run for Congress. On the Democratic side, Mark Phariss, a Plano lawyer who sued Texas over the right to marry his partner, is competing against Brian Chaput.
State Senate District 10
Texas Senate District 10, which covers about half of Tarrant County, is the closest to a swing district among the 31 Senate districts in the state, according to the Texas Tribune. Two Democrats, Allison Campolo and Beverly Powell, are competing to unseat Colleyville Republican Konni Burton. Burton won her seat in 2014 after Democrat Wendy Davis ran for governor instead of running for re-election. The Tribune says the Clinton/Sanders divide still exists between the two Democratic contenders in this race.
State Senate District 30
Another hot race in the Tribune’s book, the GOP primary for this Texas Senate seat is pitting Republicans Craig Carter and Pat Fallon against incumbent Craig Estes of Wichita Falls. District 30 covers areas north and west of Fort Worth. According to the Times Record News, things have been especially heated between Estes and Fallon. “Both candidates have had much to say about the other, none of it good.” In the Democratic primary, Kevin Lopez is running uncontested.
State House District 55
No Democrats are running for this North Texas seat, which covers Temple. Republicans Brandon Hall and CJ Grisham are challenging incumbent Hugh D. Shine. Grisham was a leader in the fight for Texas’ open carry law that went into effect January 2016. Hall is a pastor. The Temple Daily Telegram covered a recent forum among the three Republicans.
State House District 99
Incumbent Charlie Geren and businessman Bo French are up against each other (again) in the GOP primary for the District 99 seat, which covers part of Fort Worth and areas to the west. There was some recent controversy involving the two Republicans. Conservative group Empower Texans sent out an attack ad targeting Geren that resembled an official government notice. French receives a lot of funding from Empower Texans’ political action committee, according to the Texas Tribune. Michael Stackhouse is the sole Democratic candidate for the seat.
State House District 109
State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, is retiring from the Texas House after 13 terms. First elected in 1992, Giddings is the vice chair of the powerful House State Affairs Committee. She’s also the chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Four Democrats — Carl Sherman, Christopher Graham, Deshaundra Lockhart Jones and Victoria Walton — are competing for Giddings’ House District 109, which wraps around Dallas to the south. No Republicans are running.
State House District 114
The GOP race between incumbent Jason Villalba and Lisa Luby Ryan, who operates an interior design firm and the antique home furnishings store Vintage Living in Dallas, is heating up. John Turner is the sole Democrat vying for District 114, which wraps around Dallas to the north. Read more about the Republican matchup from The Dallas Morning News.
Dallas County District Attorney
Former state district judges John Creuzot and Elizabeth Frizell are competing in the Democratic primary to ultimately try to unseat Republican Faith Johnson. Johnson was appointed as Dallas County’s top lawyer by Gov. Greg Abbott in December 2016 after Susan Hawk resigned to focus on her mental health. The race has drawn the attention of a handful of organizations, including the ACLU, that want to change the way criminal justice operates in Texas.
The 2018 primary candidate list, including the U.S. Senate, the Texas Legislature, the State Board of Education and statewide offices in Texas. The most competitive races in this year’s election, according to Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.