Texas voters had their say in the March 2022 Primary Election. While more than 25% of those registered to vote cast ballots in the 2020 Presidential Primary, only 17.3% of registered voters cast ballots in this Midterm Primary. That’s up just slightly from the 17.2% of voters who took the time to vote in the comparative election from 2018, and up significantly from the 13.9% that voted in March 2014.
All that is to say that even though voter turnout is low, at least it is improving. What is also telling is how that vote is divided between the two parties. Over 800,000 more Texas voters cast ballots in the Republican Primary Election than the Democratic equivalent this election cycle. Some of that could be tied to the Republican ballot having more contested races while many Democrats ran unopposed. Even so, it is a wider margin than seen in 2018 or 2014. Comparatively speaking, Texas is more of a Red state now than it was in previous elections.
What we all knew was coming is now confirmed: Governor Greg Abbott will face off against Democratic challenger former Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick handily won his party’s nomination. A run-off election will be required to determine if his democratic challenger will once again be Mike Collier or if Rep. Michelle Beckley will be on the November ballot.
Attorney General Ken Paxton, will face Republican challenger Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a run-off election to determine who will receive the Party’s nomination. Those vying for the post of Land Commissioner will have to participate in run-off elections for both parties.
Impact on Incumbents
All in all, it was a good night to be an incumbent. Other than Paxton, two members of Congress, and four members of Texas House that will also require run-off election to keep their current offices, only one member of the Texas House and two members of the State Board of Education lost their seats outright in last night’s returns.
There were 43 incumbent members of the Texas House that secured their party’s nomination and face no General Election opponent.
Rep. Art Fierro (D-El Paso) lost his seat to Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez (D-El Paso) as the two were drawn into the same district on the new maps and required to face-off, making Fierro the only incumbent in the House to lose his seat outright last night.
Incumbent Members of the Texas House that will require run-off elections to keep their seats are all from the Republican Party, and they include:
- Kyle Kacal (R-Bryan) will face Ben Bius
- Glenn Rogers (R-Graford) will face Mike Olcott
- Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton) will face Stan Kitzman
- Stephanie Click (R-North Richland Hills) will face David Lowe
Only one of the above races (Stephenson vs. Kitzman) will then face a General Election opponent. The winner of the other three races will be unopposed in November.
There are 18 (12 Republican and 6 Democrat) other House races that will also require a run-off election for open seats.
All 26 Senators vying to reclaim their seats were successful in securing their party’s nomination. Ten of those 26 senators were basically re-elected last night because they do not face a General Election opponent.
Only two races landed in a run-off:
- Former Senator Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) will face Raul Reyes for the Republican nomination for SD 24, the seat currently held by Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway).
- As for SD 27, and the seat currently held by Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville), Morgan LaMantia and Sara Stapleton-Barrera will face-off in a run-off for the Democratic nomination.
Some Senate seats were won outright last night. For example, if you’re in SD 31 (Senator Seliger’s district), then it’s time to get to know Kevin Sparks, as he secured the Republican nomination outright last night and does not have an opponent in the November election. The same is true for those in SD 11 (Senator Taylor’s district), then you will soon be represented by Senator (rather than Rep.) Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville).
State Board of Education
Nine of the incumbent members of the SBOE won their party’s nomination last night, while two Republican incumbents were sent packing: Sue Melton-Malone lost the nomination to Evelyn Brooks, and Jay Johnson lost his party’s nomination to Aaron Kinsey. There are also four open seats on the SBOE due to retirements and there are at least four races headed to run-offs.
The Primary Run-off Election will take place on May 24, 2022, with early voting from May 16-20. To be eligible to vote in the run-off election, you may only vote in the same party’s primary election for which you cast a ballot in March. Voters who did not cast ballots in either party’s primary election in March are eligible to vote in either party’s run-off of their choosing.
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