News Article | January 27, 2022
Primary Elections Fast Approach
Millions of dollars in political advertisements canvas Texas’ highway billboards and fill our airwaves and mailboxes, heralding the biennial return of a sport as competitive as any: campaign season. For states like Texas, where one party has a firm grip on the majority, the bulk of the action occurs in primary races. Texans may vote early from Feb. 14 through Feb. 25 or head to the polls on the primary election date, March 1.
The 2022 primary season sees more action than usual at the top of the ballot. Gov. Greg Abbott faces a slew of challengers in the Republican primary, among them Don Huffines, Allen West and Rick Perry (not that Rick Perry). Huffines previously served in the Texas Senate and West is a former Florida congressman and the immediate-past Texas GOP chairman. With a record $65 million in campaign funds, Abbott is well positioned to fend off his challengers, but faces what some political observers say is his toughest race to date. Huffines ranks second in funds available, with $12 million on hand.
Attorney general may be the most competitive statewide race in the Republican primary. Embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton must contend with three fellow Republicans: U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.
Republican Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller faces primary opponents state Rep. James White of Hillister and professor and rancher Carey Counsil in his bid for a third term.
In the Texas House of Representatives, one-sixth of the membership will see open races, with no incumbent vying for those 25 seats. Of those seeking to reclaim their seats, over 40 face primary challengers. Some of those incumbents will also face opposition in the November general election, where over 50 House races will be decided.
Many veteran House members must defend their seats in primary or general challenges. The list includes Steve Allison (R-San Antonio), Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd), Keith Bell Jr. (R-Forney), Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches), Harold Dutton (D-Houston), Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint), Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant), Kyle Kacal (R-College Station), Ken King (R-Canadian), Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), Stan Lambert (R-Amarillo), Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), Andy Murr (R-Junction), John Raney (R-Bryan), Lynn Stucky (R-Denton), Valoree Swanson (R-Spring), Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) and Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood). Additionally, incumbents Art Fierro (D-El Paso) and Claudia Ordaz Perez (D-El Paso) will face off to decide who will represent the redrawn House District 79.
Five of 31 incumbents in the Texas Senate chose not to seek reelection. Two-term Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) is one of four Republicans seeking to succeed Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Galveston). Other notable names seeking open seats include former Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) and longtime Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound).
Incumbent Sens. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney), Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and John Whitmire (R-Houston) all face primary challengers. Their races are among the 20 Senate seats that will be contested in November’s general election.
Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) is seeking to unseat incumbent Beverley Powell (D-Burleson) to represent Senate District 10. Senate District 27 is a hotly contested race featuring attorney Sara Stapleton-Barrera, Rep. Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville) and attorney Morgan LaMantia. Stapleton-Barrera fell short in a race for the same seat in 2020, but not before garnering enough votes to push retiring Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) to a runoff. Dominguez and LaMantia enter the race with strong name recognition; Dominguez from his time representing part of the district in the House, LaMantia by virtue of her family’s prominence in the region.
Primary election ballot information by party and county is available on the Secretary of State’s website.
For more information about this article, please contact Pete Winckler.