March 11, 2022
I know that the primary election last week is already old news for many of you. Thanks for bearing with us, as it took a little while for all the dust to settle so we could go through everything and provide an accurate review.
TSCRA PAC endorsed 117 candidates in the 2022 Primary Elections. All but eight of the 117 candidates endorsed by TSCRA PAC won their race without a runoff. That’s pretty darn good if you ask me, and lots of credit is owed to the TSCRA PAC Trustees and TSCRA staff who worked so hard to evaluate those races over the past couple of months.
One candidate, Congressman Van Taylor, withdrew from his race just after securing a place in the runoff because of revelations about an affair. I won’t go into all those details, but you can read more here if you’re so inclined. Congressman Taylor’s opponent, former Collin County Judge Keith Self, became the Republican nominee for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District following Taylor’s withdrawal.
The remaining seven TSCRA PAC endorsed candidates in runoff elections are Congressman Henry Cuellar, Land Commissioner hopeful Dawn Buckingham, former Senator Pete Flores, Representative Kyle Kacal, Representative Glenn Rogers, Representative Phil Stephenson, and Representative Stephanie Klick. Except for Buckingham and Klick, who won with significant margins, the runoff races are looking pretty tight so far. If you haven’t already, it’s a great time to get involved in those elections and voting in the runoffs will be crucial.
Those runoff elections are slated for May, with early voting starting in April. Leading up to the election, TSCRA PAC will reevaluate every runoff race, not just those we’ve previously endorsed candidates in, and provide updated voting recommendations.
All-in-all, there weren’t a lot of surprises in this round of elections. That’s a little surprising in and of itself, though, given redistricting and so many open seats.
On the big-ticket statewide officials, Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and Comptroller Hegar all enjoyed significant victories in the Republican primary. In addition, despite a spirited challenge from Rep. James White, incumbent Ag Commissioner Sid Miller also won handily. The TSCRA PAC had previously endorsed both candidates.
The Attorney General race also featured three top candidates previously endorsed by the TSCRA PAC. Incumbent AG Ken Paxton, current Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. Paxton and Bush have advanced to a runoff, which was not unexpected with so many candidates in the race. We’re expecting energetic campaigns from both of those remaining candidates.
As previously mentioned, Senator Dawn Buckingham, who is running for Land Commissioner to replace Bush, is also advancing to a runoff after a crowded Republican primary race. Perhaps the most unexpected statewide runoff is for Railroad Commissioner. Sarah Stogner, an oil and gas attorney running on a platform to reform the Railroad Commission, forced a runoff with incumbent Wayne Christian. She still has an uphill battle, though, as Christian won about 47% of the vote to her 15%.
Another race to watch will be Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo). A moderate Democrat, Cuellar is headed to a runoff with Jessica Cisneros, a progressive Democrat endorsed by the likes of Bernie Sanders and AOC. Cuellar faces a tough runoff, as he only won by a couple of points in the primary. He’ll also likely face a tough general election if he succeeds, as Republicans have been gaining ground in the Rio Grande Valley recently. Cassy Garcia and Sandra Whitten are heading to a runoff on the Republican side. Garcia holds about a 5 point lead coming out of the seven-person primary. The crowded primary shows just how optimistic Republicans are about their chances in the general election.
Last but not least, a little good news from D.C. Only five months overdue, Congress has finally passed a budget. Included is funding for a cattle contract library at USDA. The contract library is one of the measures we’ve supported to help put cattle producers on a more level playing field with packers.
That’s all for now.