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2022 So Far




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Recently Posted News & Analysis

8% Runoff Turnout Among Highest Since Poll Tax Era Ended

Just over 1.4M Texans – 8.1% of registered voters – cast ballots in the primary runoff election, according to unofficial results reported by the Secretary of State’s office.

Republican voters nearly out-numbered Democratic voters 2-to-1. A total of 927K votes were cast in the Republican AG runoff, the most of any statewide race, and 484K votes were cast in the Democratic AG runoff, the office with the most votes in that primary.

There have been 11 instances in state history when both parties have had statewide offices on the runoff ballot. Combined runoff turnout, measured as number of votes cast, was the second highest for a combined statewide runoff:

  • 2.04M in 1972 (97% Democratic)
  • 1.41M in 2022 (66% Republican)
  • 1.35M in 2012 (82% Republican)
  • 954K in 2014 (79% Republican)
  • 948K in 1994 (79% Democratic)
  • 848K in 2002 (73% Democratic)
  • 716K in 1996 (67% Democratic)
  • 610K in 1986 (75% Democratic)
  • 563K in 2016 (67% Republican)
  • 470K in 2000 (52% Democratic)
  • 374K in 2006 (55% Democratic)

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Paxton, Christian Cruise; Cuellar Squeaks by Cisneros

As runoff elections go, it was a pretty good night to be an incumbent, or a former incumbent. Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) and Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian (R) easily turned aside their challengers to secure nominations for a third and second term, respectively. Paxton routed Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), 68%-32%, and Christian turned away Sarah Stogner (R), 65%-35%.

Bush won only five counties, three of which had 50 or fewer voters. Bush carried Kenedy Co., five votes to one; Loving Co., five votes to two; Sterling Co., 29 votes to 21; Starr Co., 181 votes to 146; and Travis Co., 53%-47%. Paxton carried the other 249 counties. Paxton will face Rochelle Garza (D), who prevailed over Joe Jaworski (D), 63%-37%.

In the LAND open (Likely R) runoffs, Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) defeated Tim Westley, 69%-31%. She will face Jay Kleberg (D), who defeated Sandragrace Martinez, 53%-47%, in the closest statewide race of the day. Mike Collier (D) defeated Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), 55%-45%, to win a second straight nomination for LTGOV (Lean R). Janet Dudding (D) defeated Ángel Luis Vega, 61%-39%, to win the nomination for COMP (Likely R).

Three of the four legislative incumbents forced into runoffs prevailed, bucking recent history. Prior to tonight (Tues.), just one incumbent in the last 26 years won a runoff after finishing first in the primary by fewer than 10 percentage points over the second-place candidate. All three victorious incumbents did it this year.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Runoff Turnout Enters Election Day at 4.4% of Registered Voters

To access this post you need a TX Elects Subscription.

Tomorrow (Tues.) is runoff election day. We’ll have live results and analysis beginning at 7 p.m. CT on our site and Twitter feed.

Statewide runoff turnout stands at 4.4% of registered voters – slightly more than one out of every 25 – as of the end of the early voting period, according to preliminary data reported to the Secretary of State’s office. Just over 750K people have voted early so far, 465K (2.7% of RVs) in the Republican runoff and 291K (1.7%) in the Democratic runoff.

Unlike primaries, which occur across the state in every precinct and at multiple levels of government, runoffs are “lumpy.” Unless there is a statewide office on the runoff ballot, many voters may not live in a county or district with an office on their preferred party’s runoff ballot. Turnout is much easier to determine when there is a statewide race on the ballot – total number of votes cast in that race – than where is not. Absent a statewide runoff, turnout has to be calculated based on county-level race data, which are not always available because the Secretary of State does not collect or publish county office results. Fortunately, statewide offices are on the ballot for both parties this year for the first time since 2016.

Combined turnout already exceeds that election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Abbott, Major PACs Provide $1M+ in ‘Late Train’ Contributions

Runoff candidates who receive more than $1,890 from a single source on or after May 15 must disclose those contributions in daily pre-election reports (formerly known as telegram reports). These “late train” contributions typically come from a handful of major donors and go to “establishment” candidates, at least on the Republican side. This year was no exception.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville), Associated Republicans of Texas PAC, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and the Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC combined have contributed over $1M to runoff candidates since May 15.

AG (Lean R): Challenger George P. Bush (R) reported an additional $209K in four daily reports, including contributions from Dallas energy executive Kelcy Warren ($50K), former President George W. Bush ($25K), Glen Rose rancher Bobby Hill ($25K), Houston investor Steven Webster ($25K), Midland executive Tripp Womack ($15K), Little Rock (Ark.) retiree William Carlton ($10K) and Houston investor Charles Tate ($10K). Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) reported an additional $39K in two daily reports, including $26K from Gilmer-based David L. Stevenson LLC.

SD24 open (Likely R): Former Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) reported an additional $100K in three daily reports, including contributions from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign ($34K), Houston executive John Nau ($25K) and Dallas executive Ross Perot Jr. ($25K). Raul Reyes Jr. (R) has not reported additional contributions.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Abbott Endorses Kitzman’s Challenge of Stephenson

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed former Waller Co. Comm. Stan Kitzman (R) in the runoff over Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton), one of four Republican legislators forced into runoffs this cycle. Abbott is at least the third statewide election official to endorse Kitzman, joining Comp. Glenn Hegar (R) and Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R).

In March, Stephenson finished first in a four-way primary with 40% of the vote, followed by Kitzman (35%), Fayetteville insurance agent Fred Roberts (16%) and Brookshire educator Art Hernandez (10%). The latter two candidates combined raised less than $8K for the race.

Stephenson can blame redistricting for this runoff appearance. Since he was elected in 2012, Stephenson has represented southern Fort Bend Co. and all of Jackson and Wharton Cos. His colleagues dramatically redrew HD85 (Safe R) by removing Jackson Co. and much of Fort Bend Co and adding Austin, Colorado, Fayette and Waller Cos. In the March primary, Stephenson received around 80% of the vote in counties he has represented and around 25% in counties that were added to the district.

Unlike the other three House Republicans forced into runoffs, Stephenson received virtually no campaign contributions from his colleagues’ individual campaign accounts or personal funds.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Early Voting Turnout Comparable to Recent Statewide Runoffs

Early voting for the May 24 primary runoff election continues through Friday.

Through yesterday (Tues.), the second day of early voting, a total of 193K people had voted in the Republican primary in person (68%) or by mail (32%) and 129K people had voted in the Democratic primary in person (49%) or by mail (51%). Combined turnout through two days was 1.87% of registered voters.

In the 15 counties with the most registered voters, Republican turnout is just shy of the 2014 pace and well ahead of 2016, the last year that a statewide runoff occurred.

In those counties, Democratic turnout is roughly the same as in 2018 at this point in early voting but well below the 2020 U.S. Senate runoff. Bexar Co. is currently setting a record pace with nearly 18K early voters so far, likely a product of the county judge runoff.

Campaign Finance

Runoff reports were due Monday from state candidates in contested runoff elections. These reports typically become available the day after they are filed. Several reports, including those highlighted below, did not become available until today (Wed.).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Runoff Candidates Raise More Than $17M for Final Push

State candidates facing runoffs were required to file their runoff campaign finance reports yesterday (Monday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between February 10 and May 14. Most reports were available online today (Tuesday), and we highlight significant reports below.


LTGOV (Lean R): Mike Collier (D) out-raised Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), $488K to $12K, and outspent her, $507K to $18K.

AG (Lean R): Land Comm. George P. Bush (R) raised $2.3M, spent $2.8M and has $731K on hand. The report from Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) was not available online. He had $4.7M on hand as of February 19.

Bush’s largest contributors for the period included Dallas energy executive Kelcy Warren ($200K), Copperas Cove executive Jeffery Hilderbrand ($100K), Palm Beach (Fla.) executive Douglas Devos and family members ($80K collectively), Moultrie (Ga.) executive Drayton McLane ($60K), San Antonio investor Jamal Daniel ($50K), Georgetown executive Ray Hunt ($50K), Lewisville executive Ira Mitzner ($50K), Q PAC ($50K), Houston investor Bradley Cross ($40K) and Grand Rapids (Mich.) engineer Greg Bird ($33K).

On the Democratic side, Joe Jaworski narrowly out-raised Rochelle Garza, $373K to $334K, and even more narrowly outspent her, $370K to $366K. He holds a $73K to $37K edge in cash on hand.

LAND open (Likely R): Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) raised $797K and spent just over $1.0M, both many orders of magnitude over her opponent. On the Democratic side, Jay Kleberg similarly dwarfed his opponent, raising $522K and spending $415K.

Subscribers can read the rest of this analysis.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

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Jeff Blaylock

Jeff Blaylock


Jeff is a political junkie, longtime public policy wonk and former Texas Legislature staffer who has worked political campaigns in Texas and several other states, ranging from school boards to legislators to governors to referenda. He is a public and government affairs consultant based in Austin, Texas, who offers his keen insights about Lone Star State politics as Texas Election Source.

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