Eight-term Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and two-term Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) announced they would not seek re-election.
“It is time for me to focus on my family, new callings in life and allow someone else the opportunity to have the honor to represent our community in the Texas Legislature,” Bohac said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting the best brave public servant from HD138 that emerges to serve our community.”
Lang announced he would run for Hood Co. Commissioner P3, an open seat being vacated by Comm. Bruce White (R).
Bohac’s seat is a battlefield district in 2020, while Lang’s is safely Republican.
Bohac defeated Democrat Adam Milasincic by 47 votes in 2018, by far the narrowest margin of Bohac’s career. Bohac had previously received at least 58% of the vote, and won by at least 19 percentage points, in every general election contest for the district:
- 2002: Bohac 59%, Rep. Ken Yarbrough (D-Houston) 41%
- 2004: Bohac 64%, Fred Ashmead 36%
- 2006: Bohac 58%, Mark McDavid 38%
- 2008: Bohac 59%, Ginny McDavid 41%
- 2010: Bohac 63%, Kendra Yarbrough Camarena 35%
- 2012: no Democratic opponent
- 2014: Bohac 67%, Fred Vernon 33%
- 2016: no Democratic opponent
- 2018: Bohac 50.0%, Milasincic 49.9%
The district has had its current configuration since 2012. Projecting its current configuration back to 2002 reveals a nearly 17-point shift toward the Democrats since that time, nearly half of which occurring in the last four years. In 2018, the district was 4.1 points bluer than the state as a whole. Only three other Republican-held districts – HD108 held by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) at +5.0%, HD112 held by Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) at +5.4% and HD134 held by Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) at 8.7% – were “bluer” than HD138 in 2018.
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) carried the district over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R), 53%-46%. Democratic statewide candidates Mike Collier (LTGOV), Justin Nelson (AG) and Kim Olson (AGRIC) carried the district, as did three of the statewide judicial Democratic candidates. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried the district over Donald Trump by 36 votes.
Houston attorney Akilah Bacy and Houston attorney Josh Wallenstein are the two Democrats currently in the race. Milasincic previously announced he would forego a rematch against Bohac and endorsed Bacy. Harris Co. Dept. of Education Trustee Josh Flynn, son of Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van), said on Facebook that he was “very interested” in the race but had to consider the “substantial sacrifices” required of a legislator. Flynn said he would announce a decision following an upcoming family vacation.
Lang’s announcement represents a reversal of his previous announcement that he would seek a third term. He was endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC shortly thereafter. In a statement, Lang said his decision to run for county office was to provide “unity, understanding and leadership at the local level.”
HD60 is the reddest in the state. It has been getting steadily redder since 2002, when it was 10 percentage points redder than the state as a whole. It was 31 points redder in 2018. Trump carried the district over Clinton by more than 70 points in 2016.
Granbury attorney Kellye SoRelle previously established a campaign committee to seek the seat as a Republican.
Bohac and Lang join Reps. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) John Wray (R-Waxahachie) and John Zerwas (R-Richmond) as Republicans not seeking re-election. Former Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) is now mayor of Dallas, and his vacant seat is on the ballot in November, as is the seat of Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), who is resigning effective September 30 (Zerwas is resigning effective that date, too.). Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) is seeking the seat being vacated by Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso).
HD70: McKinney resident Angela Bado established a campaign committee for a potential challenge of Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) as a Democrat.
CD11 open: Odessa Christian nonprofit founder James Berryhill established a campaign committee for a potential run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) as a Republican. He ran unsuccessfully for CD19 in a 2003 special election (3%).
Houston: Mayor Sylvester Turner leads the field in a new KHOU/Houston Public Media poll but is well short of an outright win. Turner has the support of 37% of respondents, followed by Tony Buzbee (20%), Bill King (10%) and Dwight Boykins (4%). More than one in five respondents were undecided. In potential runoff matchups, Turner leads Buzbee, 55%-40%, and King, 57%-34%. Just over half of respondents rated Turner’s job performance as “excellent” or “good,” and 58% said the city was headed in the “right direction.”
Meanwhile, Turner’s campaign released a new ad, “Quiet,” in which the narrator says we more “solutions” and less “noise” in politics.
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