Number of current members of the Texas Legislature who have not had a primary opponent for their current office in at least eight years, despite an overall rise in the number of contested primaries for legislative seats. Ten members’ last primary challenge was in 2000 or earlier, but at least one of those longtime safe (from primary challengers) members is likely getting “primaried.”
Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton), whose last primary race was in 2000, is being challenged by Markham pastor Damon Rambo.
Getting “primaried” has become more common in the last decade, particularly within the Republican Party’s legislative ranks, nearly as many as the previous seven election cycles combined.
Since 2010, there have been 203 contested Republican primary nominations and 69 contested Democratic nominations. Yet, one out of every six current members – and more than half of all members with at least eight years of tenure – have not had a primary opponent since at least 2008.
At least one other on this list is already facing a primary challenge. Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) has at last five potential primary challengers. They were all willing to run in a special election upon a resignation that did not occur, and they have continued their campaign activities. Reps. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) and John Zerwas (R-Richmond) may already have primary challengers as well.
Subscribers can view a chart showing the number of contested primaries since 1998 and a list of longtime incumbents who have avoided primary challengers.