No incumbent legislator seeking re-election has won a runoff after finishing second in the primary since 1992. Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown) is trying to avoid the fate that befell the last nine incumbents who finished in second place. Smith finished 4.4% behind Deer Park attorney and conservative activist Briscoe Cain, who received 48% of the vote and finished 714 votes ahead of Smith (The third candidate, Crosby resident Melody McDaniel, received 8%.).
Smith had not faced a primary opponent since winning a 2002 runoff against La Porte systems analyst Tom Butler by 24 votes. At the time, Smith was 58 years old and Butler was 33. Today, Smith, 72, again faces a young challenger. Cain is 31.
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