Liberty attorney Keith Strahan (28%) and Shepherd agribusinessman Ernest Bailes (26%) emerged from the six-person field to succeed retiring Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton). Both candidates wear the conservative mantel, but the runoff is shaping up as another clash between anti-Speaker Straus forces versus business associations.

Strahan has the backing of movement conservative groups and their donors, while Bailes has been endorsed by “establishment” groups such as the Texas Assoc. of Business, Texas Farm Bureau and Texas Oil & Gas Assoc.

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