Illinois officials generally expressed disappointment in Tuesday’s primary turnout figures, which were considered low, although they were higher than four years ago. Both parties had hotly contested races for governor, and early voting turnout set records, so overall turnout did not meet expectations.

The State Bd. of Elections does not tabulate election day results, so we were left largely sifting through local results and news reports to estimate turnout. From what we can gather, between 24% and 29% of registered voters cast ballots in the Democratic and Republican primary elections. Anywhere in that range eclipses Texas, where 17% of registered voters participated in our primary elections.

Texas and Illinois hold the earliest mid-term primary elections in the Nation. The next ones are not until May 8, three days after Texas holds its uniform local elections and two weeks before Texas holds runoff elections.

Texas consistently ranks near the bottom nationwide in mid-term primary election turnout, and our national rank is trending downward. Texas has ranked no higher than 34th in primary turnout for a mid-term election year since 1994, and that was out of 41 states holding statewide primaries. The state has not ranked in the top half of states holding mid-term statewide primary elections since 1978, when it placed 20th out of 41. In 2014, Texas ranked 38th out of 47 states that held statewide primary elections. In three states with lower turnout, only one party held a statewide primary. The other six restricted primary participation to voters whose registration includes a partisan affiliation.

GOV: Victory Fund, a group headed by former Houston Mayor Annise Parker to elect LGTBQ candidates, endorsed Lupe Valdez in the Democratic runoff.

SD19: Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) announced the endorsements of Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) and Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington), the Democratic caucus leaders of their respective chambers, and several other Democratic legislators. Also included in the new list of endorsements is U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) and Bexar Co. Sheriff Javier Salazar. Gutierrez has announced his intention to run for the seat currently held by Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), who is not up for re-election until 2020 but has been asked to resign by Rodriguez on behalf of the Democratic caucus.

CD23 open: Reps. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso), Mary González (D-Clint), Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) and Poncho Nevárez (D-Eagle Pass) endorsed Gina Ortiz Jones in the Democratic runoff.

Caldwell Co.: A recount confirmed county judge candidate Hoppy Haden did not receive a majority vote and will face incumbent Ken Schawe (R) in the runoff.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC