Now that the dust has (almost) settled from the March 1 primary election, we like to go back and look at the storylines we were watching heading into Election Day.
Statewides in Runoff or Runoffs? Turns out, it was runoffs. For the first time since 2002, more than one statewide elected official seeking re-election was forced into a runoff.
Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R), who we identified as “the likeliest to be forced into a runoff,” finished first with 43% of the vote. He faces Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), who finished second with 23%. Based on the way Paxton’s campaign went negative on the other two candidates, we mused Paxton “may prefer to face Bush.” If that’s the case, he got who he wanted.
Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian (R) is also headed to a runoff. He finished first with 47% of the vote. Heading into election day, we mused that “he may be pushed into a runoff because of the size of the field.” Christian faced four challengers, and Sarah Stogner (R) claimed the runoff spot with 15% of the vote, less than 1 percentage point ahead of Tom Slocum Jr.
We also mused that Sen. Dawn Buckingham’s (R-Lakeway) fundraising and endorsement advantages “may not be enough to win an 8-way primary outright,” and they weren’t. She received 42% of the vote and faces Tim Westley in the runoff.
Runoff Madness: “This year’s runoffs are likely to feature statewide contests for both parties and a potential record number of contests for legislative and congressional seats,” we said before the election. Yes, and yes.
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