Filing for a place on the 2018 primary ballot continues until 6 p.m. local time on Monday. At least 409 people have filed for state and legislative offices we track, and at least 186 have filed for Texas congressional seats. This represents about three quarters of the candidates we have been tracking to date. Historically, more candidates file on the last day of the filing period than any other day.

More candidates have already filed in the 2018 Republican and Democratic primaries for these offices (595) than did in 2016 (509) or 2014 (493). The surge in candidates can be largely attributed to Democrats. At least 272 candidates have filed in the Democratic primary for the offices we track so far for 2018, compared to 208 in 2016 and 181 in 2014. The number of Republican candidates will almost certainly exceed the number running in 2016 and 2014, but it does not top those years yet.

As far as we can tell, only five incumbents have not yet filed for re-election: Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey; Reps. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) and Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City); and State Board of Education member Erika Beltran (D-Dallas).

Please see our Crib Sheets for candidates’ filing status.

With three days to go, it is clear that the state is experiencing a significant increase in partisan competition, at least with respect to the number of seats being contested:

  • At least 81 of the 150 Texas House seats have filed or announced candidates from both the Republican and Democratic Parties, which is the highest since at least 1990 and 25 above the average number of contested seats from 1992 through 2016. In 2014, the two parties contested just 47 seats, the second lowest number since 1992.
    • Of those 81 seats, 67 are currently held by Republicans and 14 are held by Democrats.
    • In 2014, 37 of the 47 contested seats were held by Republicans and 10 were held by Democrats.
  • At least 12 of the 15 Texas Senate seats up for election in 2018 have at least one Republican and one Democrat running. The two parties contested just four out of 16 seats in 2016 and just three out of 15 seats in 2014.
  • At least 33 of the 36 congressional seats have at least one Republican and one Democrat running. The two parties contested 26 seats in 2016 and just 15 in 2014.

Overall, 65% of all statewide, legislative, congressional and State Board of Education offices on the ballot in 2018 have candidates from both the Republican and Democratic Parties. This is significantly higher than the last four general election cycles, during which just 44% of offices were contested.

These figures do not include the Libertarian and Green Parties’ candidates. For 2018, we have received a partial list of candidate from the Libertarian Party. The Green Party is recruiting candidates and intends to seek signatures for a petition to regain ballot access.

Even after the deadline passes, political parties have another week to submit their final candidate lists to the Secretary of State.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC