By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square
Early voting is underway in Texas and continues through Friday for the primary election runoff. Election day is May 24.
Voters will head to the polls to decide multiple primary races statewide after a record number of candidates ran in the March 1 primary after the state legislature and some counties redrew districts.
The top two candidates in each of the Republican and Democratic primary races who didn’t receive 50% of the vote face off.
All registered voters are eligible to vote even if they didn’t vote in the March 1 election. Texas has an open primary, meaning anyone of any political party can vote in either primary. However, those who voted in March for a particular party must vote for the same party in the runoff election.
The most high-profile race is that of attorney general.
The Texas Scorecard interviewed Republican candidates running for attorney general, Texas Land Commissioner, Railroad Commission, and for 34 legislative seats.
In the AG’s race, only incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton, who’s running for reelection, sat down with the Scorecard and answered questions posed by voters.
Outgoing Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who’s run a negative campaign against former Supreme Court Justice Eva Longoria and Paxton, ignored the request to participate, the Scorecard said.
“When candidates refuse to answer voters’ questions, voters should be concerned,” its publisher, Michael Quinn Sullivan, said in an email.
Paxton received 43% of the vote in the primary against three challengers; Bush, finishing second, received 23%. Paxton is leading in recent polls.
Whoever wins will face the winner of the Democratic primary race between civil rights lawyer Rochelle Garza and former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski. Garza received 43% of the vote to Jaworski’s 20% in the primary.
In the race for Texas Land Commissioner, state Sen. Dawn Buckingham and Dr. Tim Westley answered questions from voters provided to Texas Scorecard.
Incumbent Railroad Commissioner Chairman Wayne Christian also answered Scorecard questions. His challenger, Sarah Stogner, declined to participate.
Of the 34 Republican candidates running for state Legislature, the Texas Scorecard asked them all to identify their top priorities. Among those who answered, the top priorities across the board were “securing the Texas-Mexico border from the ongoing invasion and dealing with out-of-control property taxes,” it reports.
Nearly half didn’t respond: Kyle Kacal in HD12, Stan Gerdes in HD17, Justin Berry in HD19, Patrick Gurski in HD23, Glenn Rogers in HD60, Frederick Frazier in HD 61, Ben Bumgarner in HD63, Jamee Jolly in HD70, Barron Casteel in HD73, Carl Tepper in HD84, Elisa Chan in HD122, Mano DeAyala in HD 133, and both David Lowe and Stephanie Klick in HD91.
Whoever wins their primary races will head to the general election in November.