Quick Election Round-Up: Legislature

Tea Party challenges falter, but a few big names fall

Smith: Not gone so easily
Smith: Not gone so easily

Considering how few State House races are contested in November, primaries really decide much of the shape of the next session. Statewide, the idea that this was a year when anti-incumbent challengers would have an easy ride against veteran legislators was quickly dismantled. Here's some quick hits.

– First up, Travis County, and IT professional Patrick McGuiness swept aside fireman and ex-missionary Ryan Lambert in the House District 50 GOP primary. Now he just has to get past the ultra-popular Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin (that's no small order.)

– And don't forget the re-runs. In Austin's HD47, it will be the bitter Republican rivalry between Holly White Turner and Paul Workman back on the ballot on April 13 as neither got enough to avoid a run-off.

– Same goes in Williamson County's HD52 (currently held by freshman Democrat Diana Maldonado) as capitol insider Larry Gonzales faces county GOP founder John Gordon.

– Elsewhere in WilCo, physician Charles Schwertner defied accepted knowledge (and the lege muscle of former Republican Party of Texas executive director Milton Rister) to take the nod in Dan Gattis' old HD20 seat after a four-way primary.

– The big dog of the WilCo delegation, Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, saw off a conservative challenge from builder Ben Bius and now walks straight through November unchallenged by Democrats.

– He wasn't the only one: Veterans like Sen. Kip Averitt, and Reps. Dan Flynn, Ed Kuempel and Rob Eissler all keep their nominations after abortive conservative challenges. The problem is that Averitt actually quit his race, meaning it could actually be filled by an open special election.

– Not everyone was so lucky. Rep. Tommy Merritt, R-Longview, knew there was a target on his back after last session when he dared to challenge his party’s tactics over the voter ID bill, and lost by a clean five point margin to former mayor of Avinger David Simpson.

– Risk management consultant Lance Gooden managed to successfully navigate a path to the right of ultra-conservative Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, and a narrow two point victory

– The voters of Euless sent a clear message to both the Tarrant County Republican Party and free market fanatics Empower Texans when they rejected their chosen candidate, Jeff Cason, in favor of House Elections Committee Chair Todd Smith.

– Over amongst the Democrats, Tara Rios Ybarra, D-South Padre becomes a one-term rep after losing her re-nomination to J. M. Lozano. He ran as a friend to farmers, but the incumbent got dragged down by her messy divorce proceedings getting laid out in the press.

– Save some space for a Democratic run-off: El Paso's own Craddick D Norma Chavez gets her (sometimes oddball) incumbency re-challenged by attorney Naomi R. Gonzalez.

– Less oddball, more rubber ball: Down in HD126, Al Edwards, who replaced Borris Miles in 2008 after Borris Miles replaced him in 2006, has been replaced by … Borris Miles.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Elections
Round Rock (ISD) Just Don't Stop: The Affair of the Forged Letter
Round Rock (ISD) Just Don't Stop: The Affair of the Forged Letter
Election shenanigans erupt on Facebook over weekend

Brant Bingamon, Nov. 7, 2022

Early Voting Locations and Voter ID Info
Early Voting Locations and Voter ID Info
Find your nearest polling location and know what to bring with you

Oct. 14, 2019

More Election 2010
The Definition of Voter Eligibility
The Definition of Voter Eligibility
Could Dan Neil challenge the HD48 result?

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 8, 2010

Donna Howard Still the Winner
Donna Howard Still the Winner
Dist. 48 incumbent increases lead by one vote

Lee Nichols, Nov. 8, 2010

More by Richard Whittaker
Jeff Nichols on the Tragic Romance of <i>The Bikeriders</i>
Jeff Nichols on the Tragic Romance of The Bikeriders
The Austin filmmaker on finding the right POV for his new film

June 20, 2024

Art, Movies, Sober Partying, and a Majestic Ball in This Weekend’s Recommended Events
Art, Movies, Sober Partying, and a Majestic Ball in This Weekend’s Recommended Events
Get out and get arty

June 21, 2024


Elections, Election 2010, 2010 Primaries, Democrats, Republicans, Legislature, Norma Chavez, Tara Rios Ybarra

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle