Election Time Again

State candidates for March 2018 primaries officially enter race

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (by Jana Birchum)

Filing opened for the March 2018 primaries this week, and the slow trickle of candidates has begun for both major parties. On the Republican side, most of the statewide incumbents up for re-election (Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Sen. Ted Cruz, Land Com­mis­sioner George P. Bush, and Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick) have filed their paperwork with the secretary of state. Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller are both expected to file as well.

On the Democratic side, there are not only candidates, but at least two primary fights already brewing. Yet Dems may not be too thrilled about their choices so far. At governor, self-described "Berniecrat with a Panama hat" Tom Wakely, who ran an abortive congres­sion­al campaign in 2016, and perennial nuisance Grady Yarbrough are both running, as is financial adviser and political newcomer Adrian Ocegueda. (Andrew White, a Houston investor and the son of former Democratic Governor Mark White, is publicly mulling a run.)

It's a slightly more serious fight for the lieutenant governor nomination, where another newcomer, Beaumont-based pastor Michael Cooper, puts up a Hail Mary challenge to former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner and 2014 comptroller candidate Mike Collier. Retired USAF veteran and organic farmer Kim Olson has planted the seeds for ag commissioner, while Austin attorney and UT Law adjunct professor Justin Nel­son hopes to run against Paxton for attorney general.

As for Cruz's Senate seat, El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke has been campaigning for about a year, though he has yet to file. However, Geraldine Sam has; she's the former mayor of La Marque who was removed from office by a recall election in 2011. Sam may have trouble proving herself a Democrat; she was a delegate for Cruz at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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