Commentary: Reagan Reed
For those who are politically involved, election season is never truly over. After a high-profile but relatively uneventful 2022 primary election in March, voters will need to return to the polls yet again on May 24 to settle some unfinished business.
After a brief sabbatical to recoup from the hectic task of covering the GOP primary, yours truly is back to bring you all the latest developments in the upcoming runoff contests. The Texas Citizen Journal will continue to strive to accurately deliver breaking news, thoughtful commentary, and the pursuit of truth, regardless of who it may offend- on the left or right.
On the Republican side, elections for three statewide offices have gone into overtime: Attorney General, Land Commissioner, and Railroad Commissioner.
The most high profile contest is undoubtedly the race for Attorney General. Despite having the endorsement of former president Donald Trump, incumbent Ken Paxton, who faced three opponents in the primary, failed to garner the majority needed to win outright. He will be facing Land Commissioner George P. Bush in the runoff. Paxton is plagued by a myriad of scandals and ethical issues, including a 2015 indictment that refuses to go away, the resignation of senior staff members who have alleged serious improprieties, and investigations by the FBI and state bar. However, Paxton led the field with the most votes in the first round, and Bush remains the underdog going into the runoff.
From the beginning, State Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) has pretty much been the only serious candidate running to fill the Land Commissioner position being vacated by Bush. However, the primary field was crowded enough to force a runoff. With 15% of the vote, Tim Westley was able to secure the number two slot. However, Buckingham is very likely to win.
The race for the seat up this year on the Railroad Commission is so bizarre that it couldn’t possibly have been made up. Incumbent Wayne Christian was barely edged into a runoff with an unlikely opponent who, let’s just say, employed an “unorthodox” campaign strategy. In the weeks leading up to the primary, challenger Sarah Stogner went viral after posting a video of herself dancing semi-nude on an oil pump-jack. There may have been a method to her madness, as Stogner made the runoff. According to Stogner, the goal of the video was to get attention so she could then talk about more serious policy issues.
Several contests for seats in the state legislature have gone to runoffs as well. Three House incumbents will face voters in the runoff: State Reps. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) against challenger David Lowe, Glenn Rogers (R-Graford) against challenger Mike Olcott, and Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) against challenger Ben Bius.
Before voters head to the polls for the runoff on May 24, many communities will also have elections for various local offices. May 7 will be election day for many municipal, school board, and bond elections. Stay tuned for more coverage of local elections by the Texas Citizen Journal.
In most of Texas, the primary is the most important election. In areas where either Republicans or Democrats constitute an overwhelming majority, the real contest is determining the party’s nominee. Voter turnout in primaries is very low, so everyone who does vote has an out-sized impact. This is even more the case in the runoff when turnout is even lower.
Be an informed voter. Don’t just rely on any one group or individual. Do your homework and research the candidates. Make a plan to go vote.
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