A few initial thoughts

Just to sum up the results for those of y’all who have not been paying much attention to things, I will recap some of the big things that have happened. First, the expected winners were, by and large, the winners on Tuesday night in Statewide elections. Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis won their respective bids for Governor, John Cornyn easily beat back challengers for another nomination to the Senate, George P. Bush got the GOP nod for Land Commissioner and Stephen Brown got the Democrat nod for Railroad Commissioner. All three incumbent Supreme Court Justices who saw right-wing primary opponent were able to easily prevail.

In a few other races, the expected result happened, but in a very different manner. This was largely due to the fact that the Texas Tribune poll released about a week ago was total garbage. It was not worth the fictional paper it wasn’t printed on, to quote a friend. In these races, David Alameel and Kesha Rogers indeed will proceed into a runoff for the US Senate Democrat primary, as will David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick for the Lieutenant Governor Republican primary. However, the Tribune poll seriously miscalculated who would come in first and by how much. Instead of Rogers holding a commanding plurality lead, she hovered near 20% while Alameel was just a few perilous points so close to winning outright. Instead of the preconceived notion that Dewhurst would receive 40-something percent compared to Patrick’s 20-something, the roles were reversed.

Dan Branch and Ken Paxton will also proceed into the runoff for the Attorney General Republican primary. However, it was Paxton (not Branch) who holds the commanding lead going into May, with an endorsement sure to come from the third candidate, Barry Smitherman.

Also unsurprising was that Sid Miller and Tommy Merritt go into the Agriculture Commissioner Republican primary, with Wayne Christian and Ryan Sitton going to the Railroad Commissioner Republican primary. The big surprise of the evening was probably the Comptroller Republican primary, where Glenn Hegar is oh so close to avoiding a runoff and winning outright. If the former option occurs, he will face Harvey Hilderbran. This flies in the face of what the Tribune poll had said, which had Debra Medina in the plurality.

The other big surprise was the Democrat primary for Agriculture Commissioner. Jim Hogan, a nobody who raised literally $0, finished in first place, with Kinky Friedman a close second. Hugh Fitzsimons, the unanimous choice of the establishment and the like, finished in a distant third place.

At the local level, there were not all too many surprises. John Whitmire won, as did Ann Bennett, James Cargas and Sarah Davis. Kim Ogg blew Lloyd Wayne Oliver out of the water for District Attorney and Steven Kirkland squeaked out a win against Lori Gray. Perhaps the biggest shocker was that Paul Simpson defeated Jared Woodfill outright to become the new chairman of the Harris County Republican Party.

A few other races of note: Sandra Peake, Barbara Stalder, Jim Evans and George Barnstone all won their respective primaries for Judge. Obviously, my father won his uncontested race, and will officially be the Democrat for Probate Court #4 next fall. Around the State, a few Republican incumbents lost, as did a Democrat or two. Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth), a stalwart of progressive values, also lost his race in the heavily Hispanic district. A Tea Partier also defeated the more centrist candidate for Rep. Craig Eiland’s seat, putting it in play this fall.

I’ll have more on each race in the coming days. For now, please read all the other lovely blog posts my colleagues have penned this morning.

Big Jolly Politics, Brains & Eggs (Statewide; Harris County), Burnt Orange Report, Eye on Williamson and Off the Kuff (Statewide; around the State; Harris County) have more.

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