Battleground 2020Elections 2020IssuesBattleground 2020 Update: Cornyn, Putnam, Pfluger, and Hunt Boast Big Fundraising Numbers for Third Quarter

Campaigns are taking shape as candidates announce new third quarter fundraising numbers before the FEC releases the official reports next week. Here's a look at key Texas races.
October 9, 2019

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The battle for Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) seat is underway as many candidates — largely unknown by Texans, according to polling on name recognition — vie to be the top challenger in the race to the current senator. 

7th Congressional District

First-term incumbent Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D) is poised to have a tight race against her eventual Republican challenger.

  • Wesley Hunt received the endorsements of Sen. Ted Cruz and the “Women for Wes” coalition, chaired by former Texas Federation of Republican Women president Carolyn Hodges. Hunt raised $450,000 during the last quarter, adding to the half-million dollars that he had previously raised.
  • Other Republican candidates in the race include: Cindy Siegel, Maria Espinoza, Tom DeVor, and Jim Noteware. FEC fundraising reports will be released next week.

11th Congressional District

The Texan Tumbler

Since Rep. Mike Conaway announced his retirement, a large crowd of candidates have entered the GOP primary race in the district that is solid Republican (R +32)

12th Congressional District

Incumbent Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX-12) is facing challenges from both Democrats and another Republican.

  • Chris Putnam, her Republican challenger, reportedly raised over $500,000 since he officially announced his primary challenge just last week.
  • Two Democrats, Lisa Welch and Al Woolum, have also started campaigns to attempt to take the district rated safely Republican at R+18.

13th Congressional District

Rep. Mac Thornberry announced his retirement last week from the most Republican district in the country, according to the Cook Partisan Voter Index, which places it at R+33. Although no one has yet filed to run with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), there are a few people who have expressed interest in running:

  • Vance Snider II, an Army veteran, has announced that he would be seeking the office.
  • Amarillo city council member Elaine Hays stated her intention to consider a run.
  • Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley has also announced his exploration of campaign.
  • Josh Winegarner, a former Senate staffer and Texas Cattle Feeders Association governmental relations director, has also been mentioned to be considering a run.

17th Congressional District

Last month, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX-17) announced that he would be retiring at the end of his term. Although the district is safely Republican (R+12), there were no immediate filings from Republican candidates. Recently, though, there have been several major developments.

  • Former Rep. Pete Sessions, who lost his seat against Colin Allred (D-TX-32) in the last election, announced that he would be moving from his current district to District 17 to run for the open seat as a Republican.
    • Flores has written an op-ed saying that Sessions should not run in the district.
  • Before Sessions’ official announcement, Marine veteran Trent Sutton also filed to run as a Republican.
    • On Sessions’ announcement, Sutton stated, “I have met some of the other local individuals considering a run, and I can assure you, TX-17 has no shortage of talented, service-minded leaders. With all due respect Mr. Sessions, we got this.”
  • Oil and gas attorney Wes Lloyd has also told reporters that he is considering a run as a Republican.

22nd Congressional District

With the retirement of Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX-22), there has been a plethora of candidates joining the race in what could shape up to be a more competitive race between Republicans and Democrats, though the GOP still has the advantage in the R+10 district.

Texas House District 10

State Rep. John Wray (R-Waxahachie) announced on July 3 that he would be retiring from his office at the end of his term. Although the district is unlikely to be won by a Democrat, the primary race could be competitive. 

  • Two Republicans have filed for the race: Jake Ellzey, a Navy pilot veteran and former commissioner of the Texas Veterans Commission, and Ryan Pitts, the son of former state Rep. Jim Pitts.
  • State Republican Executive Committee member Sam Bryant had also been in the race, but withdrew on October 4, stating, “Me continuing to pursue this race would lead to unintended consequences, further division, and even more of an unstable foundation for the party in such a critical time.”
  • A Libertarian candidate, Matt Savino, has also filed to run for the seat.


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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.