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.
- In the third Federal Election Commission (FEC) quarter of July-September, Cornyn raised $3.2 million, with an average contribution of $142. The large haul leaves him with $10.8 million cash on hand.
- Royce West has reportedly raised $545,000 since he first announced in July.
- MJ Hegar said that her campaign “hit our end of quarter FEC goal,” but has not specified what that goal was. Official results will be available on October 15. At the end of the last quarter, Hegar had raised a little over $1 million.
- The other Democratic candidates in the race are: Chris Bell, Michael Cooper, Sema Hernandez, Amanda Edwards, Jack Daniel Foster Jr., John Love, Cristina Tzintzú Ramirez, and Adrian Ocegueda.
- Cornyn also has two Republican challengers: Dwayne Stovall and Mark Yancey.
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.
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)
- Brandon Batch, a former staff member for Rep. Michael McCaul, is the latest candidate to announce his campaign.
- August Pfluger reportedly raised $700,000 within his first 19 days as a candidate.
- Other Republican candidates include J.Ross Lacy, Ross Schumann, Wesley Virdell, Wacey Alpha Cody, and Robert Tucker.
- Richard Bartlett joined the race in mid-September, but dropped out last week saying that another “like-minded” candidate from Odessa had joined the race.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls announced his exploratory committee to run for the seat as a Republican and has raised over $100,000. In order to stay in his current position throughout next year, he says he will not make an official announcement until the first week of December.
- Shandon Phan, a Houston lawyer, filed to run for the seat as a Republican last Thursday.
- Diana Miller filed to run as a Republican on October 1.
- Other Republican candidates include Keli Chevalier, Douglas Haggard, Felicia Harris Hoss, Greg Hill, Matt Hinton, Howard Steele, Kathaleen Wall, and Joe Walz.
- Democratic candidates include Sri Preston Kulkarni, Nyanza Davis Moore, and Derrick Reed.
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.
Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.