Battleground 2020Elections 2020Carrie Isaac, Justin Berry Win GOP Runoffs, Will Face Democrat Incumbents in November

Freshman Reps. Erin Zwiener and Vikki Goodwin now know their November matchups as Republicans Carrie Isaac and Justin Berry each claimed victory on Tuesday.
July 15, 2020

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The Republican nominees in two Central Texas House districts flipped by Democrats in 2018 have been decided — Carrie Isaac in House District 45 (HD 45) and Justin Berry in House District 47 (HD 47), who will face off against Reps. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) and Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) respectively.

Isaac won by a comfortable 30 points Tuesday night over attorney Bud Wymore in the HD 45 runoff. She stated on Facebook, “I can’t tell you how grateful and honored I am to be your choice to represent you on the ballot in November.”

And looking toward November, Isaac added, “The Texas model of limited government, personal responsibility, and freedom above all is under attack by the Democrats’ radical agenda, and we must fight for our values. We MUST take back House District 45 from the radical socialist representing us in the Texas Capitol — for our community’s sake and for the sake of the Lone Star State.”

In 2018, Zwiener won the district by a narrow three-point margin, defeating GOP nominee Ken Strange after Isaac’s husband, Jason, who had held the seat for eight years but opted to run for Congress in 2018.

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Just a short trek up I-35, HD 47 incumbent Goodwin will face Austin Police Officer Justin Berry in the general. Berry, who made it into the runoff by one vote, surprised the primary’s first-place finisher Jennifer Fleck — comfortably defeating her by 10 points.

Berry celebrated the win on Facebook, stating, “I’m honored to be the Republican nominee for your next State Representative. My team and I are already gearing up for the general election, but I want to pause and take a moment to say thank you to all the supporters, volunteers, voters, my team, and my amazing wife Jamie who have made this all possible. November, here we come!”

Berry was one of the Abbott endorsees in the runoffs, spurred especially by Fleck’s outspoken disapproval of the governor’s handling of the coronavirus shutdowns.

She took to Facebook, stating, “There is some discussion in the comments that, ‘If only Fleck’s voters had turned out for her, she could have won.’ Fleck voters turned out in droves. I welcomed them at the polls for 11 days of undeniable overwhelming support. I have complete faith in the People.”

She further added, “If my little race can be stolen, why couldn’t our November election be stolen? This should be everyone’s deep concern.”

Fleck received about 20 percent fewer votes in the runoff than she did in the primary while Berry pulled in 42 percent more raw votes than he did in March.

Berry received $21,000 in last-minute in-kind support from two Republican PACs and Texans for Lawsuit Reform for canvassing and direct mail efforts.

Looking toward the general, Goodwin awaits with a significant war chest. She unseated former GOP Rep. Paul Workman in 2018 by 5,000 votes, and is starting from a better position than her counterpart to the south, Zwiener, is.

Berry and Isaac certainly aren’t shoo-ins for November, and should likely be considered underdogs, but the GOP believes these two seats can be taken back after the Beto O’Rourke induced wave of 2018.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.