In elections for the Texas House of Representatives this year, 47 candidates — nearly a third of the chamber — are running without any opposition on the ballot. Seven more have no opponent from the other major party, but face a third-party opponent.
While the vast majority of those are current representatives, five are sure to be new faces on the House floor in the next legislative session.
Here’s a quick look at each.
House District 10: Jake Ellzey (R)
With Rep. John Wray (R-Waxahachie) not seeking reelection in the solidly Republican district south of Dallas, three Republicans vied for the seat in the primary.
Jake Ellzey, a retired Navy pilot, won the primary outright in March with 65 percent of the vote.
In 2018, Ellzey ran for Texas’ 6th Congressional District after the incumbent, Rep. Joe Barton, decided against seeking reelection amidst a sexting scandal.
Ellzey secured enough votes for a primary runoff election in 2018, but lost the race to Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX-06) by four points.
Of the five new candidates expected to serve in the next legislature, Ellzey is the only one with an opponent on the November ballot.
Libertarian Matt Savino is also in the running.
House District 59: Shelby Slawson (R)
In one of the few primary races this year that resulted in an incumbent losing a reelection bid, Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) lost to Shelby Slawson by a wide margin of 23 points.
Slawson graduated with a law degree from the University of Texas in 2003 and practices law in Stephensville.
During her primary campaign, Slawson was endorsed by a number of conservative organizations in the state, including Texas Right to Life, Young Conservatives of Texas, Texas Values Action, and Gun Owners of America.
She was also endorsed by state Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) and has returned the favor by supporting Fallon in his bid for Texas’ 4th Congressional District.
House District 60: Glenn Rogers (R)
An analysis of the partisan leanings of each state House district found that HD 60 is currently the most Republican-leaning district in the state.
With Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) not seeking reelection, the primary race for his seat became one of the most contentious in the state.
Jon Francis led in the primary race with 46 percent of the vote, while Glenn Rogers trailed behind at 44 points.
Throughout the primary runoff race, Francis — backed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — and Rogers — backed by Gov. Greg Abbott — poured over a million dollars into the race.
At the end of the heated race, Rogers came out on top by fewer than a thousand votes.
House District 76: Claudia Ordaz Perez (D)
With Rep. César Blanco (D-El Paso) resigning to run for the open seat of Texas Senate District 29, his House seat was open for a new member to succeed him.
El Paso City Council member Claudia Ordaz Perez won the Democratic primary nomination outright against Elisa Tamayo with 56.4 percent of the vote.
Policy priorities listed by Ordaz Perez on her campaign website include parental leave reform, stronger “animal welfare policies,” improving public schools, and expanding Medicaid.
House District 100: Jasmine Crockett (D)
After then-Rep. Eric Johnson resigned from the district to run for Dallas mayor last year, Rep. Lorraine Birabil (D-Dallas) won the special election in January.
But while Birabil won the election to finish Johnson’s unexpired term, she lost the election to serve in the upcoming legislative session.
Jasmine Crockett, a civil rights attorney, won the Democratic primary runoff election in July by a narrow margin just under 100 votes.
Crockett has emphasized her focus on criminal justice reform.
“As I enter my first session in the midst of a pandemic, budget shortfall, and redistricting year, my top priority is going to be a balanced budget that includes our greatest necessities,” Crockett told The Texan in a statement.
She said those necessities include, “reforming our outdated and inefficient criminal justice system into one that is effective in delivering justice and doesn’t waste taxpayer money on approaches that don’t improve public safety,” and, “reducing the burden of property taxes for homeowners in my district.”
Crockett says that she intends to file legislation to legalize the use of marijuana in order to “increase our tax revenue, removing frivolous regulations hindering small businesses, and protecting our Fourth Amendment right.”
“I look forward to working with members from both parties to advance an economically-centered, Texas-style, legislative agenda,” said Crockett. “With my experience as an attorney, and my business background, I hope to be placed on committees which will benefit from my business acumen as a small business owner, my ability to be fiscally astute, and my litigation skill set and knowledge obtained over the last 14 years.”
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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.