In a primary contest that has been roiled by controversy, conservative activist Lacey Hull dominated the Republican race for Texas House District 138 in Harris County Tuesday.
Unofficial election totals from the Texas Secretary of State show Hull took 59.41 percent, followed by Josh Flynn with 32.23 percent, and Claver Kamau-Imani with a distant 8.36 percent.
Hull enjoyed support most notably from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, but also had endorsements from Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX-02) and seven area State Representatives, including State Reps. Dr. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) and Valoree Swanson (R-Spring).
During the filing period, Flynn had come under scrutiny for questions about his eligibility. Elected to the board of the Harris County Department of Education in 2018, Flynn received a $6 per meeting stipend, which under the state constitution and a Texas Supreme Court ruling made his office “lucrative” and thus ineligible to run for the Legislature.
Although officially ruled ineligible by Harris County GOP Chair Paul Simpson, Flynn filed a lawsuit and won an order to keep his name on the Republican primary ballot. Later a mediation agreement between the two parties abated the question of eligibility to after the March 3 primary.
A second controversy erupted last month when Kamau-Imani made disparaging comments about Governor Abbott on Twitter. Kamau-Imani also harshly criticized Hull for accepting support from Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
The Democrat candidate for House District 138 will be determined in a runoff this spring.
Unofficial results show Democrat Akilah Bacy with 45.58 percent, followed by Jenifer Rene Pool at 29.53 percent, and Josh Wallenstein with 24.89 percent.
Bacy, a former Harris County Assistant District Attorney and Pool, an activist who was the first transgender candidate to win a primary in Texas in 2016, will face off on May 26, 2020.
Pool has not filed financial reports and appears to have done little campaigning.
Before announcing his retirement last year, Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) had represented HD 138 since 2003, but narrowly won his 2018 re-election bid by a spare 47-vote margin.
Rice University fellow Mark P. Jones has moved this race to the “leans Democrat” column, and Democrats have targeted the district as a must-have in their effort to take control of the Texas House.
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Holly Hansen is a freelance writer living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.