The incumbent received 52 percent of the vote and defeated his opponent by a mere 316 ballots. There is no Democratic contender in the overwhelmingly Republican district.
Speaker Dade Phelan’s (R-Beaumont) campaign donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to Rogers’ reelection bid.
Gov. Greg Abbott indicated that school choice is likely to be an item of business in the 88th legislature’s regular session next year. The governor did not back Rogers before the primary, but did endorse the candidate after he advanced to the runoff.
Rogers went on the record before the runoff voicing his opposition to school choice measures, specifically tuition vouchers. He contended in an editorial they would undermine transparency and punish those who cannot afford private school.
Olcott received the endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a staunch proponent of school voucher programs who has said he almost certainly will not endorse a candidate opposed to school choice.
Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton), another incumbent facing a runoff, was not as fortunate. He lost the nomination to Stan Kitzman, who received 58 percent of the vote.
Kitzman and others criticized Stephenson after the incumbent falsely claimed he had received Abbott’s endorsement this election cycle. The inaccurate claim prompted the governor to endorse Kitzman.
Two other Texas House Republicans, Reps. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) and Kyle Kacal (R-College Station), also won runoffs on Tuesday, with 58 and 54 percent of the vote respectively.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."