Last night, incumbent Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) was forced into a runoff against Shelby Slawson, an attorney and local businesswoman.
Slawson secured 46 percent of the vote to Sheffield’s 30 percent. Cody Johnson, a third candidate who largely and generously self-funded in the race to unseat Sheffield, pulled in 24 percent.
Throughout the night, it looked like Slawson might pull off the victory without heading to a runoff. At different points, her vote totals exceeded the 50 percent needed for a candidate to win outright in a race with more than two total candidates.
Towards the end of the night, Slawson enthusiastically posted on her campaign’s Facebook page.
“We are THRILLED to report that with 6/8 counties reporting, we are the top vote-getter against the most liberal Republican fella in the Texas House—coming in at approx 46%!!”
According to Mark Jones’ political index used to rank legislators according to their voting record, Sheffield ranked as the second most liberal Republican in the Texas House, following closely behind Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place).
Sheffield, a family physician by trade who has served his district for four terms, also took to social media to thank his supporters, and said that “between now and [the runoff election], I look forward to sharing more about what we have accomplished in Austin and House District 59 and about what we hope to do in the future to serve you.”
Sheffield’s close political allies are groups like Texas Alliance for Life and the Texas Medical Association, while Slawson received the support of groups like Texas Right to Life and Young Conservatives of Texas.
House District 59 encompasses all of Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba, and Somervell counties.
The runoff will be held on May 26.
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McKenzie Taylor serves as Interim Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.