Elections 2020IssuesState HouseTexas House Races Finalized After Last Minute Dropouts Force Filing Deadline Extension

The fields for three Texas House races are now finalized after extenuating circumstances resulted in incumbents withdrawing from their respective races.
December 18, 2019
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The deadline for filing to run in three Texas House seats was extended for five business days after incumbent Reps. Mike Lang (R-Granbury), Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land), and Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) all decided against running for reelection at the last minute.

This extended filing deadline closed on Monday, and despite the increased timeline, only one new candidate threw their hat in the ring.

Cisco businessman Jon Francis will now compete against the all-Republican field for the seat Lang has once again chosen to vacate. 

Notably, Francis is the son-in-law of Farris Wilks, a longtime conservative donor who has given to groups like Texas Right to Life and helped fund The Daily Wire, a conservative media organization founded in part by pundit Ben Shapiro.

Three other Republican candidates had already filed to run to represent the rural district, including veterinarian Glenn Rogers, attorney Kellye Sorelle, and Mineral Wells Mayor Christopher Perricone. 

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Earlier this year, Lang announced that he would not run for his House seat in order to run for Hood County commissioner, only to redirect course and announce he would in fact run for reelection to House District 60.

Then, in a case of political whiplash, the Texas Freedom Caucus chairman decided on the filing deadline to flip the script again and opted to once again run for Hood County Commissioner and not return to the Texas House. 

Though no new candidates filed in either Miller or Zedler’s districts, the passing of the extended deadline means the respective fields for both seats are now finalized. 

Miller, who came under fire after he made controversial comments about the ethnicity of his opponents, decided against running for reelection to House District 26.

Houston Fire Department analyst Leonard Chan, former Fort Bend County GOP Chair Jacey Jetton, and insurance adjuster Matt Morgan will face off in the Republican primary to replace Miller. 

State Board of Education member and son of Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston) Lawrence Allen Jr., software account manager Sarah DeMerchant, internal medicine physician Suleman Lalani, and former Democratic staffer Rish Oberoi will vie for the nomination in the Democrat primary.

This race for House District 26, found within the confines of Fort Bend County, is already being targeted by state Democrats as a potentially flippable seat.

One day after the filing deadline passed, Tarrant County legislator Bill Zedler told The Texan he would not seek reelection, allowing “someone younger and stronger take on the November elections.”

This leaves Mansfield Mayor David Cook, who entered the race prior to Zedler’s announcement, as the presumptive Republican nominee, and attorney Joe Drago as the presumptive Democrat. 

In 2018, Zedler won reelection to House District 96 with 50.8 percent of the vote after Tarrant County, a historically Republican county, went for then-Senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke.

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McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior 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.