The Back MicThe Back Mic: Candidates for Open Seats Listed, Beckley Drops Congressional Bid, GOP Challenger Forgoes Dallas Rematch

This week — here's a look at the musical electoral chairs after the legislature finalized redistricting.
October 22, 2021
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List of Candidates Running for Open Seats in the Texas Legislature

There are currently 18 open seats in the Texas House and Senate with no incumbents. Here’s a list of the candidates running for each at the moment along with The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index (TPI) rating for the district.

Senate

  • Senate District (SD) 12 ‒ Incumbent: Sen. Jane Nelson, retiring (R-61%)
    • Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound)
  • SD 24 ‒ Incumbent: Sen. Dawn Buckingham, running for Land Commissioner (R-62%)
    • Former Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton)
    • Lamar Lewis (R)
    • Raul Reyes (R)
  • SD 31 ‒ Incumbent: Sen. Kel Seliger, retiring (R-79%)
    • Stormy Bradley (R)
    • Kevin Sparks (R)

House

  • House District (HD) 13 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Ben Leman, retiring (R-72%)
    • Angelia Orr (R)
    • Brad Tegeler (R)
    • Joshua Tutt (D)
    • Joe Williams (R)
  • HD 37 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Alex Dominguez, drawn into HD 38 (D-53%)
    • Janie Lopez (R)
  • HD 50 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Celia Israel, retiring & considering run for Austin Mayor (D-76%)
    • Mike Hendrix (D)
    • Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock)
  • HD 52 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. James Talarico, running in HD 50 (R-55%)
    • Caroline Harris (R)
    • Nelson Jarrin (R)
    • Patrick McGuinness (R)
    • Tjitse Miller (R)
  • HD 57 ‒ No incumbent (R-60%)
    • Richard Hayes (R)
    • Matthew Poole (R)
  • HD 61 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Phil King, running for SD 10 (R-58%)
    • Frederick Frazier (R)
  • HD 63 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Tan Parker, running for SD 12 (R-57%)
    • Scott Smith (R)
  • HD 65 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Michelle Beckley, recently suspended campaign for Congress (R-58%)
    • Kronda Thimesch (R)
  • HD 70 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Scott Sanford, retiring (D-50%)
    • Jim Herblin (R)
    • Hayden Padgett (R)
    • Lorenzo Sanchez (D)
  • HD 73 ‒ No incumbent (R-71%)
    • Justin Calhoun (D)
    • Barron Casteel (R)
    • George Green (R)
    • Carrie Isaac (R)
  • HD 76 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez, drawn into HD 77 (D-61%)
    • Sarah DeMerchant (D)
    • Vanesia Johnson (D)
    • Suleman Lalani (D)
  • HD 93 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Matt Krause, running for Attorney General (R-60%)
    • N/A
  • HD 114 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas), running in HD 107 (D-65%)
    • Elizabeth Ginsberg (D)
    • Charles Gearing (D)
    • Alexandra Guio (D)
    • Kendall Scudder (D)
  • HD 122 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Lyle Larson, retiring (R-60%)
    • Adam Blanchard (R)
    • Elisa Chan (R)
    • Mark Dorazio (R)
    • Nico LaHood (R)
  • HD 127 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Dan Huberty, retiring (R-61%)
    • Charles Cunningham (R)
    • Anthony Dolcefino (R)
  • HD 133 ‒ Incumbent: Rep. Jim Murphy, retiring (R-57%)
    • Mano DeAyala (R)
    • Albert Keller (R)
Beckley Drops Congressional Bid After Redistricting

Rep. Michelle Beckley launched her bid for Texas’ 24th Congressional District while breaking quorum in Washington, D.C., and after only a few months has now suspended that campaign. The new redistricted maps placed Beckley’s residence into the 26th Congressional District.

The Texan Tumbler

According to the TPI, TX-24’s partisan leaning received a dramatic 10-point shift in Republicans’ favor and TX-26 remains a staunch GOP stronghold.

“After much thoughtful consideration and many conversations with family, friends, colleagues, and supporters, I have decided to suspend my congressional campaign … due to the extreme gerrymandering,” Beckley said in a statement.

As in most states, the state legislature gets to draw districts for Texas’ congressional map, and thus, the majority party has control over its final iteration.

She added, “I firmly believe that in order to know your constituents and best represent their interests in Congress, candidates and elected officials should live in the district they represent or are seeking election in, even when not required.”

Beckley said she has not decided on her next move, but HD 65 which she currently represents was made a solid GOP district.

2020 GOP Challenger Will Not Seek Round Two

Like Beckley, the 2020 GOP challenger in HD 113, Will Douglas, was drawn out of the district. This week he announced he wouldn’t again run for the seat, forgoing a second challenge to incumbent Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Rowlett).

Douglas, who narrowly lost to Bowers by 3.6 percent and 2,433 votes, said in a statement, “While we came up just shy of winning, we launched our 2022 campaign this summer knowing we’d have the momentum, support, and the political climate to get us across the finish line.”

“Now that the redistricting process is complete, we know that unfortunately we’re not going to get that opportunity — we’ve been drawn out of HD-113,” he added.

Douglas did not announce his next move, but concluded, “My team and I are incredibly disappointed we won’t have an opportunity for a rematch, but we know this won’t be the end of our fight. So, we’ll wait. And we’ll watch. And when the time is right — we’ll be back. Texas is too important.”

Even if Douglas’ residence had remained in HD 113, or if he chose to move into it, it’d be a more difficult pursuit than in 2020. The new maps shored up Bowers’ Democratic support, making it a D-59% district according to the TPI.

Douglas was one of the GOP challengers who came closest to unseating an incumbent Democrat in 2020.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from its original form.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.