Elections 2020Two Newly Elected State House Democrats Lose Reelection Bids in Runoff

Challengers Jasmine Crockett and Penny Shaw upset their incumbent opponents, Lorraine Birabil and Anna Eastman, during Tuesday's runoff.
July 15, 2020
https://thetexan.news/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Birabil-Eastman-Runoff-1280x853.jpg

Just months after winning their special elections, Democratic Reps. Lorraine Birabil (D-Dallas) and Anna Eastman (D-Houston) missed out on securing their party’s nomination for November.

Both in heavily Democratic districts, a path through November and to the subequent legislative session in January would have been assured, but both were beaten by insurgent primary opponents.

Jasmine Crockett, in House District 100, beat Birabil by a razor-thin margin of 92 votes. Birabil won the special election for the seat in January after then-Rep. Eric Johnson resigned to run for Dallas mayor.

She won comfortably, but then faced Crockett in the March primary. Birabil won the primary by about 500 votes but was just under 100 short to Crockett Tuesday night.

Conversely, down in Harris County, Anna Eastman also won a special election after longtime Rep. Jessica Farrar retired from House District 148. But on Tuesday night, Eastman came up 200 votes shy of securing the Democratic nomination.

Her opponent, Penny Shaw, had finished a very distant sixth place during the special election last November. But now, having knocked off Eastman, Shaw will face Republican Luis LaRotta in the general election, whom Eastman beat in the runoff election in January.

Both races add to the incumbent dynamic that played out in the Republican runoff as well, with four incumbents losing their party’s nomination.

But both Crockett and Shaw should make it through November and into office for the 87th Legislature, due to the favorable Democratic make-up of their respective districts.

Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Brad Johnson

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 watching and quoting Monty Python productions.