Editor's Note: This story has been updated with a statement from Republican Party of Texas Executive Director Beth Cubriel.
State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, pulled the plug Friday on his campaign for comptroller after his second-place finish in the Republican primary on Tuesday.
State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, was just a few votes shy of winning the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win the primary contest outright. Unofficial results with the Secretary of State had Hegar with 49.99 percent and Hilderbran with 26.01 percent. The scene had been set for some drama as the deadline for the party's canvassing of votes is March 16. There was a chance Hegar could end up with enough votes to avoid a runoff.
Hegar will face Democrat Mike Collier in the November general election.
Beth Cubriel, executive director of the Republican Party of Texas, said that Hilderbran's name can be removed from the runoff ballot if he submits a withdrawal form by Wednesday. If he does so, there would be no runoff election even if Hegar fails to reach the 50 percent plus one vote threshold.
Here's Hilderbran's statement on his decision:
“I just had a great conversation with Glenn Hegar and I told him I was withdrawing from the runoff and endorsing him as the Republican nominee,” said Hilderbran. “I am proud of the campaign that we ran, and I will always be grateful to my tireless campaign team and the hundreds of contributors and thousands of supporters that we had from all over Texas. I ran for this office to enact a plan to improve the Comptroller’s office for taxpayers and I am excited that Glenn has agreed to work together to enact much of my platform, for the benefit of all taxpayers. I urge all Republicans to support Glenn as our nominee and help ensure that he is elected the next Comptroller in November.”
After Hilderbran's announcement, Hegar released a statement:
"I have had the pleasure of knowing and serving with Harvey Hilderbran for many years," Hegar said. "Texans owe Harvey Hilderbran a great deal of gratitude for his years of public service to the state of Texas. Our campaign will now shift focus toward the general election. We are excited to continue to visit with voters and to spread our positive message of job creation and innovation across the state of Texas."