Larry Gonzales and John Gordon appear to be heading into a runoff for House District 52 in Williamson County.
As of midnight, the pair ran far ahead of two other GOP candidates, Stephen Casey and Alyssa Eacono, according to election results from the Williamson County website. But the trailing candidates siphoned off enough of the vote to push the leaders into a runoff. Both Gordon and Gonzales hovered near 40 percent. The GOP winner ultimately will take on incumbent Diana Maldonado, D-Round Rock, in the general election. A freshman Democrat in a district that has historically leaned Republican, Maldonado has been perceived by some as vulnerable. The general election will prove both a test of her personal political strength and of whether Democrats have gained ground with demographic shifts in the fast-growing suburban district north of Austin.
Gonzales is a 40-year-old Capitol insider, having worked on the staffs of several House members, the Lieutenant Governor and the Attorney General. Gordon, 63, is a Williamson County insider, having advocated on local hot-button issues for years and worked in community organizations. According to the latest campaign filings, both Gordon and Gonzales banked more than $130,000 during the campaign. Gordon and his family financed almost all of his campaign. Gonzales has collected donations from a comparatively broader swath of people, but most of his money comes from one dominant player: Bob Perry, the Houston homebuilder, tort reform advocate, and the leading financier of Republican campaigns across Texas. Perry and his wife, Doylene, gave a total of $90,000 to the Gonzales campaign, records show.