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Campaign Chatter: Sizing Up Who's Looking Good

Now that the filing deadline has passed, the congressional and legislative candidates are scouting their field. Some are shoo-ins, others have a primary crowd and a few are seeking another chance at the Lege. Here's who's who.

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The Road to Victory?

Now that the campaign filing deadline has passed, dozens of candidates are breathing a collective sigh of relief — either because they won’t have to run at all, or because they’re facing a cakewalk. Thirty-five candidates are unopposed in both their primary and general elections, including 28 in the Texas House and seven in the state Senate. One of the unopposed state House candidates — former State Board of Education member Marsha Farney — will come in as a freshman. There are no unopposed candidates in Texas' congressional delegation, though several of them have what look like easy races. 

Here’s a look at the outright winners, and those who appear to be cruising toward victory, in Texas’ congressional and legislative races. Candidates listed as "Opposed - Looking Good" face no primary challenger, and are either running in a district where their party won the 2010 election by a margin of more than 20 points, or have no major party opposition in the general election. 

Candidates Who Are Unopposed or Likely to Win
CD-1 Louie Gohmert Republican Opposed - Looking Good
CD-2 Ted Poe Republican Opposed - Looking Good
CD-5 Jeb Hensarling Republican Opposed - Looking Good
CD-17 Bill Flores Republican Opposed - Looking Good
CD-18 Sheila Jackson Lee Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
CD-19 Randy Neugebauer Republican Opposed - Looking Good
CD-20 Joaquin Castro Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
CD-26 Michael Burgess Republican Opposed - Looking Good
CD-29 Gene Green Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
CD-32 Pete Sessions Republican Opposed - Looking Good
SD-2 Bob Deuell Republican Unopposed - Winner
SD-13 Rodney Ellis Democrat Unopposed - Winner
SD-18 Glenn Hegar Republican Unopposed - Winner
SD-23 Royce West Democrat Unopposed - Winner
SD-24 Troy Fraser Republican Unopposed - Winner
SD-27 Eddie Lucio Jr. Democrat Unopposed - Winner
SD-29 Jose Rodriguez Democrat Unopposed - Winner
SD-1 Kevin Eltife Republican Opposed - Looking Good
SD-6 Mario Gallegos Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
SD-8 Ken Paxton Republican Opposed - Looking Good
SD-12 Jane Nelson Republican Opposed - Looking Good
SD-16 John Carona Republican Opposed - Looking Good
SD-17 Joan Huffman Republican Opposed - Looking Good
SD-22 Brian Birdwell Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-13 Lois Kolkhorst Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-16 Brandon Creighton Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-20 Marsha Farney Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-22 Joe Deshotel Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-25 Dennis Bonnen Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-28 John Zerwas Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-32 Todd Hunter Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-36 Sergio Munoz Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-42 Richard Raymond Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-44 John Kuempel Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-50 Mark Strama Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-58 Rob Orr Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-66 Van Taylor Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-71 Susan King Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-72 Drew Darby Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-76 Naomi Gonzalez Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-81 Tryon Lewis Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-82 Tom Craddick Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-86 John Smithee Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-100 Eric Johnson Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-103 Rafael Anchia Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-104 Roberto Alonzo Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-111 Yvonne Davis Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-112 Angie Chen Button Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-126 Patricia Harless Republican Unopposed - Winner
HD-140 Armando Walle Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-142 Harold Dutton Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-145 Carol Alvarado Democrat Unopposed - Winner
HD-1 George Lavender Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-38 Eddie Lucio III Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-46 Dawnna Dukes Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-49 Elliott Naishtat Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-51 Eddie Rodriguez Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-60 Jim Keffer Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-63 Tan Parker Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-69 James Frank Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-79 Joe Pickett Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-84 John Frullo Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-89 Jodie Laubenberg Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-108 Dan Branch Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-109 Helen Giddings Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-113 Cindy Burkett Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-120 Ruth McClendon Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-123 Mike Villarreal Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-124 Jose Menendez Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-128 Wayne Smith Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-130 Allen Fletcher Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-148 Jessica Farrar Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-1 George Lavender Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-14 John Raney Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-27 Ron Reynolds Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-30 Geanie Morrison Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-61 Phil King Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-62 Larry Phillips Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-87 Walter "Four" Price Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-99 Charlie Geren Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-116 Trey Martinez Fischer Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-122 Lyle Larson Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-135 Gary Elkins Republican Opposed - Looking Good
HD-139 Sylvester Turner Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-141 Senfronia Thompson Democrat Opposed - Looking Good
HD-143 Ana Hernandez Luna Democrat Opposed - Looking Good

A Crowded Field

Not all incumbents have an easy path forward. Some are facing hefty primary challenges from a wide range of candidates — increasing the likelihood that they won’t make it to the general without a run-off.

In Congress, U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Ennis; Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso; and Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, each have three primary challengers. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Edinburg has four. In the state House, Reps. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, and Jim Landtroop, R-Plainview, each have three primary opponents.

These are the congressional and legislative incumbents facing two or more challengers in their party’s primary.

Incumbents Facing a Crowded Primary Field
DistrictIncumbentPartyPrimary Opponents
CD-3 Sam Johnson Republican 2
CD-6 Joe Barton Republican 3
CD-15 Ruben Hinojosa Democrat 4
CD-16 Silvestre Reyes Democrat 3
CD-21 Lamar Smith Republican 2
CD-27 Blake Farenthold Republican 3
CD-30 Eddie Bernice Johnson Democrat 2
SD-25 Jeff Wentworth Republican 2
HD-10 Jim Pitts Republican 3
HD-11 Chuck Hopson Republican 2
HD-43 J.M. Lozano Republican 2
HD-59 Sid Miller Republican 2
HD-88 Jim Landtroop Republican 3
HD-133 Jim Murphy Republican 2

Comeback Kids 

In the Texas House, 10 candidates who lost in 2010 are seeking another chance. Some of them were defeated in primaries, others in the general. At least one — former Houston Rep. Al Edwards — is battling the same opponent — current Houston Rep. Borris Miles — for the fourth time. And because of redistricting, some former lawmakers who served alongside one another are now facing off.

Like former Reps. Paula Pierson and Chris Turner, both Arlington-based Democrats who lost their respective races in the 2010 general election. They’re now competing in the Democratic primary for HD-101. 

Here are the candidates who are back to the races. 

Candidates Who Lost in 2010, and are Seeking a Comeback
DistrictCandidatePartyLast Election?
HD-7 Tommy Merritt Republican Lost 2010 Republican primary
HD-34 Abel Herrero Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-43 Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-83 Delwin Jones Republican Lost 2010 Republican primary
HD-78 Joe Moody Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-85 Dora Olivo Democrat Lost 2010 Democratic primary
HD-101 Paula Pierson Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-101 Chris Turner Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-107 Robert Miklos Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-114 Carol Kent Democrat Lost 2010 general election
HD-146 Al Edwards Democrat Lost 2010 Democratic primary

In other campaign-related news... 

  • Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's bid for U.S. Senate has received the support of six former Dallas County Republican Party chairmen — every chairman since 1980. Meanwhile, former ESPN analyst Craig James, one of Dewhurst's opponents, has earned the endorsement of former Dallas Cowboys legend Daryl "Moose" Johnston. Johnston had previously endorsed former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, yet another Republican candidate in the Senate field.  
  • James has been busy; he announced this week that he'll be traveling the state in support of Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The other Republican in the Senate campaign field, Ted Cruz, began airing two radio ads this week, the campaign's first paid media buy. 
  • State Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, has endorsed Rep. Kelly Hancock, R-Fort Worth, in the race for SD-9. Anderson dropped out of that race last week. The other Republican in that primary is Bedford Rep. Todd Smith.
  • Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks, a Democrat, joined the already crowded field for CD-33. That makes 11 Democrats running in that primary, including Fort Worth state Rep. Marc Veasey
  • The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC has endorsed Sugar Land businessman Lee Duggan III for HD-85, which includes all of Wharton and Jackson counties and part of Fort Bend County. Whoever wins the Republican primary will face off against former Democratic state Rep. Dora Olivo in the general election. The PAC also endorsed Republican Alan Ritter for HD-21.
  • Attorney Jessica Siegel was arrested at the Montgomery County Republican Party headquarters on Friday after filing to run for 418th State District Court Judge. She was charged with a state jail felony for allegedly tampering with a government record — and has been accused of falsifying the length of time that she has lived in the county. She was released on bail, and is still fighting to get back on the ballot. 
  • In a strange story out of Weslaco, a Democratic candidate for state representative, Joseph Campos, listed a Republican candidate for state representative, Joel De los Santos, as his campaign treasurer. The two candidates also put the same home address on their paperwork. They are running to replace Democratic Weslaco Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez. De los Santos told the Rio Grande Guardian he has no idea why his name and address are on Campos' filings. 
  • Comptroller Susan Combs has endorsed Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, in his race for HD-7. He's facing off against former Republican Rep. Tommy Merritt, whom he defeated in the primary in 2010. She also endorsed Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, for HD-9. 
  • Bob Hall, who filed to run against Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, but was disqualified over residency questions, told the Tyler Morning Telegraph he is considering legal action to get back on the ballot. But the paper reported there are further residency questions being raised over a vote he cast in a 2008 election in Florida. 

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