It's this time of year when politicians of all stripes learn if they have won the political equivalent of the lottery, which we will define as having avoided any major party challengers in the primary and general elections.
This year, 74 members, or nearly half the Texas House, already have their tickets punched for Austin. They face either no opposition or third-party candidates in the fall. The ranks of those who are living free and easy this year is split nearly evenly between Republicans (39) and Democrats (35).
Another 29 GOP House candidates have a free pass through the party primaries, while 45 Democratic House candidates also have easy passage through the primaries.
Uncontested races are harder to come by in Texas Senate and congressional races, but they can be found there as well.
Four Senators — three Republicans and a single Democrat (Kirk Watson) — have no opposition through the general election. Another four Republican Senate candidates and six Democratic Senate candidates have free sailing through the primaries.
Only one congressional Republican — Jeb Hensarling — is clear through the general election, but another 15 GOP candidates have their nomination already sewed up. On the Democratic side, five candidates are assured of victory through the general election, while another 18 are assured of their party's nomination.
The only area of the ballot where every candidate must put in some work are for the statewide offices. Only one Republican candidate — Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd — has a clear path through the primaries, and eight Democrats have already locked up their party's nomination. But no statewide office will be uncontested in the general election.
To view the up-to-date election brackets for the 2014 election, click here.
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