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Texas primary election results

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CBS News Texas Live

NORTH TEXAS - Texas voters participated in the state's primary election on Tuesday, one of 15 states and one territory holding a primary election on March 5.

Primary voters were tasked with choosing candidates for the U.S. Senate, the state Board of Education, the Railroad Commission, judicial seats, congressional and legislative offices, and, of course, the next president.  

Early voting ran Feb. 21 through March 1. According to the Texas Secretary of State's Office, voter turnout was mostly down compared to the last presidential primary in 2020, despite having more registered voters. 

Early-voter turnout in Collin County was 2.94%, down from 6.72% in 2020. Denton County early-voter turnout was down to 2.57% from 6.4% in 2020.

In Dallas County, 4.68% of voters participated this year. In 2020, 7% of voters in Dallas County participated. Early voter turnout in Tarrant County decreased by almost half from 2020.

Statewide, in-person and mail-in voting in the Republican primary increased to 6.84% this year from 6.66% in 2020. Dallas and Tarrant counties also increased.

In-person and mail-in voting in the Democratic primary declined statewide from 6.16% in 2020 to 3.3% in 2024. Dallas and Tarrant counties also decreased.

The big races we're watching include:

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is seeking a third term and faces two other candidates in the Republican primary. With more than 90% of precincts reporting, Cruz is leading with 89% of the votes. Challenger Red Gibson has 6% and R.E. Rufus Lopez has 5%.

Cruz celebrated  his victory in a statement Tuesday night:

"I am proud to be the GOP's decisive nominee for U.S. Senate. This race is about our law enforcement officers, our parents, farmers, ranchers, students, oil and gas workers, neighbors, and pastors, who are proud to call the Lone Star State home. This is about Texas, about building bridges, fighting for our cadets, expanding highways, creating jobs, and protecting the state that we cherish so deeply. Never before has it been more important to unify and fight against the radical left who threaten to change what makes this state great. I look forward to continuing to meet Texans in every corner of the state as we work together to ensure that we keep Texas, Texas."

On the Democratic side, Rep. Colin Allred won the nomination with 59% of the vote, avoiding a runoff with second-place finisher Roland Gutierrez, a state senator from San Antonio. Gitierres received 17% of the vote, followed by Mark Gonzales with 8% and Meri Gomez with 4%.

"Ted Cruz has had 12 years of pitting us against each other. It's time we had a Senator who will bring us together, I'll be that Senator. We've had enough of 'me' guys. 'We' is much more powerful than 'me.' We can do this together," Allred said in his victory speech Tuesday night.  

Simon Cardell ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for House District 4. Rep. Pat Fallon and Don Horn faced off for the Republican nomination. Fallon holds 80% of the vote with nearly all precincts reporting.

In District 5, both party's candidates are running unopposed, Ruth Torrest for the Democratic nomination and Lance Gooden for the Republican nomination. 

Rep. Jake Ellzey drew two challengers for the Republican nomination in District 6, but avoided a runoff with 61% of the vote, with nearly all precincts reporting. James Buford and Cliff Wiley faced off for the Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives District 6. James Buford came in second with 20% and Cliff Wiley got 19%. For the Democratic nomination, John Love III ran unopposed.

The U.S. House seats for Districts 12 and 26 are up for grabs this year with Reps. Kay Grange and Michael Burgess retiring.

The race for District 12 is heading to a runoff. Craig Goldman received 44% of the vote, followed by John O'Shea with 26%. Trey Hunt won the Democratic nomination with 58%, over Sebastian Gehrig's 42%.

Rep. Beth Van Duyne ran unopposed for the Republican nomination for House District 24. For the Democratic nomination, Sam Eppler and Francine Ly faced off. Eppler won with 59% to Ly's 41%.

In District 26, Brandon Gill emerged from the pack of 11 candidates to win the Republican nomination outright, with 58% of the vote. Democrat Ernest Lineberger III was unopposed.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett won her primary in District 30 with 93% of the vote.

Ten candidates ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. House District 32 where the incumbent Rep. Colin Allred is running for U.S. Senate. With nearly all precincts reporting, Julie Johnson leads with just over 50 percent of the vote. If the race goes to a runoff, Johnson will face Brian Williams, who received 19%.

In the State Senate, District 16 incumbent Sen. Nathan Johnson is facing a challenge from state Rep. Victoria Neave-Criado. With all precincts reporting, Johnson has 59%.

In the State House, Republican leaders targeted members of their own party in this primary. 

The Paxton Effect

i.e. Republicans who voted for Attorney General Ken Paxton's impeachment in the Collin County area.  

In the contest for Texas House District 21, the third-ranking lawmaker is at the center of attention. House Speaker Dade Phelan is in a fight to hold onto his House seat. He was endorsed by former Gov. Rick Perry. His challenger, David Covey, was endorsed by Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Texas GOP Chair Matt Rinaldi and former President Donald Trump. Gov. Greg Abbott stayed silent publicly on this race. 

The race is heading for a runoff after Covey won 46% of the vote to Phelan's 43%.

Phelan released the following statement Tuesday night:

"This runoff is not just another race, it's the frontline of the battle for the soul of our district. While my opponent hides behind empty rhetoric, dishonest advertising and surrogate voices, I stand before voters with a clear record of service and conservative success for Southeast Texas. Our campaign has been and will continue to be about the issues that matter, the results we've achieved, and the victories we've secured for House District 21. I am confident we will ultimately be victorious, carrying our momentum into the runoff and securing a resounding win that reflects the true will of our district – not the will of fringe West Texas billionaires."

Phelan raised millions according to state records, which show he donated money and supported numerous House Republicans, including those in North Texas who voted to impeach Paxton and who are now facing primary challengers of their own. 

In one of those races, Daren Meis is challenging six-term incumbent state Rep. Jeff Leach in the Republican primary for the 67th House District in Collin County. It's one of several races between Collin County House Republicans that find Paxton and Abbott on opposite sides. 

Leach leads with 65%, with nearly all precincts reporting.

Abbott is backing Leach (District 67), Reps. Matt Shaheen (District 66) and Candy Noble (District 89) in Collin County, who all supported his school choice plan for taxpayer-financed education savings accounts or vouchers to be used for private schools.   

In District 66, Shaheen leads the Republican nomination with 64% to Wayne Richard's 36% with, all precincts reporting. David Carstens is the solo candidate for the Democratic nomination.

With 98% of precincts reporting in District 89, Noble leads with 53% followed by George with 47%.

Abbot and Paxton both campaigned against state Rep. Glenn Rogers in District 60, which includes Parker, Palo Pinto, and Stephens counties. After a narrow loss in 2022, challenger Mike Olcott holds a commanding 63% of the vote with nearly all precincts reporting.

Rogers voted to strip the taxpayer-financed education savings accounts or vouchers from a comprehensive bill that would have also provided pay raises for teachers and more money for schools. Olcott supports education savings accounts.

In District 61, incumbent state Rep. Frederick Frazier is heading to a runoff. He earned 32% of the vote against two Republican challengers, finishing second to Karesa Richardson's 40%.

Frazier, who is a Dallas police officer, was charged with two counts of impersonating a public servant in December, accused of stealing campaign signs from his 2022 opponent Paul Chabot.

Another opponent of Abbott's school choice plan, District 33 state Rep. Justin Holland is headed for a runoff in his primary race. Holland trails his top challenger Katrina Pierson by less than 200 votes, with all precincts reporting. 

Another closely watched race in Dallas County, the Democratic race for sheriff appears to be headed for a runoff. Former sheriff Lupe Valdez is challenging the incumbent Marion Brown, whom Valdez hired in 2014 as third in command in the sheriff's department. Valdez endorsed Brown for the job when she resigned to run for governor in 2018. 

Brown leads Valdez 42% to 38% with all precincts reporting. 

What's next?

Primary runoff elections are May 28.

The primary election ushers in the state's party convention process. Both party's state conventions will be held May 23 through 25. The Republican party will convene in San Antonio while the Democratic party assembles in El Paso.

The general election is Nov. 5. 

The last day to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 7.

The last day to apply for a ballot by mail for the general election is Oct. 25.

In-person early voting for the general election begins Oct. 21 and ends Nov. 1.

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