The Democratic Primary Elections In Texas - Part One
2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year in Texas, as Democrats have primary races up and down the ballot.
This article covers the U. S. Senate, Railroad Commissioner, and Congressional Democratic primary races. Later this week, I’ll publish a breakdown of the State Legislature, SBOE, and SCOTX races. There were just too many races to put in one article.
All week long, I’ve been hovering on the Secretary of State’s (SoS) website, refreshing and updating my list of candidates. I’m not sure if all of the candidates have been published on the SoS website yet, but I’ll keep watching it for any more updates over the next week. Not only do we have Democratic candidates in every State Senate seat that’s up for election, but we also have candidates in every SCOTX and SBOE race. And we have candidates in 85% of the House races.
I’ve said it, you’ve said it, everyone has said it, “If Democrats want to increase turnout, they need candidates in every race.” Well, we didn’t get to every race, but we got pretty damn close. Of course, there is still much work to do next year to ensure a record turnout year, but we completed step one, and the Texas Democratic Party got a huge gold star.
Make sure to bookmark the list of everyone on the ballot, as I plan on returning later and adding all of the Democrats’ social media links (to make it easier to find and boost them). I’m also considering adding websites for the Republicans—what do you think? Do we care? Let me know. Here is the updated list:
This is the first year in a very long time that Democrats have so many primary races in Texas. It’s exciting.
Important 2024 primary election days:
January 1, 2024: First day to apply for a ballot by mail.
February 5, 2024: Last Day to Register to Vote.
February 20, 204: First Day of Early Voting.
February 23, 2024: Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail.
March 1, 2024: Last Day of Early Voting.
March 5, 2024: Election Day!
Who is on the Democratic presidential primary ticket in Texas?
While Joe Biden and several other Democrats will be on the presidential primary ticket, that’s one race I don’t plan on covering because Lone Star Left is Texas-centric.
Nine Democrats are running in the U.S. Senate race, each vying for Ted Cruz’s seat. It’s exciting that we have so many candidates. It’s also disappointing that so many without political experience opted for a race in the U.S. Senate instead of a Congressional seat or the State Legislature.
Of course, everybody can be everything. You, too, can be president. However, voters and donors naturally gravitate towards people with experience and name recognition. That puts a lot of candidates on this list at a disadvantage, even if their values might align better with the majority.
Here are the candidates:
Roland Gutierrez (D)
Colin Allred (D)
Steven Keough (D)
A. Robert Hassan (D)
Thierry Tchenko (D)
Carl Sherman (D)
Mark Gonzalez (D)
Meri Gomez (D)
The two front runners are currently Roland Gutierrez and Colin Allred. A lot can change in the next three months. I hope to see a debate with at least some candidates before early voting starts. This election will likely lead to a runoff election.
I have endorsed Roland Gutierrez. You can read more about that here:
Maybe one of these days, the Legislature will find the courage to rename the Railroad Commission to the Oil Commission because that’s what it is. This body regulates the exploration, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas. This includes issuing permits for drilling, enforcing industry regulations, and ensuring the safe and responsible management of these resources.
Because Republicans have long held this commission, the oil industry in Texas has long been allowed to operate unchecked, untethered, and uninterrupted. Because humanity is at such a pivotal time regarding climate change, it is more important than ever to put climate-friendly commissioners on the Railroad Commission.
Here are the two Democrats running for this seat:
Both of these candidates have experience in the oil and gas industry. Culbert, as a Process Safety Engineer, and Burch as an Energy Consultant. Either would be a dramatic improvement over the current status quo. A debate, or even a forum, might help Texans decide which is the better candidate.
I think it’s important we talk about it. In June, I endorsed Pervez Agwan against incumbent Lizzie Fletcher primarily because of his stance on green energy and how Fletcher is in bed with big oil. Over the last month, several accusations have been made against Agwan’s campaign staff members and Agwan himself. Agwan has vehemently denied all allegations.
Did you know that the incumbent, Michael McCaul (R), is one of the wealthiest people in Congress? I always found that disturbing, knowing that nearly one-quarter of his constituents live under 185% of the poverty level, and he constantly votes against them.
According to Keith McPhail’s website, his in it to prevent an extremist GOP majority from enabling Trump’s next power grab. Boisseau’s family has been in Texas for generations, and she is a former teacher. Either one would be a vast improvement over Michael McCaul.
Texas’ Congressional District 12 is now empty due to Kay Granger’s retirement. Two Democrats are running for this seat.
Last month, I endorsed Trey Hunt, as most of us already know Hunt from his run for Congress last year. Gehrig is a political newcomer. Both Hunt and Gehrig are young. Gehrig is in his mid-20s, and Hunt is in his early 30s.
This district just slipped through our fingers last year. Although the DNC has not picked TX15 up as a flip target, there is no doubt in my mind that this seat will flip in 2024. Here are the two candidates:
Michelle Vallejo (D)
John Villarreal Rigney (D)
Villarreal Rigney also ran for this seat in 2022 in a race with six Democrats. However, he didn’t advance past the primary, as Vallejo became the Democratic candidate. Vallejo is the progressive choice, and Villarreal Rigney appears more moderate. Although, he hasn’t published a website with priorities yet.
A Democrat is challenging Veronica Escobar in TX16. His name is Leland White, although I haven’t been able to find a website or social media for him yet.
Veronica Escobar* (D)
Leland White (D)
Escobar is popular and well-liked, so it’ll be interesting to see why White thinks this district needs a change and why he is the one to bring it. I’ll keep my eye out, and we’ll revisit this race.
Shiela Jackson Lee lost her bid for Houston mayor on Saturday, then on Sunday, she announced she would run for re-election in her Congressional seat. She shouldn’t be entitled to that seat because of name recognition, which is the point of bringing it to the voters.
I stayed out of the Houston race but will cover this one. Amanda Edwards has already spent months and a mountain of cash campaigning to replace Jackson Lee. I imagine that 74-year-old Jackson Lee’s announcement probably hit like a slap in the face.
Slater was a late filer and had one hell of a success story. Check out the video on his website. He’s a solid candidate that has some catching up to do to be competitive with the other two contenders in this race.
Troy Nehls not only has one Democrat running for his seat but also two blue soldiers better suited for Congress than him. This seat is flippable, and Democrats in this district need to fight hard for voter turnout. Here are the two candidates:
Wayne Raasch (D)
Wayne Raasch previously ran for Congress in 2016 and for the SBOE in 2022. I couldn’t find his current websites or social media, but I’m watching. Greene-Scott is currently Mayor Pro Tem of Iowa Colony, TX. That’s a small town in Brazoria County.
Several carpetbagging Republicans want to replace Tony Gonzalez in this Uvalde Congressional seat. None of them deserve it. Lucky for this border district, two Democrats have thrown their hats in, too.
Limon is a lifelong Texan with generational roots in the Rio Grande Valley. Bausinger has a TikTok account where he calls himself a “repentant Republican.”
Two Democrats were able to land on the ballot to face off against Beth Van Duyne in November.
Francine Ly ran against Tan Parker in his Senate District during the 2022 election. But, just like Voldemort, 2022 is the election we don’t speak of. This district is flippable, and it will take a lot of work. Ly has been everywhere, working her butt off. The other Democrat in the race, Sam Eppler, has also been making the rounds. Eppler is a Dallas ISD principal running on education and workforce development.
Congressman Michael Cloud was one of Trump’s insurrectionists. Unfortunately, Democrats in the 117th Congress lacked the courage to oust the insurrectionists. That’s why it’s essential to get invested in these Democratic races and fight for our democracy. Here are the two Democrats running against Cloud:
Tanya Lloyd (D)
AJ Tristian (D)
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a website or social media for Tanya Lloyd, but I’ll keep checking. AJ Tristian listed his entire platform on his website and has all the right ideas. We’ll have to revisit this race.
We all love Jasmine Crockett. She’s widely popular in Texas and her district. So, when I saw that she had a primary challenger, I raised my eyebrows. That being said, we should hear him out and see what he has to say.
Jasmine Crockett* (D)
Jarred Davis (D)
Jarred Davis doesn’t have a website or social media set up yet. That’s okay; it’s early, and he has plenty of time. You better believe we’ll come back to this election again, too.
It was down to the last week, and a friend in this district messaged me frantically. “We have to get a Democrat to run against John Carter. We can’t let him go unopposed.” Well, friend, you’ll be happy to know three Democrats have thrown their hat in against Carter.
Brian Walbridge (D)
Rick Von Pfeil (D)
Stuart Whitlow (D)
It seems that none of them have websites up yet. I didn’t check for social media accounts, but I’ll keep an eye out in the coming weeks.
Congressional District 32’s race is super-full with many Democratic hopefuls. There will be a debate for this race in January, but not all candidates qualify. I believe the debate qualifications are based on total donation dollars. I’ll keep you updated on the details of this debate.
Alex Cornwallis (D)
Julie Johnson (D)
Brian Williams (D)
Callie Butcher (D)
Kevin Felder (D)
Jan McDowell (D)
Raja Chaudry (D)
Justin Moore (D)
In November, I did a breakdown of this race and the candidates running. You can read more about it here:
This year, Marc Veasey has a Democratic Challenger. Longtime activist Carlos Quintanilla has been one of the strongest voices for the Latino community in DFW.
Quintanilla has been an outspoken critic of Veasey and how he has used his political power in Congress, especially concerning the outcomes for the Black and brown communities. Veasey is known as an establishment Dem, while Quintanilla’s platform is very progressive. In this primary election, TX33 will have to make an ideological decision.
This will be a brutal primary for any Democrat going against Lloyd Doggett, who has been in Congress for almost 30 years. Of course, that is enough reason for some as to why he has to go. But Doggett’s record has been mostly progressive, although I’m sure some votes may come back to haunt him. Regardless, I believe that for voters to vote against him in a primary, they must hear a convincing argument.
Two Democrats are challenging Doggett. We don’t know much about Lalito Romero since he doesn’t have a website operational yet. McNeary spent the last 20 years working in the Department of Defence and has a clear vision for fighting against GOP extremists. We’ll revisit this race.
Congressional District 38 is currently held by Wesley Hunt (R). Democrats in this district drastically underperformed last year, and the Democratic candidate was almost invisible, but Hunt did win by 27 points. Democrats can flip this district, but it’s going to take a lot of money and a lot of work
Two Democrats are running for this seat. I have already endorsed Gion Thomas and have a lot of faith in him. You can read more about that here:
We are 64 Days away from the primary election!
The next few months are bound to be action-packed. Keep on the lookout for events, rallies, and debates. Later this week, I’ll publish a breakdown of the SBOE, SCOTX, Senate, and House Democratic primaries.
With a nearly complete slate of contenders and a multitude of critical races, this election is not just about filling seats; it’s about shaping the future of Texas and setting a precedent for Democratic engagement statewide. It’s clear that the groundwork has been laid, the momentum is building, and now it’s up to voters, activists, and community leaders to carry this energy forward.
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