The Democratic Primary Elections In Texas - Part Three
The final part of the deep dive into the March 2024 Democratic primaries in Texas.
This article covers some of the House races and SCOTX races.
For a breakdown of the Democratic primaries in the U. S. Senate, Railroad Commissioner, and Congress, see The Democratic Primary Elections In Texas - Part One.
For a breakdown of the Democratic primaries in the Texas Senate and the first 100 House races, see The Democratic Primary Elections in Texas - Part Two.
For the complete list of everyone running in every seat, check here:
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!
House District 108 was expected to flip before redistricting. It did not flip in 2022, but the candidate against Morgan Meyers (R), Elizabeth Ginsberg (D), came within thirteen points. In 2022, Democrats in Texas underperformed, while in 2024, we expect Democrats to overperform. That could give us a flip.
Two Democrats are running for this seat.
Elizabeth Ginsberg is a Dallas lawyer and was the Democratic nominee for HD108 in 2022. Yasmin Simon is also a Dallas lawyer and first-generation American. Both are great candidates for this district, including Dallas University Park’s high-income areas.
The incumbent of HD109, Carl Sherman, opted to run for the U.S. Senate this year instead of HD109. Two Democrats are vying to replace him.
Achia Davis (D)
Victoria Walton (D)
Achia Davis has served on the Texas State Board of Education since 2018 and received Carl Sherman’s endorsement. Unfortunately, Victoria Walton doesn’t have a website or social media set up yet, so we don’t know much about her, but I read she was an attorney.
This seat is blue and will remain blue. HD115 was left open by Representative Julie Johnson, who is running for the Congressional seat left open by Colin Allred. Three Democrats are running for House District 115.
While the next financial statements aren’t released until January 15, the previous statements show Cassandra Hernandez as the clear frontrunner, raising about $200,000 more than the other candidates. Hernandez previously ran in the 2022 election but didn’t get past the primaries. I interviewed her in 2021 and liked her a lot. She’s an attorney and activist.
Kate Rumsey is a former federal prosecutor and Air Force Officer. Scarlett Cornwallis is a program manager in cloud computing at a major multinational technology corporation.
Why is HD118 red in the first place? That’s a good question because it shouldn’t be. House District 118 is a target flip for the Democratic Party. Last year (when Democrats underperformed), the Democratic candidate only lost by three points.
Two Democrats are battling in this primary race.
Carranza has a background in community organizing and was a regional director for the DNC. Quezada is an attorney who served as a state prosecutor and a Bexar County special prosecutor. Both are San Antonio natives. This should be a great race to watch. I’ll ask around about any planned debates soon.
This year, incumbent Representative Liz Campos has a primary challenger.
Liz Campos* (D)
Charles Fuentes (D)
Unfortunately, Charles Fuentes does not have a website or social media yet. So, we don’t know a lot about him. We will have to revisit this race.
The red seats in San Antonio don’t make much sense because San Antonio isn’t a red city. House District 121, like 118, is at risk of flipping even though Republicans won this seat by 11 points in 2022. For it to flip, the Democratic nominee will have to run a hard race and throw the kitchen sink at incumbent Steve Allison.
Shekhar Sinha (D)
Laurel Swift (D)
Laurel Swift doesn’t have a website up yet. I did find a YouTube video of Shekhar Sinha. Like so many other races, we’ll have to revisit this race in a few weeks.
House District 125 incumbent Ray Lopez has served in the Texas House since 2019 and served on the San Antonio City Council for eight years before that. This year, Lopez has a primary challenger.
Whenever I hear about a primary challenger to a Democratic incumbent, I always wonder why. Why does this person believe they can do the job better? Why are they unhappy with the job the incumbent has done so far? I don’t have the answers to that question in this race.
Eric Michael Garza is an attorney in San Antonio who wants to give back to the community. He doesn’t have his platform on his website, so we don’t know where he stands ideologically.
Like last year, incumbent Alma Allen is facing two Democratic primary challengers. On the ideological spectrum, Allen hasn’t been too conservative or too liberal. This is a race between three Democrats.
James Guillory also ran for this seat in the last election and lost to Allen by 22 points. Both of Allen’s challengers appear to be more conservative and focused on businesses in San Antonio.
Incumbent Jarvis Johnson opted to run for Senate District 15 instead of House District 139 the year. Five new Democrats have all thrown their hat in this race.
Charline Ward Johnson is Jarvis Johnson’s wife and current trustee of Houston Community College. Rosalind Caesar has experience working in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as an adjunct professor and with the local Democratic Party. If Mo Jenkins won, she would be the first transgender woman to serve in the Texas House. Jenkins is a legislative staffer with experience in the legislative process.
Neither Jerry Ford nor Angie Thibodeaux have websites or social media set up, but we will revisit this hot race in the next few weeks.
Incumbent Harold Dutton has spent the last few years reaching over the aisle and voting on Republican priorities. Because of this, he’s lost popularity with local Democrats, even though he’s approaching 30 years in the Texas House. In 2022, Dutton won the Democratic primary by only three points. And in 2020, he didn’t earn 50% of the vote in the Democratic primary. That sent it to a runoff, which Dutton won. So, Dutton is vulnerable. Three Democrats have challenged him this year.
Clint Horn is an ordained minister, a local pastor, and a superintendent. Danny Norris was elected to the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) Board of Trustees in 2018 and became the board’s first African American President in the organization’s 134-year history. Joyce Chatman doesn’t have a website yet. This race, for sure, will be one to watch.
Shawn Thierry really pissed a lot of people off over the last year. She crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans on their attacks against LGBTQ youth and voted in favor of the book-burning bill. On top of that, her aides spoke to the media about her mistreatment of them, and she pulled in several Republican donors. No one should be surprised if she was replaced in the Democratic primary.
Lauren Simmons went viral earlier this year when she confronted HISD supervillain Mike Miles. It was a fantastic moment. If you haven’t seen it:
Ashton Woods is another great candidate for this seat. He is a civil rights activist, a defender of the public good, and has a dedicated track record of fighting for all of Houston. I’m excited for this race, as there’s a good chance we’ll see it move to one of the candidates who are further progressive than Thierry.
After watching several years of the Texas House, I can tell you that Hubert Vo is not someone you will see on the back mic. While his votes are reliable, he is one of the Reps that mainly blend into the background. He does have a Democratic challenger this session.
Hubert Vo* (D)
Dave Romero (D)
Romero doesn’t have a website or social media, so we know nothing about him. Maybe we’ll revisit this race again, but like Vo, it also might disappear into the background. I expect Vo to win reelection.
Texas Supreme Court.
There are three Supreme Court seats up for election this year. We have Democrats running in all three seats, and in two of them, we will have a Democratic primary.
The Texas Supreme Court is the state’s highest court for civil matters. Decisions made by this court set legal precedents that impact the parties involved and the interpretation and application of law across the state. Like recently, when the Texas Supreme Court said it was okay for Kate Cox to die.
SCOTX is currently 7-0 Republican. It would be a big deal for Democrats to flip any of these seats, and even more significant if they can flip all. We’ll review the Texas Supreme Court races a lot more before November.
Two Democrats have thrown their hats against Justice Jimmy Blacklock(R).
Judge DaSean Jones is a combat veteran, a district judge, and currently serves as a Texas district court judge. Randy Sarosdy previously was the general counsel of the Texas Justice Court Training Center, where he taught Justices of the Peace. He also served as the executive director of the Texas Center for the Judiciary.
This is Justice Jane Bland’s current seat. Two Democrats are running against her.
Bonnie Lee Goldstein (D)
Joe Pool (D)
Bonnie Lee Goldstein currently serves on the 5th District Court of Appeals. Joe Pool ran for SCOTX three other times previously as a Republican. Why is he running as a Democrat now? I don’t know, but he’s been accused of being a plant.
The outcome of these races could significantly shape the State of Texas.
From House Districts teetering on the edge of party shifts to the high stakes of the Texas Supreme Court elections, each election grapples with pivotal issues ranging from civil rights to judicial interpretations.
The importance of informed and active voter participation has never been more critical. This year, the decisions made at the ballot box will determine Texas’ judicial and legislative paths for years. Make sure you’re registered to vote and make a plan for the March primary elections.
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