SAN ANTONIO – Runoff-election coverage from KSAT.com:
- Q&A: Where the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate stand on the issues
- No, you can’t wear a politically-themed face mask to the polls
- Despite pandemic, in-person early voting for runoff election is three times higher than 2016 in Bexar County
- KSAT Explains: Controversy over mail-in voting in Texas during coronavirus pandemic
- Texas is only 1 of 10 states that use primary runoff system -- here’s what that means
The world has changed since Texas’ March 3 primary election.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders postponed the runoff election — to determine which Democratic and Republican candidates will be on the final ballot in November — that was originally scheduled for March 26.
Now, early voting runs from June 29 to July 10 and runoff Election Day is July 14. (Find where you can vote here.)
In Texas, a runoff election is like overtime for a primary election when no candidate receives at least 50%, plus one vote.
When that happens, the top two vote-getting candidates from their respective party face off in a runoff election. The winner will face the victorious candidate from the opposing party’s primary in the general election in November, as well as independent candidates.
Voters who cast ballots in the March primary may only vote in the same party’s runoff, but citizens who did not cast a ballot in March are free to vote in either party’s runoff. Voters can cast a ballot for any candidate in November, regardless of their participation in the primary or runoff.
For registered voters in Bexar County, this runoff election features six races for the Republican primary or 12 races in the Democratic primary. See the full sample ballots at the bottom of this article or see your specific one here.
Before you post a selfie with your “I voted” sticker, see the full list of those races along with some analysis below.
United States Representative, District 20
- Mauro Garza
- Gary Allen
Garza received 33% of the vote in March and will face Allen, who received 26% of the vote. The seat is currently held by incumbent Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro, who has won handily in the last several general elections.
Conventional wisdom suggests that Castro holds onto his place in Congress regardless of who wins the GOP runoff because of the historic Democratic leanings of the district.
United States Representative, District 23
- Raul Reyes
- Tony Gonzales
CD-23, a border district that spans nearly all of Texas’ southwestern border and up to San Antonio, is one of the most competitive districts in the country each election.
In 2018, incumbent Republican Congressman Will Hurd, who is not running for reelection, scraped by Democratic challenger Gina Ortiz Jones by a few hundred votes.
Whichever GOP candidate makes it out of this year’s runoff will be in for an expensive showdown sure to be watched by political observers across the country.
In March, Gonzales — who was endorsed by Hurd — got 28% of the vote. Now, he’ll face Reyes, who came in second with 23% of the vote, to see who wins a place in the general election rematch against Jones, who won her party’s nomination outright in March.
United States Representative, District 35
- "Guillermo" William Hayward
- Jenny Garcia Sharon
This is another runoff that may not mean much come November. Longtime Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett has breezed through the last several general elections in District 35 with more than 60% of the vote, and he is running for reelection again. Competing to face Doggett are Hayward, who received 42% of the vote in March, and Sharon, who received 30%.
Member, State Board of Education, District 5
- Robert Morrow
- Lani Popp
Morrow, who received 37% of the vote faces Popp, a speech-language pathologist at Northside ISD, in the runoff election. Popp received 34% of the vote in March.
Read more about Morrow from the Texas Tribune: Lewd tweets, the N-word and just plain weirdness: A wild-card candidate rattles education board races.
More from the Tribune: Neither party wants to see Morrow, who has a history of sexist and racist rhetoric, elected to the board. Morrow is known for wearing a jester’s hat, and his top campaign issue is “to impeach, convict and remove Donald Trump and throw his sorry ass in prison.”
District 5 covers communities along the Interstate 35 corridor between San Antonio and Austin and stretches into the Hill Country. The Republican incumbent, Ken Mercer, did not seek reelection.
Mercer said he is vehemently opposed to seeing Morrow, whose rhetoric he called “anti-woman” and “pretty bizarre,” take the seat he held for 14 years. In February, he told The Texas Tribune he worries Morrow’s name will be a draw for Republican voters who don’t know his reputation.
County Commissioner, Precinct No. 3
- Tom Rickhoff
- Trish DeBerry
The race to replace outgoing Republican County Commissioner Kevin Wolff will likely be one of the most competitive races in the Bexar County GOP runoff and potentially in November, too. Wolff won in 2016 with 58.66% of the vote, so there is a good chance the winner of this runoff could become a county commissioner after November.
Rickhoff, a former probate judge whose political career dates back to 1978, got 33% of the vote in March. He’ll face DeBerry, who came in second with 28% of the primary vote. DeBerry is the founder of marketing agency The DeBerry Group, a former TV anchor and ran an unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 2009.
The winner will be opposed by Democrat Christine Hortick in the November General Election. Kevin Wolff announced his retirement in August, leaving the seat vacant.
Republican County Chair
- Cynthia Brehm
- John Austin
Brehm received 33% of the vote and will take on Austin, who received 31% of the vote.
But since then, top Republicans, including U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott, have called for Brehm’s resignation following a post shared by Brehm on Facebook that suggested that the death of George Floyd was staged for political reasons.
Austin, a real-estate appraiser, said Brehm’s post showed a “basic disregard of facts” and that her “actions are very hurtful and denigrates the memory of George Floyd and amplifies the pain and suffering that the country is going through.” He has been endorsed by some of the top Republicans calling for Brehm’s resignation.
This race is different from the others: the winner of this runoff will take the seat.
Democratic runoff primary
United States Senator
- Royce West
- Mary “MJ” Hegar
At the top of the ticket, two Democrats are battling to faceoff against Republican incumbent and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn in November.
West, a state senator from Dallas, received 14.5% of the vote in March and Hegar, a former Air Force pilot who burst on the scene during the 2018 midterm, received 22% of the vote in the primary. The two participated in a debate Feb 18.
Regardless of the winner, Cornyn looks to be the favorite in the general election since a Democrat has not won statewide in Texas for more than 25 years.
- Chrysta Castañeda
- Roberto R. “Beto” Alonzo
Despite its confusing name, the three-member state railroad commission regulates oil and gas. Currently an all-Republican commission, only one seat is up for election this year. Regardless of the results in November, the state regulatory board will have a new member in this seat, as incumbent Ryan Sitton was beaten in the GOP primary by James Wright.
The winner of the Democratic primary runoff, either Catañeda, who received 41% of the vote in March, or Alonzo, who garnered 32% of the vote, will face off with Wright in November.
Being a statewide race, conventional wisdom suggests that Republicans will hold onto this seat come the general election since a Democrat has not won statewide in Texas for more than 25 years.
State Senator, District 19
- Roland Gutierrez
- Xochil Peña Rodriguez
This district will be one of the most interesting to watch both during the runoff and in November. Currently held by Republican Pete Flores, who surprised everyone with a victory in a special election against former Democratic Congressman and now Sul Ross University President Pete Gallego, the district had been held by Democrats for decades. The special election was called ahead of the 2019 Legislature after state Sen. Carlos Uresti resigned following a fraud conviction.
That means Gutierrez, currently a state Rep., and Peña Rodriguez are vying for a solid chance at a seat in the Texas Senate in November and they have swatted at each other publicly for the last several months.
Peña Rodriguez nearly avoided a runoff in March but Gutierrez usurped 36% of the vote, barely squeezing her into a runoff.
Rodriguez is the daughter of Bexar County Justice of the Peace Ciro Rodriguez and this is her first time running for a political office.
State Representative, District 119
- Jennifer Ramos
- Elizabeth “Liz” Campos
Ramos received 43% of the vote and Campos received 46% of the vote during the March 3 primary. The winner of the runoff will take on George B. Garza, the only Republican running for the seat in the Democratic-leaning district.
County Commissioner, Precinct No. 1
- Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez
- Rebeca “Becky” Clay-Flores
Rodriguez received 47% of the vote and Clay-Flores received 42% of the vote during the March 3 primary. Rodriguez is the incumbent and little brother of Place 2 Judge Ciro Rodriguez.
Constable, Precinct No. 2
- Ino Badillo
- Leticia R. Vazquez
Badillo received 13% of the vote and Vasquez received 33% of the vote during the March 3 primary. The place was formerly held by Michelle Barrientes Vela, who was removed from office in October 2019 and was indicted January 23 on charges ranging from felony perjury and tampering with evidence to misdemeanor official oppression.
The winner of this race is expected to become constable in November because the district leans Democratic.
Constable, Precinct No. 4
- Kathryn Brown
- Mike “Chief” Ramirez
Ramirez received 25% of the vote and Brown received 47% of the vote during the March 3 primary.
- Monica Alcántara
- Grace Rose Gonzales
Alcántara received 30% of the vote and Gonzales received 27% of the vote during the March 3 primary.
Precinct Chair, Precinct No. 1003
- Roberta Nina Hassele
- Juan Diego Medina
Hassele received 45% of the vote and Medina 30% of the vote during the March 3 primary.
Precinct Chair, Precinct No. 1021
- Rosa Vasquez Sanchez
- Elizabeth F. Limon
Sanchez earned 38% of the vote and Limon earned 25% of the vote during the March 3 primary.
Precinct Chair, Precinct No. 1087
- Diana Espinoza
- Esmeralda Rodriguez
Both Espinoza and Rodriguez earned 46% of the vote during the March 3 primary election. Espinoza edged out Rodriguez in that race by one vote.
Precinct Chair, Precinct No. 2029
- Rocky Aranda
- Stephanie A. Perez
Aranda earned 35% of the vote and Perez earned 36% percent of the vote during the March 3 primary race. Perez edged out Aranda by one vote in the primary race.
The Green and Libertarian parties nominate candidates by convention and their candidates will not appear on primary election or runoff ballots. Click here to find out how to vote in the Green or Libertarian party conventions.