Races to watch in 2024 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

From a likely showdown at the top of the ballot to contested local races

. (KSAT)

Find more resources on the Vote 2024 page

2024 is a presidential election cycle in the United States, which means politics will be one of the major stories of the year — and not just at the top of the ballot.

Recommended Videos

In Texas, the primary election takes place on March 5. The general election happens across the U.S. on Nov. 5.

The last day to register to vote for the March Primary is Feb. 5, and early voting begins on Feb. 20.

This article highlights a handful of races that have already drawn attention for one reason or another.

KSAT will have coverage year-round on all of our platforms but you can bookmark the Vote 2024 page for election-specific stories.

Top of the ballot shaping up to be 2020 rematch

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden attend the second and final presidential debate Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Former President Donald Trump says he is eager to debate President Joe Biden, even if the debates are sponsored by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. And he says he is open to debating a single Republican rival if a serious challenger emerges after the New Hampshire primary. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The general election of 2024 is shaping up a lot like 2020 — at least at the top of the ticket. All signs point to a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump heading into the primary elections cycle. Both men have challengers but are expected to cruise to their parties’ nomination and square off again in November. That’s of course provided both remain in the race and no outside force (legal troubles, health, etc.) take them off the board.

On the Democratic side, Biden has nine challengers on the ballot in Texas. 2020 candidate Marianne Williamson may have the most recognizable name. She ended her campaign in January of that year, and then backed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in February.

Donald Trump’s challengers are more well-known, but do not appear to be making any headway in challenging him as leader of the party. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Nikki Haley, former new Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are making the traditional rounds in the early election states, touting their credentials and making their case to voters. But none are directly challenging Trump by name, aside from Christie, who has been calling out the former president at every opportunity.

These four are largely all that remain from a once-sizable group that once included former vice-president Mike Pence, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former U.S. Congressman and San Antonian Will Hurd, among others. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Swinney claims he is still in the race. But he did not participate in the last presidential debate.

Neither did Donald Trump.

Swinney was not at the debate because he did not meet the requirements in money raised or individual supporters. Trump has both but has elected to not participate in any debates so far.

Ted Cruz draws challengers from both parties

Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has challengers for seat from both Democrats and within his own party. 10 Democrats (none of which are named Beto) and two Republicans have entered the fray hoping to make it past the primary and get onto the November ballot. Cruz is not expected to have much trouble with Republicans Holland “Redd” Gibson or R E Lopez, a San Antonio attorney.

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, a Dallas-area Democrat, and state Senator Roland Gutierrez (Dist. 19), lead the early polling among the 10 candidates hoping to secure their party’s nomination and challenge Cruz in November. With 10 candidates, the primary will likely be settled in a runoff before the November election.

From left: State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, and U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas. The two are running to be the Democratic nominee to face Ted Cruz in the 2024 senatorial race. (Evan L'Roy/The Texas Tribune | Graeme Sloan/Sipa Usa Via Reuters)

U.S. Congress

In the U.S. House Representatives, District 23, one of the largest in the country and one of the most contested each election has six people who would like to take the seat form incumbent Republican Tony Gonzales, who first won the seat back in 2020.

The district runs from San Antonio west to El Paso has historical gone back and forth between blue and red politicians but has been steadily Republican since Will Hurd first won it back in 2014.

. (KSAT)

This year, Gonzales must get past four Republican challengers to make it to the November ballot.

Freshman Congressman Greg Casar is not facing a Democratic challenger in the primary. But four Republicans are running to face him on the November ballot for the recently redrawn district.

Longtime San Antonio Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro does not have an opponent in the primary or general election.

Congressman Henry Cuellar, who faced a primary challenge from Jessica Cisneros the last two cycles, does not have a primary challenger in 2024 but four Republicans have tossed their hat in the ring: Jay Furman, Lazaro Garza, Jimmy Leon and Jose Sanz, who previously worked in Cuellar’s office as a spokesperson.

Texas House

After nearly 30 years, Democratic state Rep. Tracy O. King, in District 80, which includes Uvalde, is calling it quits at the end of the current term. The long-serving Democrat announced his retirement over the summer, saying he is “tired and wants to slow down.” That announcement has opened a long-closed door to the district. Five Democrats and three Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring, including former Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin, who will be appearing on the red ballot.

District 118 Republican state Rep. John Lujan III will be entering an election not taking on Democrat Frank Ramirez. The two faced off two times for the highly sought after the South Bexar County district. Once in special election in 2021 and again in 2022 in the general. Lujan won both times in close contests. Frank Ramirez is sitting 2024 out. But Democrats are not. Kristian Carranza, an activist and organizer who grew up on the South Side, and Carlos Quezada, a former state prosecutor and Bexar County Special Prosecutor, are facing off in the March Primary.

Liz Campos, freshman state Rep. for District 119, has a Democratic challenger in the primary: Charles A. Fuentes, a workers’ rights advocate and union leader. Republicans Brandon J. Grable, a San Antonio attorney, and Air Force veteran Dan Sawatzki, are running on the GOP side.

Steve Allison, GOP state Rep. for District 121, which includes Alamo Heights, is seeking his third term in office. But the Republican will have to get by a handful of challengers from both sides of the aisle to accomplish that goal. In the March Primary, Allison will face a renewed challenge from Michael Champion, whom he defeated in 2022, and former Bexar County District Attorney candidate Marc LaHood. Democrats Shekhar Sinha, a retired IT Specialist, and Laurel Jordan Swift, are vying for the Democratic Party nomination in March.

Ray Lopez, Democratic state Rep. for District 125, has drawn a rematch in March with lawyer Eric Michael Garza. In 2022, Lopez defeated Garza by almost 17 points. No Republicans are running in March.

County races include sheriff, 2 commissioners

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar is facing several challengers for his third term, from inside and outside his party. Democrat Sharon Rodriguez, who had a failed bid in 2020 to unseat Salazar in the primary, is back on the ballot for another attempt. Three Republicans, Nathan Buchanan, Dennis Casillas and Victor A. Mendoza will face off in March.

Precinct 1 Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Florez is seeking his second term in office. But five other Democrats would like to keep that from happening. Lawson Alaniz-Picasso, Ernesto Arrellano Jr., Anna Uriegas Bustamante, Ismael Garcia, and Amanda Gonzalez are all vying for the nomination. Whoever ends up with the nod will have to face Republican Lina Prado, who does not have a primary challenger.

Freshman Precinct 3 County Commissioner Grant Moody is also facing a challenge from his own party in the primary: Republican Charis Schuchardt, who made a failed bid for San Antonio mayor in 2023.

About the Author

Recommended Videos