State Rep. Steve Allison loses to Abbott-backed Marc LaHood in Texas House District 121 GOP primary

The most contentious primary in Bexar County on the March 5 ballot has drawn interest from Gov. Greg Abbott

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UPDATE 12:45 a.m.: In Texas House District 121, state Rep. Steve Allison was defeated by Marc LaHood, who was backed by Gov. Greg Abbott after Allison voted against school vouchers in the Texas Legislature.

“I’m concerned with what’s going to happen at the state Capitol next year,” Allison told KSAT. “These were quality representatives targeted by the governor. And what he did is inexcusable.”

The district includes Alamo Heights and parts of the North Side.

LaHood, at his election night watch party at The Angry Elephant, told KSAT his top two priorities if elected will be border security and education.

“People think Republicans don’t care about education,” LaHood said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth ... I don’t tell people one thing and then change it.”

Of the two Democrats vying for the seat, Laurel Jordan Swift sailed to victory over Shekhar Sinha.

Swift will face LaHood in November for the seat.




Steve Allison*(R)
Michael Champion(R)
Marc LaHood(R)



Shekhar Sinha(D)
Laurel Jordan Swift(D)


Voters in Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Olmos Park and parts of northern Bexar County have been inundated with campaign literature in the race for the Republican nomination for Texas House District 121.

The race has drawn the interest of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and is shaping up to be the most contentious primary in Bexar County on the March 5 ballot.

Two Democrats are also vying for the Texas House seat, but Republicans have held it for decades.

Incumbent state Representative Steve Allison, R-Alamo Heights, has repeatedly been described in attack mailers as closely aligned with liberal causes and supportive of “radical leftist ideologies.”

One text message received by voters in HD 121 depicted Allison as the Disney character Pinocchio and stated, “his lies are as plain as the nose on his face.”

The frontrunners in the Republican primary for House District 121 have been featured in numerous campaign mailers. (KSAT)

Abbott has targeted Allison in recent months despite the pair belonging to the same political party and Allison occupying the seat since 2019.

“I’m trying to wrap my hands around it as well,” Rep. Allison said during a recent appearance on KSAT’s Q&A, adding that he has been with Abbott on every request the governor has made since Allison took office, except private school vouchers.

The governor has continued to push a program that would allow families to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools and pay for other educational expenses. But last year he failed to garner enough support in the Texas House.

Allison has said the state of Texas already has ample school choice options within the public school system.

The other frontrunner in the race, defense attorney Marc LaHood, has been hammered himself in ads for previously voting as a Democrat and for making up “false attacks” against Allison.

Voters in HD 121 have received as many as three to four mailers a day from the candidates and outside interest groups that have thrown their support behind Allison or LaHood.

LaHood, who unsuccessfully ran for Bexar County District Attorney against Joe Gonzales in the 2022 general election, did not respond to a message seeking comment for this story.

A campaign finance report covering the last month of the election (Jan. 26 - Feb. 24) shows LaHood brought in $831,431.25 in contributions.

The sum includes multiple five-figure in-kind contributions from Abbott’s campaign for canvassing and digital advertising and a $562,358.00 contribution from Abbott’s campaign on Feb. 20 for advertising.

LaHood spent $210,765.30 during that month, records show.

Despite the influx of support from Abbott and other prominent Texas Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz and Attorney General Ken Paxton, LaHood was outraised by Allison last month.

Allison brought in $889,336.91 in contributions over the same period.

Voters in Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Olmos Park and parts of northern Bexar County have been inundated with campaign literature in the race for the Republican nomination for Texas House District 121. (Texas Tribune)

The large total included multiple in-kind contributions for canvassing and mailers.

The third Republican candidate in the primary, Michael Champion, did not list any contributions or expenditures in his most recent campaign finance report.

Champion got nearly 16% of the vote in the 2022 Republican primary against Allison.

A similar showing from Champion on March 5 could force Allison and LaHood into a runoff.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote on March 5, then the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff election on May 28.

The winner will advance to the Nov. 5 general election to face off against the winner of the Democratic primary, which features Shekhar Sinha and Laurel Jordan Swift.

Related election resources on KSAT:

About the Authors

Mason Hickok is a digital journalist at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, reading and watching movies.

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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