AUSTIN (KXAN) – While eyes are on the highly contested governor’s race in Texas, there are several others to keep an eye on, too.
KXAN projected Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to win the Republican primary for Lieutenant Governor. He received 76.58% (1,415,393) of the vote. Opponents received far less: Daniel Miller had 6.83% (126,318), Trayce Bradford had 6.49% (119,867), Aaron Sorrells had 3.93% (72,576), Zach Vance had 3.86% (71,303) and Todd Bullis had 2.32% (42,906).
While Patrick was almost certain to secure the Republican primary, three Democrats hoped to run against him in the general election come November. Their race went to a runoff with the top two. Mile Collier got 41.62% (416,645) of the vote, Michelle Beckley got 30.15% (301,840) and Carla Brailey got 28.23% (282,651).
Democrat Mike Collier, an accountant and auditor who works in Texas’ energy industry, will try for Lieutenant Governor a second time. In 2018, Collier lost against Patrick by only 4.8%. Collier’s campaign includes fixing the power grid, funding public schools, fighting against climate change and reforming the criminal justice system.
“The fact that I’ve been working on this for years and years, I’ve got an army of surrogates and champions and allies all around the state,” he said. “I know what issues are on Texans’ minds all around the state…3.8 million people turned up, voted for me, I’m going to go out and see as many of them as I can, and we’re going to add to that number.”
Democratic State Rep. Michelle Beckley has represented District 65 of north Texas since defeating Republican incumbent Ron Simmons in 2018. Now, Beckley wants to pursue fixing the power grid, Medicaid expansion and public school funding as Lieutenant Governor.
Vice-Chair of the Texas Democratic Party and sociology professor at Texas Southern University, Carla Brailey is running to improve infrastructure, jobs and wages, safety and small business opportunities among other items. In 2019, she ran for Houston City Council but did not advance to the run-off.
Other GOP primary candidates included
Republican incumbent Sid Miller has served as Texas’ Agriculture Commissioner since 2015. He faced two other challengers in the Republican primary but came away victorious with 58.48% (985,522) of the vote. James White got 31.14% (524,667) and Carey Counsil had 10.38% (174,906).
Miller’s campaign came under fire earlier this year, however, when his political consultant Todd Smith was indicted for felony theft and commercial bribery charges after exchanging state hemp licenses for money.
State Rep. James White, who previously served on the state’s Agriculture and Livestock Committee, proves a promising challenger for Miller. An adamant supporter of former President Donald Trump, White’s campaign focuses on border security, reducing taxes, gun rights and supporting pro-life groups.
Economics professor, business owner and rancher Carey Counsil is the third and final Republican in the race. Counsil wants to secure the border, protect farm rights, water rights and control inflationary spending.
Two candidates went head to head for the Democratic nomination. Susan Hays, a lawyer who has specialized in hemp legalization, said she’s running for Agriculture Commissioner “because corruption is bad for business.” Hays stands for reproductive rights, marriage equality, immigration and accessible voting.
While Democratic candidate Ed Ireson says he’s new to politics, he’s familiar with Texas agriculture. The Brazos County cattle rancher is campaigning for well-rounded school meals, equitable internet access and promoting opportunities in the agriculture industry.
Hays won the primary with 82.82% (805,622) of the vote to Ireson’s 17.18% (167,123).
As former Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush runs for Attorney General, eight Republican candidates vied to secure the open seat against four Democrats. Both races are headed to a runoff.
High-profile conservative Dr. Dawn Buckingham has represented central Texas as a state senator for District 24 since 2017. A self-proclaimed pro-life, border security and election integrity champion, Buckingham has received the endorsements of former President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Dr. Jon Spiers is a cardiac surgeon, attorney and Army veteran. In 2018, Spiers ran for Texas U.S. House District 2 of Houston but failed to make it past the primary election. His campaign is centered on preserving the Alamo and Texas history, protecting veterans and defending fossil fuel energy.
A college and adult educator and former pastor and public-school teacher, Dr. Tim Westley has worn many hats including Republican candidate for public office. Westley won the Republican nomination for Texas’ 15th Congressional District in 2016 and 2018 but was defeated in the 2020 primary. He wants to finish the border wall, enhance public education and become energy independent.
Republican candidate Weston Martinez has served as Real Estate Commissioner under former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Secretary of Energy under former President Donald Trump. In both the 2016 and 2018 Texas Railroad Commissioner’s race and the 2020 race for Bexar County Commissioners Court Precinct 3, Martinez had yet to make it past a Republican primary election.
Ben Armenta is from Round Rock and currently resides in Houston. Armenta has worked in middle school education, health care nonprofit management, business consulting and oil and gas. He’s campaigning to ban critical race theory in schools and create better health care for veterans.
Don Minton is a former Texas District Court Judge and Army veteran.
Victor Avila was formerly a supervisory special agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, probation officer for the U.S. Courts and district parole officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Rufus Lopez has no official campaign site.
Buckingham had 41.86% (673,596) of the vote, Westley had 14.81% (238,255), Spiers had 12.59% (202,671), Minton had 10.55% (169,738), Avila had 7.54% (121,352), Martinez had 6.62% (106,578), Lopez had 3.06% (49,257) and Armenta got 2.96% (47,708).
As the state’s Land Commissioner office has been steadily held by Republicans since 2002, four Democrats are competing to break that trend.
A South Texas rancher and former Associate Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Jay Kleberg wants to address the impact of climate change on the state’s environment by reducing CO2 emissions and championing renewable energy. Kleberg was also a candidate for District 78 in the Texas House in 2010.
Democratic candidate Jinny Suh is a licensed attorney, small business owner and community organizer. She’s campaigning for climate change, equitable and accessible disaster relief funding, diverse representation in the history of the Alamo and increased funding for public schools.
Sandragrace Martinez of Bexar County is a licensed counselor. She hopes to be the first bilingual Hispanic woman elected to the office.
Michael Lange of Houston has worked in corporate finance and is a U.S. veteran. He’s running to champion better education, small businesses and veterans.
Martinez received 31.89% (311,153) of the vote, Kleberg got 25.91% (252,808), Suh had 21.94% (214,099) and Lange got 20.26% (197,664).