Two challenges to powerful Republican incumbents fell short of the mark Tuesday in Texas’s primaries, the nation’s first of the 2014 midterms. With 85 percent of precincts reporting, tea-party favorite Katrina Pearson lost a race to incumbent representative Pete Sessions, an ally of House leadership and Speaker John Boehner especially. Sessions took 64 percent of the vote to Pearson’s 36; Pearson received endorsements from a range of tea-party politicians and media figures but was out-fundraised by Sessions 10-1.
Representative Steve Stockman’s long-shot bid against Senator John Cornyn failed, too, with the challenger getting just 19 percent of the vote — the former tea-party congressional favorite ultimately ran a halfhearted campaign.
With 87 percent of precincts reporting, there’ll be a runoff in the Democratic Senate primary. Which would be of zero interest in Texas except for the fact that the second-place finisher, with 22 percent of the vote, is Kesha Rogers, a Lyndon LaRouche adherent (the top finisher is businessman Dan Alameel, who got about 47 percent of the vote, just missing an outright victory). At the very least, we have another couple months where someone’s running for office in Texas calling for President Obama’s impeachment.
The candidates for governor are now officially Democratic state senator Wendy Davis and Republican attorney general Greg Abbott.
Incumbent lieutenant governor David Dewhurst, who lost to Cruz in the 2012 Senate runoff, has been forced into a second primary round, against state senator Dan Patrick, who took 42 percent of the vote to Dewhurst’s 28. The speaker of the state house held onto his seat against a more conservative challenger, but in the attorney general’s race to fill Abbott’s seat, grassroots favorite Ken Paxton took 44 percent of the vote to establishment Dan Branch’s 33 percent (they’ll go to a runoff).
Jeb Bush’s son George P. Bush won his primary for state land commissioner easily, and can probably expect to win his general election handily, too — relaunching the Bush political dynasty.
UPDATE: John Fund has more on the state-level races.