Texas Values Action-Endorsed Candidates Win Big on Election Day


The high-octane GOP primary election in Texas is now over but the smoke may take a while to clear. In what can only be described as a major repudiation by conservative voters, incumbent state House members, judges and other state leaders were forced into runoffs last night or lost outright. Most badly bruised were Texas House members who opposed Governor Greg Abbott’s efforts on school choice legislation and supported efforts to legalize casino resort gambling and sports betting statewide.

The most significant victories in yesterday’s election centered around school choice – empowering Texas families to take control of their children’s education and holding the public education system accountable for the quality of education it provides. This issue was the focal point of Governor Abbott’s legislative agenda during last year’s legislative session.  After a number of House members opposing school choice handed him a failure on his centerpiece issue, Governor Abbott campaigned relentlessly to unseat those members. The results last night showed that the efforts paid off. At least 9 House members lost outright and another 8 were forced to runoffs.

Former President Donald Trump handily won the State of Texas as expected on Tuesday night with over 77% of the vote. With former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley spotlighting President Trump’s growing financial problems, his victory in Texas had not always been a foregone conclusion.  However, his efforts at aggressively seeking Texas congressional delegation support, and an endorsement from Governor Greg Abbott during a recent visit to the Texas-Mexico border made his victory all but inevitable.

Meanwhile, Texas Values Action-endorsed candidates in contested races in the Texas House enjoyed a tremendous 94% success rate with 17 out of 18 Texas House candidates winning outright or heading to runoffs with their opponents.  Those include Brent Money, Steve Toth, Janis Holt, Ellen Troxclair, Terry Wilson, Cole Hefner, Greg Bonnen, Hillary Hickland, Mike Olcott, Keresa Richardson, Matt Shaheen, Candy Noble, Nate Schatzline, Cheryl Bean, Briscoe Cain, Mitch Little, and Katrina Pierson. Only one candidate, Ben Bius, did not win outright or go to a runoff.  Other notable wins by TVA-endorsed candidates included Williamson County GOP Chair candidate Michelle Evans, and U.S. House of Representatives District 26 candidate Brandon Gill.

In another closely-watched race, Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan faced a rocky night after being forced into a runoff election with energy consultant David Covey in what many describe as a litmus test for the power struggle between competing factions within the Texas GOP.

Statewide races enjoyed similar success, with all TVA-endorsed candidates, including Senator Ted Cruz, and Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine winning or advancing to runoffs except for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Michelle Slaughter, who lost to Lee Finley.

Among the 13 non-binding ballot propositions voted on by the GOP, Propositions 2, 8, 12, and 13 were among the most popular, dealing with border protection, vaccine choice and consent, requiring proof of citizenship for voting, and banning the sale of Texas land to certain foreign governments, respectively. These non-binding propositions are opinion polls, helping to steer party leaders to gauge popular support on certain issues.