• TFFA 2018 Texas Primary Election Report

  • TFFA 2018 Texas Primary Election Report

    The Texas Food & Fuel Association (TFFA) made a bold statement this election cycle by endorsing Trey Blocker for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. The endorsement was the first endorsement ever in the history of the Association. In the end, however, the incumbency position of Commissioner Miller was too much to overcome.  Commissioner Miller garnered 56% of the primary vote and will be the Republican candidate in the Fall. 

    Despite this defeat, many candidates in both the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. that were supported by the TFFA Political Action Committee were victorious and will continue to fight for intelligent, pro-business agendas at the State Capital. HB 2174 co-author Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) defeated Bo French 57-43 in a Texas House race that cost the candidates well over $1 million. Several other candidates who have spoken at recent TFFA conferences also won on Tuesday night. They include Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton), Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) and Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo). Below please find a full breakdown of how candidates faired who were supported by the TFFA Political Action Committee. 

    On a broader scope of the Texas Primary, there were several major talking points regarding Democratic Primary turnout, Governor Abbott’s Republican primary endorsements and the major battles for seats in the Texas Senate and Texas House. While there was an increase in Democratic party turnout as compared to turnout in the 2014 mid-term primaries, total Democrat turnout still fell well behind Republican turnout across the state. Republicans seemed to wait until Primary Election Day to vote but when they did the gap of Republican voters over Democrat voters was significant. For instance, in the race for the Democratic candidates for Governor there were 1,017,959 votes cast and in the race for the republican candidates for Governor there were 1,540,296 votes cast.

    Governor Abbott made news this primary cycle by making three endorsements against incumbent Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives. In San Antonio Governor Abbott endorsed Chris Failes over Rep. Lyle Larson, in Houston he endorsed Susanna Dokupil over rep. Sarah Davis and in Galveston he endorsed Mayes Middleton over rep. Wayne Faircloth. The endorsements were seen as rebuke for bills and votes taken by those incumbent members in the 2017 legislative session. Rep. Larson and Rep. Davis prevailed over their challengers while Rep. Faircloth lost to Mr. Middleton. It will be worth watching next session how relations between the Texas House members and the Governor evolve following these endorsements and outcomes.

    The other major storyline is the struggle for power in the Texas House following the retirement of Speaker Joe Straus. Some Republican members are calling for the next Speaker to be elected by the Republican caucus rather than by the full Texas House in order to get a more conservative Speaker. There were gains and losses on both sides and there will be six Republican primary runoffs across the state for Texas House seats.

    All of this sets the stage for November races which should prove to be more contentious than normal. Democrats, partially fueled by the political happenings in Washington DC, may make gains in Texas House, Texas Senate and US Congressional seats. While the primary season will conclude with the run-off races scheduled for May, TFFA will continue to play an active role in the cycle this fall in the General Election. If you would like more information on how to become involved in the process, please volunteer for the TFFA Legislative Council.  Contact Matt Burgin, Director of Government Relations, at 512.617.4305 or mburgin@tffa.com for more information. 

    Wins for candidates supported by TFFA PAC:
    Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R-Houston)
    RR Commissioner Christi Craddick (R-Midland)
    Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo)
    Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
    Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall)
    Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton)
    Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple)
    Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo)
    Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian)
    Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Ft. Worth)
    Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio)

    Losses for candidates supported by TFFA PAC:
    Trey Blocker lost to Comm. Sid Miller 
    Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) lost to Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper)

    TFFA PAC contributed to both candidates:
    Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) defeated Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Dallas)

    *Please note that this list does not include 20 more candidates that TFFA PAC has supported this election cycle but did not have contested primary races.