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What’s Happening in Texas

Your guide to the 2024 elections


Texas State Capitol Dome, Austin, Texas Mlenny/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

What’s Happening in Texas

STATE STATS

  • Voter makeup: In February, state Secretary of State Jane Nelson announced there are nearly 18 million voters registered in Texas ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries. This is a record for the state where the population continues to spike. Texans do not have to register with a particular party but must identify their preferred party at the polling sites. Voting in a primary limits a voter to that party’s primaries for one full calendar year. Texas is still a reliably red state, but the margins have narrowed over the years. Trump won by a 9 percent margin in 2016 and just under 6 percent in 2020.
  • Voting: Voters are required to show an approved form of photo identification at their polling locations, though some may provide alternatives if they have a “reasonable impediment declaration.” These include utilities bills and bank statements confirming identity and address. The state also allows mail-in voting on a limited basis and early in-person voting.

SENATE

  • U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, 40, won the Democratic nomination in the Super Tuesday primary. Democrats have not won a statewide race in Texas since 1994, and they hope to break fundraising records to prop up Allred. The former NFL linebacker outraised Republican incumbent Ted Cruz by $1.4 million in the fourth quarter last year. He has run predominantly on a pro-abortion platform and support for the Affordable Care Act. The underdog candidate notably departed from his own party when he voted with Republicans in January to support a resolution condemning President Joe Biden’s “open-borders policies.” In a deep red state, Allred pitches himself as a bipartisan lawmaker, which appeals to an influx of new residents from states like California.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, 53, is battling to retain his seat for a third term, but he faced no primary opposition. He has raised more than $46 million in his reelection campaign so far. Cruz defeated Beto O’Rourke by less than 3 percentage points in 2018. After a failed presidential bid in 2016, he endorsed then-candidate Donald Trump and has supported Trump’s agenda ever since. Cruz objected to certifying President Biden’s electoral win in 2020 and continues to claim fraudulent votes changed the election results that year. He serves on the Senate Judiciary, Foreign Relations, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees. His Democratic opponents have revived a 2021 controversy when Cruz flew to Cancún as Texas was suffering a deadly ice storm that left most residents without electricity. Cruz says his work in Washington helps “fight against the radical Left who threaten to change what makes this state great.” Nevertheless, he also launched a “Democrats for Cruz” group shortly after Super Tuesday because “liberty is not partisan.”

U.S. HOUSE

  • To watch: All 38 of Texas’ U.S. House seats are up for reelection this cycle. Of them, 25 are held by Republicans and 13 by Democrats. Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales of San Antonio was forced into a runoff on March 5 when he failed to net a majority against gun rights advocate and social media influencer Brandon Herrera. Voters also sent state Rep. Craig Goldman and business owner John O’Shea to a 12th District runoff to replace U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, who is retiring. Texas will hold runoff elections in May.

  • Tossup: The state’s 15th District could be a tossup this year. Rep. Monica De La Cruz flipped it to Republican in 2022 with 53 percent of the vote. Former Rep. Mayra Flores is seeking to win back the 34th District from Democratic incumbent Vicente Gonzalez.

JUDICIAL ELECTIONS

  • Texas Supreme Court: Three justices’ terms are up by the end of the year, and all three are running for reelection. Texans elect judges on a partisan basis. All nine current justices are Republican, including the three incumbents running for reelection: Jimmy Blacklock, John Devine, and Jane Bland. The terms last for six years. Devine narrowly defeated a Republican primary challenger on Super Tuesday, eking out a victory with just over 1 percentage point. Devine has frequently sparred with his fellow justices, especially over political matters. At a talk last year with voters, he called the other justices “brainwashed” and “RINOs” (Republican in Name Only).

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Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.

@CarolinaLumetta


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