NRL News

Texas Primaries: Runoffs Rule

by | May 30, 2012

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Pro-Life Mitt Romney

On the same night pro-life Mitt Romney acquired enough delegates in the Texas primary to become the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, the Lone Star State was also holding primaries to determine the Republican and Democratic parties’ nominees for the Senate and House of Representatives.

In Texas, when a candidate fails to garner 50% of the vote in his or her primary, the top two candidates proceed to a runoff election.  As a result a number of candidates will face off in Texas’ July 31 runoff election, including for the Senate seat which became vacant when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced her retirement.

U.S. Senate

Pro-life Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and pro-life former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz will face off in the runoff after garnering 45% and 34%, respectively, in a nine-way Republican primary.  The winner will face the winner of the Democratic runoff between pro-abortion former state Rep. Paul Sadler, who received 35% of the vote, and Grady Yarbrough, a counselor who received 26% of the vote and whose position on abortion is unknown.  The seat is considered “solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Hutchison has a pro-life voting record.

U.S. House

In the Republican primary for the 14th Congressional district, pro-life state Rep. Randy Weber will compete with pro-life Pearland City Councilwoman Felicia Harris in the runoff.  The winner will face pro-abortion former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson (D) in the fall.  The seat, open due to the retirement of pro-life Republican Rep. Ron Paul, is considered “likely Republican” by Cook Political Report. 

The 23rd Congressional district is expected to be competitive in the general election. After last night’s results, the winner of the upcoming runoff between pro-abortion Democrat state Rep. Pete Gallego and pro-abortion former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez will challenge pro-life Republican Rep. Quico Canseco. The race is considered a tossup by Cook Political Report.

Every ten years states gain or lose seats based on population changes. Texas gained four additional congressional districts. 

In the 25th, there will be a runoff between pro-life former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams and pro-life businessman Wes Riddle, a former professor at West Point, for the Republican nomination.  The winner will face Democrat Elaine Henderson, whose position on life is unknown, in November. The seat is considered safe Republican.

In the 36th congressional district, pro-life former Rep. Steve Stockman and pro-life businessman Steve Takach will compete in the runoff to face pro-abortion Democrat businessman Max Martin this fall in a seat considered safe Republican.

Pro-abortion incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes was defeated by pro-abortion former El Paso city Councilman Beto O’Rourke in the Democratic primary.  The Republican winner, pro-life businesswoman Barbara Carrasco, will challenge O’Rourke in the fall.

On June 5, six states will hold congressional primaries: California, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, followed by Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia on June 12.  On June 26, Colorado, New York, Oklahoma and Utah will close out the June Congressional primaries.


After Tuesday’s win in Texas, pro-life Gov. Mitt Romney has 1,191 delegates, 47 delegates more than the 1,144 he needs to win the nomination for President at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August.

According to POLITICO, 553 delegates remain to be allocated in upcoming presidential primaries. California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota will hold their primaries on June 5, followed by Utah on June 26.

For more about the race between pro-life Gov. Romney and pro-abortion President Obama, see “Romney’s win in Texas makes him the now-certain Republican presidential nominee, more outstanding results in new poll.”

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Categories: Politics