NRL News

2018 Elections: Texas Runoff

by | May 23, 2018

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

In Texas, when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in his or her primary, a runoff is held. On May 22, runoffs were held in 17 congressional districts and for governor to determine which candidates will run as the parties’ nominees on November 6.

On the 17 runoffs, six involved Republican and eleven Democrats


Pro-abortion Democrat Lupe Valdez, a former Dallas County Sheriff, won her party’s primary and will challenge pro-life Republican Governor Greg Abbott in November. Valdez is supported by Planned Parenthood Texas.


There was an open seat in Texas’ second congressional district because of pro-life Rep. Ted Poe’s retirement. On the Republican side, pro-life retired Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw won the nomination. He faces Todd Litton (D) in the fall. The district voted 52% for Trump in 2016 and is considered safe Republican.

The seventh congressional district is considered a tossup. Pro-abortion Democrat Lizzie Fletcher, an EMILY’s List candidate, won the runoff and is challenging pro-life Congressman John Culberson (R), who has a 100% pro-life record in Congress.

Pro-life Republican Chip Roy is running against Democrat Joseph Kopser in the 21st district to replace retiring pro-life Congressman Lamar Smith. The race is rated likely Republican.

In the 23rd district, pro-life Republican Rep. Will Hurd faces pro-abortion Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, an EMILY’s List candidate. The race is rated lean Republican.

In the 32nd district race, pro-life Republican Rep. Pete Sessions is facing pro-abortion attorney Colin Allred, who won the Democratic primary. In 2016, voters went 47% for Trump, and the district is considered lean Republican.

Winners in the Texas runoffs who are in relatively safe districts include Ron Wright in the open sixth district, and state Rep. Lance Gooden in the open fifth district. Both are pro-life Republicans.

The 27th district seat is vacant. A special election to replace pro-life Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold will be held on June 30. The nominees are pro-life Republican Michael Cloud, and Democrat Eric Holguin, whose position on life is unknown.

There are an unusually number of pro-abortion candidates supported by the heavily funded EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action, the political arm of the nation’s largest abortion provider, running this year. It will be interesting to see how they fare in November with southern pro-life values voters.

In 2016, pro-life candidates supported by National Right to Life was in 26 head-to-head federal races against EMILY’s List candidates and in spite the enormous financial disparity, National Right to Life-supported candidates won 21 of those races – 81%.(EMILY’s List is on target to raise and spend $90 million dollars in the 2018 election cycle, while Planned Parenthood has pledged to spend $30 million.)

On June 5, voters will go to the polls in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. Be sure to look for election updates in future editions of

Categories: Politics