Former Candidates Endorse their Former Rivals Before Tuesday's Runoff Election

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On Tuesday, May 27 Texas will hold its primary runoff election for both Democrats and Republicans. Most primaries concluded back on March 4 but in 24 statewide and legislative races no candidate received over 50% of the vote, so runoffs were mandated to be held and those nominees remain undecided. Among the undecided races are 19 Republican nominees and 5 Democratic nominees.

With these runoffs, many of the competitors who landed in third or fourth place or worse have tried to rally their supporters to one of the remaining two candidates in the runoff to exert their own influence. This could make that candidate a kingmaker in the community, allowing that individual to be better prepared to run for another office in the future. However, of the five democratic runoffs, none of the first round candidates have chosen to exercise the option to endorse in the runoff. This non-endorsement only happened in seven of the nineteen Republican runoffs.

In the high profile Republican runoff for Lieutenant Governor, Burnt Orange Report already covered how Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has endorsed David Dewhurst for re-election over State Senator Dan Patrick. Agriculture Commissioner and fourth place finisher Todd Staples has not offered an endorsement in the race.

After the jump, I'll run down what the former candidates have chosen to do in the 24 other runoffs. Incumbents will be mentioned if they made an endorsement.Attorney General (R)

Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman has thrown his support behind State Rep. Dan Branch in the runoff for the Republican nomination of Attorney General. Branch's support has been growing since Sen. Kan Paxton's ethics problems have come to light.

Agriculture Commissioner (D)

Rancher High Fitzsimons has not endorsed between humorist Kinky Friedman and Jim Hogan. Burnt Orange Report suggests Democrats vote for Friedman in the runoff or don't vote at all in this race.

Agriculture Commissioner (R)

Following the pattern of the Texas Farm Bureau, none of the first round contenders or vacating Commissioner Todd Staples have endorsed in the runoff between former State Reps. Sid Miller and Tommy Merritt.

Railroad Commissioner (R)

Energy Executive Ryan Sitton has gathered support from both one of his former competitors and the man he is hoping to replace. Former candidate Becky Berger and vacating Commissioner Barry Smitherman have both endorsed Sitton for the nomnation. The fourth contender, Malachi Boyuls has not voiced his preference in the runoff.

US Senate (D)

None of the three first round candidates have made an endorsement between David Alameel and Kesha Rodgers. Burnt Orange Report, however, strongly endorses David Almeel in the runoff.

Congressional District 4 (R)

Incumbent Ralph Hall has done a herculean task and has persuaded most of his former competitors to endorse him for re-election over former US Attorney John Ratcliffe. Tony Arterburn, Lou Gigliotti, and John Stacy have all decided to back the incumbent they once tried to oust. Only Brent Lawson, who finished in fifth place, is stil trying to oust the long-time incumbent. Lawson is supporting the challenger, John Ratcliffe.

Congressional District 23 (R)

As previously reported on Burnt Orange Report, third place finisher Dr. Robert Lowry has thrown his support behind Will Hurd over former congressman Quico Canseco. The extended time the Republicans have spent attacking each other with extreme rhetoric has no doubt been to the joy of incumbent Democrat Pete Gallego.

Congressional District 36 (R)

Crazy incumbent Steve Stockman has not voiced a preference in who he would like to replace him, which is probably fine with both of the runoff candidates. Brian Babin has gotten most of the support from the candidates who did not make the runoff: John Amdur, Phil Fitzgerald, Pat Kasprzak, John Manlove, Kim Morrell, and Robin Riley have all endorsed Babin to be the second person to represent Texas' 36th congressional district. Two other competitors are backing Ben Streusand instead: Chuck Meyer and Dave Norman. The remaining two candidates, Doug Centilli and Jim Engstrand, have not endorsed in the runoff.

Senate District 2 (R)

Open carry activist Mark Thompson has not endorsed between Sen. Bob Deuell and Bob Hall.

Senate District 10 (R)

Surprisingly, none of the three first round candidates have voiced an opinion on who they want to support in the high-profile race to replace Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis. Tony Pompa, Jon Schweitzer, and Mark Skinner have all made no endorsement between Fmr. State Rep. Mark Shelton and anti-abortion activist Konni Burton.

House District 10 (R)

Of the four Republicans who filed to replace Rep. Jim Pitts, only one of the two first round canididates has made an endorsement in the runoff. Jake Ellzey has decided to support John Wray. Duke Burge has not endorsed between Wray and TJ Fabby.

House District 16 (R)

Six Republicans filed to replace Brandon Creighton in the Montgomery County based house district 16. Of the four candidates who did not make the runoff, three are supporting the very young investment banker Will Metcalf. Metcalf has support from Duane Ham, Gary Louie, and Steve Simonsen. The fourth candidate, Jason Millsaps, withdrew before the primary and endorsed Ted Seago.

House District 53 (R)

Karen Harris, Tink Nathan, and Wayne Ramsay failed to make the runoff to replace Rep. Harvey Hilderbran and none have endorsed between Rob Henneke and Andrew Murr.

House District 58 (R)

Retiring Rep. Rob Orr has endorsed DeWayne Burns in the runoff to replace him as the next Representative in district 58. Burns also earned the support of Henry Teich who failed to make the runoff. The fourth primary candidate, Lyndon Laird, has not endorsed between Burns and Philip Eby in the runoff.

House District 66 (R)

Young TEA Party activist Stacy Chen is supporting Matt Shaheen over Glenn Callison in the race to replace Van Taylor who is running for State Senate.

House District 76 (D)

Incumbent Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, who finished in third place behind former Rep. Norma Chavez and Cesar Blanco has not made an endorsement between her two former challengers. Considering Rep. Gonzalez has served a jail sentence since she the primary election, her silence is probably for the best. Burnt Orange Report endorses Cesar Blanco in this El Paso County runoff.

House District 102 (R)

Unlike the race in congressional district 4, the primary challengers to Rep. Stefani Carter are not rallying around the incumbent. Third place finisher Sam Brown endorsed former Dallas councilperson Linda Koop. Adryana Boyne, formerly a close ally of Rep. Carter, has not rallied to Carter's aid.

House District 105 (D)

Bernice Montgomery has not issued an endorsement between Susan Motley and Terry Meza. Burnt Orange Report, meanwhile, endorses Mrs. Motley and encourages our readers in West Dallas County to support her too. UPDATE (5/24, 2:30 am): It has come to my attention that Bernice Montgomery has endorsed Terry Meza in the runoff. Hat tip Voltaire Cortez for the information!

House District 108 (R)

Court Alley has not endorsed in the runoff between his two former opponents, Chart Westcott and Morgan Meyer.

House District 129 (R)

Seven Republicans entered in the race to replace retiring Rep. John Davis. Dennis Paul has picked up the support from two of his former competitors, Brisco Cain and Chuck Maricle. The other three former candidates, Mary Huls, Jeff Larson, and Brent Perry have not endorsed between the SREC members Paul and Sheryl Berg.

House District 132 (R)

Neither Michael Franks or Justin Perryman have endorsed between Ann Hodge and Mike Schofield in the race to replace the retiring Rep. Callegari.

State Board of Education 11 (R)

Lady Theresa Thombs has not issued an endorsement between incumbent Patricia Hardy and her TEA Party opponent Eric Mahroum.

State Board of Education 13 (D)

Andrea Hilburn has not endorsed between Erika Beltran and A. Denise Russell. However, Burnt Orange Report enthusiastically endorses Erika Beltran for this open seat on the State Board of Education.

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.


About Author

Joseph Vogas

Joseph was raised in Friendswood, Texas in North Galveston County. He went on to graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After working for multiple campaigns, Joseph was able to work in the 83rd legislature in Austin in 2013. While retired from professional campaign work, Joseph enjoys sharing his knowledge of campaign data how to win elections in naturally unfriendly turf with others. Joseph is an avid archer and enjoys all things geek including Star Wars and DC Comics.

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