Primary runoff helps pave the way to supporting public education in the next year

Our endorsed candidates and supporters of public education overall won handily in the Texas primary runoffs Tuesday, which bodes well for both the general election in November and the next legislative session in January.

Here’s our list of endorsees in the runoff with the results:

Win in HD 4: Keith Bell (Republican, Terrell/Athens areas)
Win in HD 8: Cody Harris (Republican, Corsicana/Palestine areas)
Loss in HD 37: Rene Oliviera (Democrat, Brownsville area) lost to Alex Dominguez
Loss in HD 54: Scott Cosper (Republican, Killeen area) lost to Brad Buckley
Win in HD 109: Carl Sherman (Democrat, DeSoto area)
Win in HD 121: Steve Allison (Republican, San Antonio area)

Several of the Republican races for Texas House seats were seen as signposts for what is to come in the fight between more moderate Republicans and those backed by far-right organizations–which also promote privatization of education–like Empower Texans.  Looking at that scorecard, five of the six moderates won their runoffs. Those races are also seen as indicators for what might happen with the race for House speaker, after the retirement of Speaker Joe Straus. That race–decided by House members at the beginning of the next session–will be important, since the speaker controls the flow of legislation.

In the two races where incumbents lost (Cosper and Oliveria), Brad Buckley was not endorsed by Empower Texans, and Alex Dominguez has pledged to support educators.

The runoff election also mirrored the March 6 primary, when almost all of the Empower Texans backed candidates lost. In Texas AFT endorsed races for the primary and runoffs for Texas House and Senate seats, we count 41 wins and 15 losses. Also note that we supported members of both parties in almost equal numbers: 27 Republicans and 29 Democrats.

Since the majority of legislative districts are drawn to favor one political party, the primaries often decide who will win in the November general election. Thus, supporters of public education winning in the primaries has been a crucial plus for the outlook of winning battles at the Legislature next spring.

Here are a couple links to take a closer look the runoff election:

All race results
Hard-line conservatives lose big in Texas House runoffs