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Six Races on Today's Primary Runoff Ballot
It's Primary Runoff day in Texas.

It's been 12 weeks since the March primaries. And with so much time, and in some cases so much money on hand, some of the six races on the ballot have turned pretty nasty.

At the top of the list is the headline-grabbing Republican Lieutenant Governor's race between incumbent David Dewhurst and State Senator Dan Patrick.

Pretty much the entire campaign has been a street fight between the two candidates. But the name calling, fake endorsements and even a revelation that Patrick attempted suicide in the 1980s isn't expected to change the outcome: Patrick, the self-proclaimed most conservative candidate in the race, will win.

In fact, in all four GOP runoffs, the candidate who won the Tea Party designation is expected to win. That includes the Attorney General's race, where front-runner state Sen. Ken Paxton has admitted to violating finance laws. Although his challenger, state Rep. Dan Branch is doing his best to let voters know about those violations.

"I want to get back and talk about how we compare as lawyers and how we compare as effective conservative legislators," Branch says. "But we can't have a Republican standard-bearer be tarnished and under a cloud as we head into November."

Also on the Republican ballot, runoffs for Agriculture Commissioner and Railroad Commissioner.

There are two races on the Democratic ballot. In the Agriculture Commissioners runoff it's comedian, author and musician Kinky Friedman facing first-time candidate Jim Hogan. Hogan made it to the runoff despite spending no money campaigning and making no campaign stops.

"From the very time I signed up, letters come in the mail that want you to be here on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday at six. Well you know, working you can't do that," Hogan says.

Hogan used social media and interviews on his cell phone to get his name out for the primary and runoff.

Democrats will also pick a nominee for U.S. Senate to run against Republican John Cornyn. That race features former dentist David Alameel, who's spent millions of his own money on his campaign, and Lyndon LaRouche disciple Kesha Rogers, who has been disavowed by the Texas Democratic party for her stance against President Obama.

"The President of the United States has to be impeached now," Rogers says. "This President is continuing to carry out a policy in Ukraine that is leading to provocations that are very dangerous for the United States and the rest of the world."

Today's votes will fill out this fall's ballot, which has most focused on the very top of the ticket: the race for Texas Governor. Current Attorney General Republican Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis have already been campaigning around the state in the Governor's race. 

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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