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Politics

Travis County: 2022 Primary Elections Voter Guide

A person wearing a mask leaves a polling place on Election Day in 2020.
Julia Reihs
/
KUT

Lee esta historia en español.

It's primary season in Texas. Republicans and Democrats across the state will decide who their party's nominee will be in the November general election. Election Day is Tuesday, March 1, and early voting for the primaries runs from Monday, Feb. 14, through Friday, Feb. 25. Runoff elections can take place between the top candidates if no one reaches a 50% majority of the vote.

If you don't find your districts listed below, that means they're not up for election in 2022. You can also jump to congressional, statewide, state legislative or county races.

Find races in Williamson County here, and Hays County here.

* Indicates incumbent

Federal

U.S. House of Representatives

Texas has 38 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress. The total number of representatives is set at 435. Each state is given a number of representatives based on population. Texas gained two seats after the 2020 census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms.

District 10 covers the western half of Travis County and extends northeast to parts of Pflugerville, then goes from Bastrop County and hits the western border of Harris County. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul has held this seat since 2005.

District 17 encompasses most of Round Rock, Pflugerville and Waco before extending well into East Texas past Nacogdoches. U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions was elected in 2020.

District 21 takes up the whole of Hays and Blanco counties and a portion of southern Travis County before it reaches down to parts of San Antonio. U.S. Rep. Chip Roy has held the seat since 2018.

District 35 includes East Austin and Manor, then a sliver of the district runs down along I-35 through parts of San Marcos and New Braunfels before ending in San Antonio. Lloyd Doggett, the current representative, decided against running for re-election and is instead running to represent Texas’ newly added 37th Congressional District. Former Austin City Council Member Greg Casar is running for election in this district, along with Austin-area state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez.

District 37 includes nearly all of the western half of Austin and a portion of Northeast Austin. The district is one of two congressional seats Texas added after the 2020 census. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is running for election in this district.

Statewide

Governor
The governor is the head of Texas’ executive and legislative branch. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who was first elected in 2014, is running for his third term in office. In this primary, Abbott is facing seven Republican challengers — including former state Sen. Don Huffines, former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West, and a man named Rick Perry (who isn’t the state’s former governor). Five people are competing for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, including Beto O’Rourke. The former congressman from El Paso made a notable run for U.S. Senate in 2018 and ran for president in 2020.

Lieutenant governor
While this is the state’s second-highest executive office, some would argue it’s the most powerful. The lieutenant governor presides over the Texas Senate and is elected every four years. Dan Patrick has held the position since 2015 and is seeking a third term. Five other Republicans are challenging Patrick, who made national headlines at the beginning of the pandemic for suggesting grandparents would be willing to sacrifice themselves to save the economy. There are three candidates on the Democratic side, including Mike Collier. He was also the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Attorney general
Texas’ attorney general is the state’s top lawyer whose office provides legal counsel and representation to the state. Incumbent Republican Ken Paxton is running for a third term. In 2015, Paxton was indicted on three felony charges related to securities fraud violations, but has not yet gone to trial. The AG is also reportedly under investigation by the FBI after former aides accused him of taking bribes. Those issues are being brought up by Paxton’s three challengers in the Republican primary — former land Commissioner George P. Bush, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. Five Democrats are also vying for a place on the November ballot.

Comptroller of public accounts
As Texas’ chief financial officer, the comptroller is in charge of collecting taxes and coming up with the budget estimate for the state. Glenn Hegar has held the office since 2015 and is seeking a third term. Three people are running for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Commissioner of the general land office
Texas’ land commissioner is responsible for managing public lands in the state. Land revenues are used for veteran programs and watching the state’s coastline. Current Commissioner George P. Bush is running for attorney general, which has left eight Republicans and four Democrats vying for the position.

Commissioner of agriculture
The commissioner is in charge of the Texas Department of Agriculture, which oversees things such as proper pesticide use, organic certification, aid to Texas farmers and ensuring food is weighed properly. Incumbent Sid Miller was elected in 2014 and is seeking his third re-election against two other Republicans; two Democrats are running for the nomination.

Railroad commissioner
Don’t let the name fool you; Texas’ railroad commissioner doesn’t have anything to do with railroads. The three-member commission actually oversees the state’s oil and gas industries. Commissioners hold their positions for six-year terms. These are staggered so there’s an election for at least one spot on the ballot every two years. One seat is up for grabs this year. Republican incumbent Wayne Christian faces several challengers in his fight for a second term. A candidate from Lubbock, Marvin “Sarge” Summers, died in a car crash in early February, but his name will still appear on the ballot. Whoever wins the primary will face Democrat Luke Warford, who is running unopposed.

Texas Supreme Court

Texas’ Supreme Court is the final resort for civil and juvenile cases in the state. The court includes eight justices and one chief justice. Each is elected to a six-year term. The governor can appoint a new justice if one steps down before their term ends. There are three seats on the court up for election this year, and only one race is competitive in the primary.

Supreme Court Justice, Place 3:

Supreme Court Justice, Place 5:

Supreme Court Justice, Place 9:

Court of Criminal Appeals

Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court for criminal cases. The court includes nine judges, each elected to six-year terms. There are three races this year, but Place 2 Judge Mary Lou Keel, a Republican, is running unopposed.

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2 Judge:

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 5 Judge:
REPUBLICANS: Clint Morgan, Scott Walker*
DEMOCRATS: Dana Huffman

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 6 Judge:

State Board of Education 

Members of the State Board of Education are responsible for setting Texas public school curriculum and graduation requirements, along with overseeing Texas’ Permanent School Fund. The 15 board members represent different districts across the state.

State Board of Education Member District 5: District 5 includes all of Travis, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell and Blanco counties and a smidge of southern Williamson County.

Texas Legislature

Texas House of Representatives

The Texas House is the lower chamber of the state Legislature. It consists of 150 members, who are elected every two years. Along with the state Senate, the House drafts and passes state laws, policies and budgets. The Legislature meets for 140 days during odd-numbered years, though the governor can call special sessions outside that time frame as he did three times during 2021.

District 19 covers part of western Travis County and Blanco County.

District 46 covers most of East Austin, Manor and Pflugerville.

District 47 covers much of western Austin, including Bee Cave and a small portion near Manchaca.

District 48 includes much of South, Southwest and West Austin, including West Lake Hills, Rollingwood and San Leanna.

District 49 stretches from Sunset Valley and into Northern Austin, covering much of the area west of I-35.

District 50 goes from North Austin and up to parts of Pflugerville.

District 51 covers much of Southeast Austin and includes Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Texas Senate

This is the upper chamber of the Texas Legislature. It consists of 31 members, each representing about 940,000 Texans. They are elected to four-year terms. Along with the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate drafts and passes state laws, policies and budgets. The Legislature meets for 140 days during odd-numbered years, though the governor can call special sessions outside that time frame as he did three times during 2021.

District 14 runs through most of Austin, Pflugerville, Manor and Sunset Valley.

District 21 runs from the southeastern part of Travis County down through the Rio Grande Valley.

District 25 extends from western Travis County through Blanco and Hays counties and goes down through New Braunfels and part of San Antonio.

County

District criminal courts
Criminal district courts preside over felony cases. There are nine district courts and one district magistrate court dedicated to criminal matters in Travis County. The court is located at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in downtown Austin.

Judges are elected to a four-year term.

There are four judges up for election this year.

District Judge, 147th Judicial District

District Judge, 299th Judicial District

District Judge, 331st Judicial District

District Judge, 403rd Judicial District

Civil district court
District civil court judges preside over cases involving divorce, land titles, election contests and civil matters with money or damages of $200 or more. The court is located at the Herman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse in downtown Austin. Judges are elected to a four-year term.

District Judge, 201st Judicial District

District Judge, 250th Judicial District

District Judge, 261st Judicial District

District Judge, 419th Judicial District

District Judge, 455th Judicial District

District Judge, 459th Judicial District

County judge
The county judge presides over the Travis County Commissioners Court and represents the county in many administrative functions. The judge is elected countywide for a four-year term.

Civil county courts at law
The two judges for the civil courts at law are responsible for hearing jury and bench trials related to family disputes and other civil matters. Both judges are up for election this year.

No. 1

No. 2

Criminal county courts at law
Criminal courts at law preside over class A and class B misdemeanor cases. There are seven precincts judges preside over in Travis County that deal with criminal cases, and five are on the primary ballot this year.

No. 3

No. 4

No. 5

No. 6

No. 7

Probate court
The probate court handles the wills of deceased people and issues eminent domain cases.

District clerk
The district clerk keeps official records for all district court proceedings and some county at law cases. The office is also responsible for issuing arrest warrants and manages juries for the district courts, county court at law, justice of the peace and Austin municipal courts.

County clerk
The county’s clerk office is responsible for elections, property records and managing civil, probate and misdemeanor court documents. Rebecca Guerrero is the current county clerk after Dana DeBeauvoir retired last month after 36 years in office.

County treasurer
The Travis County treasurer is responsible for collecting and distributing all of the money that belongs to the county.

Travis County commissioners
A Travis County commissioner drafts and passes policies for the county, much like a city council member does for the city. There are four county commissioners in Travis County, plus the county judge, who is elected countywide.

Precinct 2

Precinct 4

Justices of the peace
These justices are responsible for some civil and criminal cases, including class C misdemeanors, eviction cases and lawsuits over debts. There are five justices in Travis County who cover various precincts.

Precinct 1

Precinct 2

Precinct 3

Precinct 4

Precinct 5

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