Texans Vote In First Post-Trump Primary
Texas voters headed to the polls today in the nation’s first primary election since Donald Trump was elected president.
Turnout has been higher this election, compared to the last midterm primary in 2014 – especially among those voting in the Democratic primary. High-profile Texas Republicans – including incumbents Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz – have suggested that turnout could translate into more momentum on that side heading into November.
Keep up with election returns from The Texas Tribune’s election tracker below, and follow along for live updates throughout the night from KUT reporters and producers.
9:25 p.m. – Sheryl Cole and Chito Vela are still neck-and-neck in the race to replace incumbent Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who is in danger of losing her seat in the Democratic primary. As Election Day numbers come trickling in, both Cole's and Vela’s totals so far are hovering around 40 percent, according to the Travis County Clerk.
In Congressional District 21, Joseph Kosper leads Mary Street Wilson in the four-candidate field in the Democratic primary, according to statewide numbers. Chip Roy has an 8-percent lead lead over Matt McCall and William Negley, who at this point have the same exact number of votes – 7,393. Either McCall or Negley will most likely face Roy in a runoff.
8:44 p.m. – In Travis County, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke was running away with the Democratic nomination to challenge Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, grabbing nearly 90 percent of the vote so far. And in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez had more than twice as many votes as her closest opponent, businessman Andrew White.
8:06 p.m. – West Austin state Rep. Paul Workman may have fended off a challenger in his Republican primary in House District 47. Early voting totals in Travis County show the four-term incumbent with nearly double the votes of his challenger, Jay Wiley, while Vikki Goodwin leads the Democratic field, according to Travis County numbers.
Statewide, it appears incumbent Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has avoided a runoff, incumbent Land Commissioner George P. Bush has a commanding lead over Jerry Patterson, and incumbent Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick has triple the votes of incumbent Weston Martinez, according to early voting totals from the Texas Secretary of State.
7:06 p.m. – With the first early voting returns in, it looks as if Chito Vela and Sheryl Cole are headed to a runoff in the race for Texas House District 46, a seat held by 12-term incumbent Dawnna Dukes. Early voting totals from District 46, which fits within Travis County, show neck-and-neck totals between Vela and Cole.
With early returns from Travis County, @chitovela3 is winning the Dem primary for HD46, just 50 votes ahead of @SherylCole1 pic.twitter.com/MilWFaNq5K— Audrey McGlinchy (@AKMcGlinchy) March 7, 2018
Meanwhile in Congressional District 21, Travis County early voting totals show Republican candidate Chip Roy holding a commanding lead over the 18-candidate field. Derrick Crowe, Mary Street Wilson and Joseph Kopser lead the pack on the Democratic side in the race to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.
This post will be updated.