Here's What's On The Ballot In Central Texas For The July 14 Election
Election Day for the primary runoff elections is Tuesday, July 14. Gov. Greg Abbott delayed the elections because of the coronavirus pandemic and extended the early voting period due to health concerns about in-person voting.
If you live in Central Texas, here are all the races that might appear on your ballot.
Every state in the U.S. elects two people to represent them in the U.S. Senate, the upper chamber of Congress. Senators are elected statewide for six-year terms. Texas Sen. John Cornyn is up for re-election this year. About a dozen candidates ran in March for the Democratic nomination to challenge him. The top two vote-getters are competing in a runoff.
U.S. House of Representatives
Texas has 36 seats in the U.S House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress. There can be no more than 435 members, so states are awarded representatives based on population. The number of seats Texas has could change with the 2020 census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms.
Texas' 10th Congressional District covers parts of Northern and East Austin — including parts of Manor — and stretches to parts of Bastrop and all the way to northwestern parts of Houston.
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, who has held this seat since 2005, is running for re-election. Two Democrats are competing in a runoff to challenge him in November.
Texas' 17th Congressional District stretches from Central Austin to Waco and College Station.
U.S. Rep. Bill Flores currently holds the seat, but announced that he plans to retire and will not seek another term. The top two vote-getters in the March primary from both parties are vying to compete for the seat in November.
- Republicans: Pete Sessions, Renée Swann
- Democrats: David Anthony Jaramillo, Richard Kennedy
Texas' 31st Congressional District includes all of Williamson County and most of Bell County to the north. Incumbent Republican John Carter, who has held the seat since his election in 2002, is running for his 10th term. Two Democrats are in the runoff to face him in November:
Texas' 35th Congressional District includes parts of six counties, running from the eastern part of Travis County down to the eastern part of Bexar.
Incumbent Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 1994. Because of redistricting, he’s been shuffled around to three different districts: the 10th, 25th and currently the 35th. He's served 13 terms and is seeking a 14th. Two Republicans are in the runoff to face him in the fall.
This is the upper chamber of the state Legislature. It consists of 31 members, each representing about 800,000 Texans. They are elected to four-year terms. Along with the Texas House of Representatives, the state 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.
State Senate District 14 includes Bastrop County and parts of Travis County.
State Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin, announced in February that he would not seek re-election. He was first elected to the seat in 2006. Six candidates are running in a special election to fill the seat.
- Democrats: Eddie Rodriguez, Sarah Eckhardt
- Republicans: Don Zimmerman, Waller Thomas Burns II
- Libertarian: Pat Dixon
- Independent: Jeff Ridgeway
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.
House District 45 represents all of Blanco and Hays counties. Two Republicans are in a runoff to compete against incumbent Democrat Erin Zweiner in November.
House District 47 represents a large area of far western Austin, as well as a tiny slice of the southern part of the city near Manchaca. Two Republicans are in a runoff to compete against incumbent Democrat Vikki Goodwin in the fall.
Don’t let the name confuse you, the Railroad Commission of Texas has nothing to do with railroads. The name is just a throwback to a time when it did. Nowadays the Railroad Commission regulates the oil, gas and mining industries in Texas. It is responsible for ensuring pipeline safety, enforcing rules over drilling and production, and overseeing natural gas utilities. As such, it is often at the center of battles over public safety and the environment.
The commission is overseen by three commissioners who are elected statewide. One of those seats is on the 2020 ballot. Two Democrats are in a runoff to face Republican James Wright in November.
State Board of Education
The State Board of Education oversees education policy and standards for public schools. The board’s tasks include overseeing state funding, establishing graduation requirements for high schools, choosing instructional materials and adopting curriculum standards.
The 15 members of the board are elected by district – each representing about 1.8 million people – to four-year terms.
SBOE District 5 includes Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Llano, Mason, San Saba and parts of Bexar and Travis counties. Two Republicans are in a runoff to get on the November ballot against Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau.
- Lani Popp
- Robert Morrow (he doesn't appear to have an official campaign site; here's his personal Facebook page)
The responsibilities of the district attorney include prosecuting felony crimes and assisting law enforcement with investigations.
53rd Judicial District (Travis County) – Two Democrats are vying to compete against Republican Martin Harry.
- Margaret Moore (incumbent)
- José Garza
Criminal Courts at Law
Criminal Courts At Law preside over class A and class B misdemeanor cases. There are seven such courts in Travis County that deal with criminal cases, but only three are on the primary ballot this year. Judges on Criminal Courts at Law serve four-year terms.
Two Democrats are competing in the runoff:
- Dimple Malhotra (incumbent)
- Margaret Chen Kercher
Travis County Attorney
The county attorney prosecutes misdemeanor crimes, obtains protective orders for domestic violence victims, obtains involuntary commitments for certain mentally ill people and advises Travis County elected officials regarding their official duties. The county attorney serves four year terms.
Two Democrats are competing in a runoff to get on the ballot in November.
Travis County Commissioner
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 3 includes much of western Travis County from Lost Creek to the edge of Burnet County. Two Democrats are in a runoff to face Republican Becky Bray in November.
Correction: This post has been corrected to show David Anthony Jaramillo is in the Democratic primary runoff election for Texas' 17th Congressional District.