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Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Tuesday marks the end of the road for Rep. Steve Stockman
Voters in Texas go to the polls today to select candidates in the Democratic and Republican primaries. In races where no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held on May 27 between the top-two vote getters. Polls close at 8 pm eastern throughout the state, with the exception of the small portion in the Mountain Time Zone where polls will close an hour later. Our guide to the key races to watch tonight is below.

TX-Sen (R & D): Despite holding a very conservative voting record, two-term incumbent and Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn attracted some opposition from the far right. Cornyn's enemies were briefly elated when Rep. Steve Stockman entered the race in December. However, it quickly became clear that while Stockman has no problem attracting attention, he did not have the chops to take down the powerful senator.

Stockman declared at the last possible second with no preparation, having almost no money and no major endorsements lined up. He has also not used his brief time in the race well, with the congressman barely reaching out to potential allies and disappearing for weeks to go on overseas trips. At this point, it would be a major surprise if Cornyn doesn't easily clear 50 percent and win outright. The bigger question may be whether Stockman even gets a distant second place or if a lesser-known candidate overtakes him.

Team Blue's hopes to take this seat in November are slim, but the Democratic primary is still worth watching. Five candidates are running, and unfortunately one of them is LaRouche devotee Kesha Rogers. Rogers, who wants to impeach and execute Barack Obama, would be a very unwelcome distraction for Texas Democrats if she is the nominee. Unfortunately, that prospect is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Rogers was noninated twice in TX-22, despite local Democratic attempts to stop her in 2012. Furthermore, the only recent poll of the race shows Rogers in the lead with 35 percent. Democrats have to hope Rogers is defeated in the runoff by wealthy dentist David Alameel (who placed second in the poll with 27 percent) or by lawyer Maxey Scherr.

Please read below the fold for more on other key Texas races.

TX-LG (R): It has not been an easy few years for Republican Lt. Gov David Dewhurst. After losing the 2012 Senate nomination to eventual winner Ted Cruz, Dewhurst is running for re-election to the post he's held since 2003. However, following his upset Senate defeat, Dewhurst's intra-party rivals smell blood in the water and are looking to hand him another loss. Three Republicans are running in the primary: Houston state Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

A recent University of Texas poll had Dewhurst in the lead with 38 percent, Patrick at 31, and Patterson and Staples with less than 20 percent each. The stakes are huge here: The lieutenant governor has immense power, with the ability to set the state Senate's agenda. The eventual winner will face Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in November.

To help you follow along with our analysis of individual House races, we've created maps of the state's congressional district. Due to Texas' sheer size, we've broken the map into two parts, with the northern half on top and the southern just below:

TX-04 (R): At 90 years young, 17-term Republican Rep. Ralph Hall says this is the last time he'll run for office. However, it remains to be seen if Hall will be retiring with his head held high, or if he gets thrown out of office by his own party. Hall only won his 2010 and 2012 primaries with less than 59 percent each time against a group of lackluster opponents, and this year, it looks like he has a real foe. Former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe dipped heavily into his own wallet and used his wealth to outspend Hall on the homestretch by a wide $300,000 to $41,000. Four other candidates are in the race, but none of them have anywhere near Ratcliffe's resources. Hall's longevity may be enough to earn him one more term, but there's a good chance that this will at least go to a runoff.

TX-23 (R): Three Republicans are competing for the honor of facing freshman Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego in the state's only swing district. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, who served one term in the House before losing to Gallego in 2012, probably started as the best-known candidate. However, Canseco may have squandered any advantage by running an almost nonexistent campaign for months. Canseco faces a rematch with former CIA officer Will Hurd, whom he beat 53-47 in their 2010 runoff. Also in the race is physician Robert Lowry, who also ran in 2010. Gallego would certainly love for this race to go to a second round, giving him almost two more months of watching his opponents beat each other up before they can focus on him.  

TX-33 (D): For the second time in a row, freshman Democratic Rep. Marc Veasey faces a primary against a well-funded opponent in a race with geographic and racial fault lines. Veasey, an African American from Fort Worth, won his 2012 runoff 53-47 against Domingo Garcia, a Hispanic state representative from Dallas. This time, wealthy attorney Tom Sanchez, who has a similar base as Garcia, is challenging Veasey. However, Sanchez is making a greater effort to appeal to Fort Worth than the much more divisive Garcia; Sanchez also used his own money to outspend Veasey $674,000 to $148,000 since the beginning of the year. Veasey, however, is still the favorite. While Hispanics outnumber African Americans 66-15 percent in this district, the gap is much smaller among eligible voters, and African Americans are more likely to turn out. Furthermore, this time around, Veasey has the benefit of incumbency (plus an endorsement from Barack Obama). Veasey and Sanchez are the only two Democratic candidates on the ballot, so this race will be decided tonight.  

TX-36 (R): Steve Stockman's last-second Senate run left his dark red east Texas seat open, and 12 Republicans are fighting to take his place. Self-funding businessman Ben Streusand and dentist Brian Babin are the only candidates to spend at least six figures, and at least one of them should be favored to advance to the likely May runoff. Another candidate who may be able to secure a spot in May due to name recognition is former Pasadena Mayor John Manlove. However, this is the district that elected Steve Stockman, so really, anything can happen here.

Other Races:

Texas: The state will also hold competitive primaries in the open posts for agriculture commissioner, attorney general, comptroller, and railroad commissioner. While both parties are fielding candidates, the real action will be on the Republican side in all these races. For more information about these races, see Burnt Orange Report's rundown.

For information about tonight's state legislative contests, Burnt Orange also gives us a three-part roundup of the competitive primaries for the state House (here, here, and here), as well as one for the Senate.

Oklahoma City Mayor: Republican Mayor Mick Cornett looks like the strong favorite to win another term against independent City Councilor Ed Shadid in this officially non-partisan race. Shadid's longshot campaign was likely fatally wounded by the unsealing of his divorce records, which painted a very ugly picture of the councilor. The only publicly released poll showed Cornett ahead 64-19.

Massachusetts Legislature: Massachusetts will also host four special legislative Democratic primaries. It's a very crowded race to succeed Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in the 13th Suffolk House District. No members of other parties filed, so the primary winner will be the district's next representative. It's a similar story in the 2nd Suffolk House District, where three Democrats are running.

Three candidates are facing off in the 16th Suffolk House District primary. The winner will take on Republican businessman Todd Taylor on April 1 in a district Obama carried 64-35. Finally, in the race to succeed Rep. Katherine Clark in the 5th Middlesex Senate District, two state representatives and a former school commission member are running. The winner will face Republican Melrose Alderman Monica Medeiros in the general in a district Obama won 59-39. For more information about special and mayoral election candidates, poll closing times, and future elections, see our calendar here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

    by Jeff Singer on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:00:17 AM PST

  •  I have a dream (12+ / 0-)

    Where voters will take 10 seconds to find out what a candidate believes, rather than simply voting for them because their names sounds of a particular race (their own).

    Even when it benefits the D, identity politics makes me extremely uncomfortable. When it's done apples-to-apples that's one thing, but when you vote for a LaRouche loon? Ugh....

    •  In Massachusetts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh, Zack from the SFV, rebel ga

      they publish the street address of each candidate on the ballot.  This provides a whole new way to pick candidates!  If their surname doesn't give you enough clues about their ethnicity, you can always pick the one who lives in your town or a town with a similar demographic profile.

      •  similar thing in a few other states (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marcus Graly, rebel ga

        Kansas lists hometowns, Pennsylvania lists home counties, Maryland used to list that info, Vermont lists hometown. West Virginia lists hometown. Can't remember any others at the moment

        The listings lead to some fun polarized primary voting. Not sure it'd do much for Texas since you'd get random dudes from Dallas/Houston getting lots of votes from there just because. As opposed to now, where a segment of the Texas D vote goes to people with bland names and another segment goes to candidates with Hispanic names.

        My favorite example of the power of listing home towns on a ballot was a Kansas US Senate Democratic primary in 2004. One of the candidates was from Shawnee, Kansas (in Suburban Johnson County) and he won Shawnee County, Kansas (Topeka) by a 4-1 margin, coincidentally.

        So in 5 months, watch out for the split between Johnson County (where Milton Wolf lives) and the rest of Kansas in the Roberts/Wolf primary

        The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

        by RBH on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:48:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Senate Seats Are Important; (0+ / 0-)

      but also,

      US House Of Representatives Elections 2014 Elections will be held for all 435 seats, representing the 50 US States. Elections will also be held for the non-voting delegates from the District of Columbia and four of the five US territories.

      And more. 2014 Action Alert/Even More Political Activism Needed ♥ It Will Be A Very Busy Year/Voting Info

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:55:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  TX State Sen. District 25: (6+ / 0-)

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:06:56 AM PST

  •  Is the Texas Dem bench really so bad? (7+ / 0-)

    I guess the Republican takeover of the state has decimated our ranks there. How could the only alternative in a SENATE SEAT primary race to the nutso Rodgers bee a dentist and a lawyer with zero political experience? That's just dispiriting.

    •  I think that the dentist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GleninCA

         ran for office before, so he has a bit of campaign experience if not governing experience. It is hard to get good people to run for office when the chances of winning are low. In CA where I live there are some flaky-ass GOP candidates. Orly Taitz, y'all!

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 55, CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:32:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The dentist is definitely a DINO. If you look (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        DINO up in the dictionary, it will have a picture of him.
        Hopefully Maxey Scherr can eke out a win.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:21:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  2014 TX Dems >>> 2014 CA GOP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        The CA GOP makes the TX Dems look like a serious political party. Here's what they have so far for the statewide offices:

        Gov: Tim Donnelly is the most outspoken tea partier in the legislature. Neel Kashkari is a first time candidate who at least has some policy experience and probably would not embarrass the party, but I don't see him raising much $.

        Lt Gov: John Estrada, a whodat.

        Sec State: Pete Peterson, a whodat who unlike Estrada at least has a functional website.

        Controller: no one at all.

        Treasurer: no one at all.

        AG: technically no one, Taitz is actually running as an indie. You'd think the GOP would at least put someone up to avoid giving Taitz (who has run with the GOP in the past) any attention after the primary.

        Insurance Comm: Ted Gaines, a state senator. This is normally about the best they can get for a downticket race against an incumbent.

        The TX Dem list is far better. They at least seem to have credible candidates for almost every position.

        Gov: Wendy Davis can at least draw attention and raise money, and has won in purple areas.

        Lt Gov: Leticia Van de Putte is a longtime state senator.

        AG: Sam Houston doesn't come off as a flake, plus his name is SAM HOUSTON!

        Comptroller: Mike Collier may be a whodat but he at least has a lot of finance/accounting experience.

        Land Comm: John Cook is a former El Paso mayor.

        Ag Comm: Hugh Fitzsimmons is a rancher and water district commissioner.

        Railroad Comm: looks weaker here. Steve Brown seems to be just a party activist, and Dale Henry seems to be broke.

        SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:30:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If Texas Dem voters did their homework (5+ / 0-)

      they would know that Rogers is a nut, not a Dem.  My husband and I voted the second day of early voting and she certainly did not get our vote.  

      Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

      by Pinto Pony on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:48:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Caucuses (0+ / 0-)

        Texas Democrats use precinct caucuses for the presidential race. Any thought of doing that for the downballot races, at least until the nuts go away? It's really hard for people like the Larouchers to get through the vetting of a caucus.

    •  I'd rather run for a state house seat I could win (0+ / 0-)

      Than a U.S. Senate seat I know I'd lose. It's one thing if the race is high profile, but the Dem running against Cornyn is going to get almost zero national attention anyway.

      •  less standards to run for the Senate though (0+ / 0-)

        for the State House, you have to meet the ballot-access requirements and follow various state laws and such. For the US Senate, you have to meet less stringent ballot-access requirements (with residency) and not get busted by the FEC

        The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

        by RBH on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:49:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a miserable lot the repubs are running (4+ / 0-)

    when the guy running for AG commissioner starts railing against "illegal aliens" in his ads, you now it's bad and everyone else is running against the evil Obama.

    The ads against Patrick have been pretty fast and furious and his rep has to have taken a hit amongst the baggers, I really wish there was a way for all of them to lose.

    And fair warning America, looks like George P. Bush is going to get elected.

  •  I don't want to vote I don't want to vote I don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluefin

    I think we should get a pass for being so new to the state. Heck, we got our voter's cards within the last month.

    I don't know who's who or who's what, but there sure are a lot of ads calling people phony conservatives or calling themselves (proudly) BFFs with Ted Cruz.

    Even current darling Wendy Davis has had a bad couple of weeks due to a back story that (single teen mom) that turns out to be untrue -- and for no good reason.  After all, a single 21 year old divorcee is pretty much like a 19 year old, save for having been around a little longer.

    And then there's the guy in the wheelchair with the Latina wife promising to protect the second amendment and kill everybody who doesn't like...wait...I think I'm crossing the streams with the Ukrainian stories.

    Still.
    I don't want to vote.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:30:30 AM PST

  •  the AMAZING rightwing cRazY clone machine... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony, wishingwell, Bluefin

    It's truly stunning how far right the candidates go to out-conservative each other....
    Take a look at the ballot profiles from the League of Women Voters (these are the candidates OWN answers to stock issues)
    http://www.lwvtexas.org/...

    We even have a candidate who changed his name to 'Secede' (although it's not clear on what his goals for Texas are)

    It would be really funny reading if you didn't know that the winners in the republican primary are likely to win in the general

    Scares the hell out of me!

    Conservatism is not an ideology but a cognitive disorder -- help find a cure!

    by learn on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:38:27 AM PST

  •  stockman...the only reason (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maverick80229

    he was noticed was the smell coming from his campaign headquarters...as well as, the stench of his politics..

  •  Statewide Nutter vs Less Insane Voter Guide (9+ / 0-)

    Lt. Gov
    Nutter: Patrick
    Establishment: Dewhurst
    Strong Conservative (but competent): Patterson
    Meh: Staples

    Attorney General
    Nutter: Paxton
    Nutter: Smitherman
    Less Insane: Branch

    Comptroller
    Nutter: Medina
    Hyper-Conservative/Stepping-Stone: Hegar
    Establishment/Wants the job: Hilderbran
    Meh: Torres

    Agriculture Commissioner:
    Nutter: Miller
    Uhm?: Merritt
    Establishment/Stepping Stone: Opiela
    Moderate/Wants the Job: Cranes
    Meh: Cotton

    Railroad Commissioner
    Nutter: Christian
    Meh: Berger
    Conservative, Qualified: Boyuls
    Wants the Job: Sitton

    SSP alumni, 29, Male, Democrat, TX-14 Elections Blogger for Burnt Orange Report. Collection of Texas elections diaries can be found here

    by trowaman on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:57:16 AM PST

  •  UT Poll on Kesha Rogers (5+ / 0-)

    Frequently left out of the discussion is that the poll actually had 74% undecided, and Rogers only got 35% of the 26% with an opinion. 263 likely voters means 195 had no opinion, Rogers got 25 'votes' and Alameel got 19.

    Poll also had 33% of the votes coming from DFW. South Texas turns out at much higher percentages than the rest of the state, at least for the Dem primary.

    I wouldn't wipe my ass with the UT poll primary numbers.

    "It's the (expletive) 21st century man. Get over it." - David Ortiz

    by grubber on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:11:13 AM PST

  •  Alameel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GleninCA

    I live in Oklahoma, but our local news is in the Texas market, and I've never seen Alameel's ads on television; I assume he's only targeting the major cities/suburbs.

    If Rogers wins, it will make the TDP look ridiculous, and it also shows many Democrats in Texas didn't do their research before voting.

  •  Missed TX-32 (0+ / 0-)

    Katrina Pierson is giving Pete Sessions a challenge from the right, but is not expected to make a dent in his popularity in this gerrymandered district, even though it's widely believed that Pete Sessions doesn't even live in Texas anymore.

  •  Good things happen to people who vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, Christopher Walker

       I just got back and had a Painted bunting in the back yard munching on seeds. It's 33 and raining in Sugar Land.

    •  Will weather be a factor? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lorell, oceanview

      I voted early (including for Maxey Scheer). We had freezing rain and ice-covered trees here in NW Houston this morning--unusual for March in Houston. The weather is worse in the Northern and Western parts of Texas. Don't know how that will affect turnout.

      But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

      by dewtx on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:50:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Ralph Hall (0+ / 0-)

    wrinkles ad was probably a pretty solid response to the age-baiting that Radcliffe had used on Ralph Hall. Sure, the ad involves lots of the usual RW stuff, but it's a pretty solid concept. Can't really respond to that with "No, those wrinkles were there before all that stuff happened, Ralph"

    Wouldn't stun me if Ralph goes to a runoff though, or if it's a very narrow miss.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:52:52 PM PST

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