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Texas Congressional, Senate, and House Runoffs Heat Up
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 7:00 AM

Runoff elections for candidates vying to be their party’s nominee in the fall elections will be held May 24, with early voting beginning May 16 and ending May 20.

"These elections are opportunities for credit unions to develop new allies in Congress and the Texas Legislature," said Dick Ensweiler, president of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

The Republican and Democratic parties will hold elections for the candidates running to replace Rubén Hinojosa in the South Texas congressional district running from McAllen north to Bexar County.

The Democratic candidates are Juan ‘Sonny’ Palacios Jr., school board member in Edinburg, and attorney Vicente Gonzalez. The Republicans are Ruben Villarreal, a former mayor, businessman, and rancher from the southern end of the district, and minister Tim Westley from the northern end, in northeast San Antonio. 

Political consultant Lori Bartley and former Galena Park municipal judge Regino "Reggie" Gonzales will face off to see who will be the Republican challenger to long-time incumbent Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in the Houston area.

In retiring Randy Neugebauer’s district, which includes Abilene and Lubbock, the race is between Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson and Jodey Arrington, former chief of staff to the chairman of the FDIC.

In the northeast corner of Texas, former House members Bryan Hughes and David Simpson are working vigorously to be the Republican nominee to replace Sen. Kevin Eltife. Republican runoff candidates in the district that spans from Killeen/Ft. Hood to Bandera are Rep. Susan King and Dr. Dawn Buckingham.

Four of the 10 runoff races for House seats are in the Houston area. Incumbents Wayne Smith from the Baytown area and Ron Reynolds on the west side were forced into runoff races. Rep. Smith will face attorney Briscoe Cain and Rep. Reynolds will face attorney Angelique Bartholomew.

Businessman and rancher Ernest Bailes IV and attorney Keith Strahan want to replace John Otto in the district that runs from Huntsville to Liberty east of Houston.

Former Houston city councilman Jarvis Johnson and Kimberly Willis, a social worker, are the Democrats vying for the Central Houston seat formerly held by current Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

DFW-area incumbent Republicans Myra Crownover of Denton and Scott Turner in Collin County are not running for reelection. Veterinarian Lynn Stucky and insurance broker Read King are the Republican candidates running to replace Crownover. Frisco city councilman John Keating and Rockwall-area realtor Justin Holland are the Republican candidates facing off in Turner’s district in Collin County.

Candidates from opposite ends of District 5 in Northeast Texas, Cole Hefner, an insurance agent from Mt. Pleasant, and businessman Jay Misenheimer of Lindale, are running to replace current Rep. Bryan Hughes.

Republicans Austin Ruiz, an optometrist, and homebuilder Scott Cosper face each other in the district that includes Lampasas and Killeen. Both of the Democrats running in the northeast San Antonio district, Barbara Gervin Hawkins and Mario Salas, are educators. Incumbent Doug Miller from New Braunfels faces challenger Kyle Biedermann, a hardware store owner from Fredericksburg.

“Credit unions who have signed up for the Texas Voter Match program are in a position to impact the outcome of these runoff races if they choose to do so," said Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman. League members wanting more information on the Texas Voter Match program may contact Huffman.

For more information on the candidates, please contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or