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Texas Lawmakers Supported by Credit Unions Get Big Wins in Primary
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7:05 AM

More than 4.24 million people voted in the Texas primary, narrowly eclipsing the previous record set in 2008. The projected results are in, and the news is very good for credit unions. Several of our supporters were facing tough primary races but survived their challengers.

"Thanks are due to the more than 40 volunteers from over 20 credit unions around the state that volunteered to make phone calls, block walk and put up signs in campaigns to help these members remain in office" said Dick Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

In Congress, two members retired and 15 incumbents drew primary challengers. Of particular interest to credit unions were the congressional races for Gene Green, John Culberson, and Kevin Brady’s seats in the Houston area; and the HR 3048 co-sponsor from San Antonio, Lamar Smith, easily defeated his challenger in another hotly contested race.

All congressional incumbents with challengers won their races. District 15 to replace Ruben Hinojosa in south Texas will see runoffs in both Republican and Democratic parties; and in District 19 to replace US House Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer from Lubbock, there will be a runoff in the Republican Party.

Two Texas senators did not run for reelection, and the races for those seats were highly competitive. There will be a runoff for the Republican seat in Northeast Texas SD 1, and the winner does not have an opponent in the general election. 

The winner of the runoff for SD 24, which runs from Austin to Abilene, will face an opponent in the fall. In San Antonio, Sen. Jose Menéndez, defeated Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer in a rematch of their special election last year; and Sen. Uresti defeated his challenger, Helen Madla, as well. Longtime credit union friend Sen. Eddie Lucio from the Brownsville area easily defeated his challenger. 

One of the most dramatic races was in District 2 in the Texas House of Representatives. One of credit unions’ strongest supporters, Rep. Dan Flynn, survived a very tough challenge to be re-elected, winning by 369 votes out of a total of 29,253 votes cast. A midnight disclosure noted that there were 600 uncounted ballots in Van Zandt County, which kept the outcome of the election in question until the early hours or this morning.

In District 8, south of Dallas, Texans saw another hotly contested race. Rep. Byron Cook defeated his opponent by 222 votes out of 28,470.

In San Antonio, Speaker Straus defeated his two opponents handily with nearly 60 percent of the votes in what was a bitter contest.

Four Texas House incumbents lost their races: Stuart Spitzer (HD 4), Marsha Farney (HD 20), Molly White (HD 55), and Debbie Riddle (HD 150). Three other incumbents are in runoff elections: Ron Reynolds (HD 27), Doug Miller (HD 73), and Wayne Smith (HD 128).

All other incumbents in the Texas Legislature prevailed. There will be runoff elections in the Republican Party for seats 5, 18, 33, 54, and 64. The Democratic Party will see runoff elections in Districts 120 and 139.

"This election shows the impact the Leagues' members can have on the outcome of races by being engaged in the process," said Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman. "Through a combination of credit union campaign volunteers, contributions from TCCULPAC and CULAC, along with communications to credit union members from their credit unions that are participating in the Texas voter match program, we were able to see the effect credit unions can have on elections."

The runoff elections will be held May 24, with early voting running from May 16-20.

Congress

CD 15/Rio Grande Valley area, (D) Vincente Gonzalez and Juan “Sonny” Palacios Jr and (R) Tim Westley and Ruben O. Villarreal

CD 18/Houston area, (R) Lori Bartley and Reggie Gonzales

CD 19/West Texas area, (R) Glen Robertson and Jodey Arrington

 

State Senate

SD 1/Northeast Texas, (R) Bryan Hughes and David Simpson

SD 24/Central Texas, (R) Susan King and Dawn Buckingham

 

State House

HD 5/Northeast Texas (R) Cole Hefner and Jay Misenheimer

HD 18/Dayton area (R) Keith Strahan and Ernest Bailes

HD 27/Ft. Bend (D) Ron Reynolds and Angelique Bartholomew

HD 33/ Collin County (R) John Keating and Justin Holland

HD 54/Killeen (R) Scott Cosper and Austin Ruiz

HD 64/Denton area (R) Lynn Stucky and Read King

HD 73/New Braunfels area (R) Doug Miller and Kyle Biedermann

HD 120/San Antonio (D) Barbara Gervin-Hawkins and Mario Salas

HD 128/Houston area (R) Wayne Smith and Briscoe Cain

HD 139/Houston area (D) Kimberly Willis and Jarvis D. Johnson

 

Contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop for more information.