Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn defeated seven primary challengers Tuesday evening, leading with 59.4 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman, who mounted a quixotic campaign attempting to run to Cornyn’s right, was at 19.1 percent with 99 percent reporting. Though he was the most well known of Cornyn’s challengers, Stockman’s long absences from the campaign trail and a series of accusations of ethics violations earned him criticism from Texas tea partiers.
Stockman relentlessly attacked Cornyn during the campaign, declaring him not conservative and leveling attacks on his record that did not always have basis in fact. But the congressman struck a more conciliatory tone after the election was called Tuesday evening, urging the party to come together and vote for Cornyn.
“We wish Senator Cornyn best of luck in November and urge everyone to vote for, volunteer for and support the whole Texas GOP ticket. #family,” Stockman tweeted.
Dwayne Stovall, who got the endorsement of the tea party groups that spurned Stockman, was at 10.7 percent of the vote. Stovall compared Senate Minority Mitch McConnell to a turtle in one of his campaign ads.
“I want to thank Texas Republicans for nominating me again to represent our party this November,” Cornyn said in a statement Tuesday evening. “As I’ve traveled our great state, I’ve been honored by support from the full range of our conservative coalition – social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, tea party supporters, libertarians, national security hawks, and everyone in between. As I have always suspected, and tonight proves, Texans value hard work and solutions over rhetoric.”
Cornyn vowed not to let Texas turn blue.
“During the General Election campaign we will cede no voter and no region of Texas,” he said. “To keep Texas on the right track and save our country we must be a welcoming party to all who share our principles and values. And we must recommit to demonstrating how those principles are the surest path to the American Dream for all who seek it.”
“The last 5 years have been an experiment in failed big government policies that have left us both weaker on the world stage and weaker at home. The American people are watching and waiting for our alternative solutions based on American leadership, economic growth, and opportunity for all. I am proud to be chosen to lead the fight for these solutions based upon what we know is working in the Lone Star State,” he added.
Cornyn will face a nominal challenge from a Democrat — either David Alameel or Kesha Rogers, who will proceed to a runoff for the nomination — in the November election, but he is expected to retain his seat in light of Texas’s decidedly red demeanor.
In other Texas primary news, House Rules Committee Chairman and former National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions easily beat his opponent, tea party activist Katrina Pierson, 63.6 percent to 36.4 percent with all precincts reporting. Rep. Ralph Hall, the oldest sitting member of congress, was not so lucky — he will go to a runoff with John Ratcliffe. With all precincts reporting, Hall had 45.4 percent of the vote and Ratcliffe had 28.8 percent.
*The percentages of the vote obtained by each candidate continue to be updated as more votes are counted.