Texas will have to wait a couple more months to find out who will win Democratic nomination for governor after the state’s top two candidates failed to obtain the votes required to avoid a runoff.
The race goes to a May 22 runoff after sheriff Lupe Valdez couldn’t break free from businessman Andrew White to gain the more than 50 percent of the primary vote needed to win the nomination. Neither candidate was particularly effective at fundraising, which could seriously affect their ability heading into the general election.
Whoever becomes the nominee will have a daunting challenge in trying to topple Abbott. He is very popular in the Lone Star State and has more than $41 million in his campaign coffers. Valdez’s funding flopped and White became the big spender after loaning himself $1 million to stay apace in the crowded field.
Texas’ primary election will be the guinea pig for Democrats as they attempt to make big electoral gains across the country. They have done well in the early going, but analysts warn Texas is still solidly red, so any successes this early in the game should come with caveats.
More than 885,000 people in Texas had voted early or by mail in the state’s most populous counties. The massive uptick in votes comprises a 50 percent increase from 2014, which marked the previous high of 592,000. Early numbers also show Democrats have come out in higher proportions than Republicans.
The Texas Secretary of State’s office noted March 3 that 465,000 people voted in the Democratic Primary in the state’s 15 largest counties, compared to just about 420,000 Republicans during that same time.
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