Incumbents stumble in regional races

Mar 5, 2014

It was a rough night for Republican incumbents in Northeast Texas. Some must dust themselves off and scrap again in a May 27 runoff election. And a couple lost outright.

Ralph Hall, who has represented Northeast Texas in Congress since 1980, will face challenger John Ratcliffe in a runoff. Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney during the George W. Bush administration, didn’t get too close to Hall in vote totals, but Hall’s failure to win a majority of ballots cast ensures a runoff.

In the Texas Senate, Bob Deuell will face challenger Bob Hall in a runoff. Deuell finished first in the March 4 vote but failed to break the 50 percent mark. Another aspirant to Deuell’s seat, Mark Thompson, finished a distant third. Deuell has represented District 2 since 2003.  

George Lavender, the incumbent in Texas House of Representatives District 1, lost to Gary VanDeaver. Also in the Texas House, challenger Stuart Spitzer defeated incumbent Lance Gooden.

Several Republican incumbents were unopposed in their bid to return to office.

U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, who represents the 5th District, had no competition for his party’s nomination. In the Texas House of Representatives, Dan Flynn, Bryan Hughes, Scott Turner, Larry Phillips, Scott Sanford and Jodie Laubenberg ran unopposed. Craig Estes’ bid to return to the Texas Senate was not contested.

Neither of the candidates for the State Board of Education seat had competition within their party. Geraldine “Tincy” Miller will be the Republican candidate, while Lois Parrott will run for the Democrats.