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Tue March 4, 2014
Ratcliffe forces runoff as incumbents struggle
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, the fate of incumbent Bob Deuell’s bid to avoid a runoff will not be known until Wednesday morning. Deuell’s vote totals hovered just below to 50 percent mark as Tuesday night drew to a close. If a runoff occurs, Deuell will face challenger Bob Hall. 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, appeared headed for defeat as of late Tuesday. With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Lavender trailed Gary VanDeaver by a 12-point margin.
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.