The Friday Report

House and Senate Primary Updates, Retiring Legislators

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By Adam Burklund, Burklund Consulting 

Monday was the deadline for candidates to file for Texas House and Senate primary races (among others). This election will occur while infighting among Texas Republicans increases. The Governor has vowed to go after incumbent House members who opposed his private school vouchers issue, and Attorney General Paxton has attacked House Republicans who voted to support his impeachment.

Rep. Victoria Neave Criado (D-Dallas, HD 107) will not seek reelection to the House and will instead challenge incumbent Senator Nathan Johnson in the primary. Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston, HD 139) will also not seek reelection to the House and will face five opponents in the Democratic primary to succeed outgoing Senator John Whitmire, who just won the runoff election to become the next mayor of Houston.

Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Dallas, HD 113) announced that she was running for federal office—the congressional seat that will be vacated by U.S. Rep. Collin Alred when he runs for the U.S. Senate—but refiled for current Texas House seat instead.

Of the 60 House Republicans that voted to recommend impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton, 57 are seeking reelection. Of those, 37 have drawn at least one primary opponent. Of the 21 House Republicans who voted against private school vouchers in the most recent special session, five are retiring. Of the 16 who are seeking reelection, 13 have drawn at least one primary opponent.

Outlined below is a list of retirements/non-returning legislators:


  • Abel Herrero (D-Robstown)
  • Tracy King (D-Uvalde)
  • Four Price (R-Amarillo)
  • Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) – Running for Congress
  • Lina Ortega (D-El Paso)
  • John Raney (R-College Station)
  • Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) – Has said he may run for the Texas Senate in the future
  • Ed Thompson (R-Pearland)
  • Doc Anderson (R-Waco)
  • Carl Sherman (D-Dallas) – Running for U.S. Senate
  • Bryan Slaton (R-Greenville) – Expelled from the House
  • Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth)
  • Geannie Morrison (R-Victoria)
  • Andy Murr (R-Junction)
  • Kyle Kacal (R-Bryan)
  • Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) – Running for Senate
  • Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) – Running for Senate


  • John Whitmire (D-Houston)
  • Drew Springer (R-Muenster)

There were rumors of additional last-minute retirements in the House but those did not materialize. As noted above, one Democrat who had previously announced a run for higher office apparently had a change of heart. House members running for Senate seats may already have solid name I.D. in their House district representing ~113,000 people, but introducing themselves to the other 800,000+ in a Senate district is an expensive endeavor. While a sitting House member may have an advantage in a Senate primary, they are not always a shoo-in, especially when running against an incumbent Senator as is the case with Senator Johnson’s race. 

There are currently 86 Republicans in the House, one vacant seat that leans Republican, and 63 Democrats. In the Senate the breakdown is currently 19 Republicans and 11 Democrats. There are very few potential swing seats this election cycle so most of the action will be in the primaries.

Please note that this information comes from the Texas Secretary of State. While they are generally good about keeping their information updated, candidates actually file with their respective parties who then share that information with the SOS, so there’s a chance this list will need to be updated in the coming days.


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