The hype leading up to Tuesday’s election night was tracking at all-time highs. Probably due to the fact it was the first primary in the country. A lot of attention was also given to the high early voting numbers in the Democratic primary. But when the ballots were all counted I think most would conclude the hype was, well, a little too much.
Granted the number of folks who voted in the Democratic primary compared to prior elections certainly did increase, at the end of the night the Republican primary votes cast still dwarfed the Democratic total. Case in point, in the Governor’s race there were more than 522,000 more votes cast on the Republican side of the ticket than with the Democrats. This margin was consistent in other state-wide races for Lt. Governor, Land Commission, and US Senate.
If primary vote totals tell any story (and there is certainly wide debate on the validity on primary vote totals compared to eventual general election outcomes), it is that the D’s have narrowed a bit the huge gap with the R’s as far as turnout. But Texas does not appear destined in the near term for “a blue wave.”
The TMHA report for this election is not based on any member’s or individual’s political affiliations. It is also not partisan as we work closely with and advocate for manufactured housing issues with both Republicans and Democrats. Our analysis of the election results is based on one core issue - did the candidates who support issues related to manufactured housing in the state prevail. It is through that singular lens that we look at the results.
We were pleased to see many members of the Texas House who have previously sided and advocated for MH win their primaries. Rep. Dan Flynn (R – District 2) won his primary by a 790-vote margin. Rep. Flynn was a co-sponsor on the TMHA advocated, and eventually passed, H.B. 2019 last session. Rep. John Raney (R- District 14) who has been a supporter of MH issues also won on Tuesday where he faced three challengers, but walked away with 57.7% of the vote. Long time TMHA supporter and the author of numerous TMHA supported bills in multiple sessions, Rep. Ryan Guillen (D – District 31) held off his primary challenger winning 55.4% of the vote. Rep. Paul Workman (R- District 47) won his primary against two challengers. Rep. Workman has also supported MH issues and previously spoke at a TMHA Board of Directors meeting. Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R- District 73) won his race as well. Rep. Biedermann spoke on the House floor in favor of TMHA supported H.B. 2019 last session. And other members such as Rep. Charlie Geren (R- District 99) and Rep. Rodney Anderson (R – District 105) also have been supporters of our industry and both defeated challengers.
In the Texas Senate, we were glad to see Sen. Donna Campbell (R-District 25) win her race. Sen. Campbell was not only a supporter of the TMHA supported “right to replace” bill from last session focusing on preserving the grandfathering of manufactured home communities, she questioned vigorously some of the city advocates in committee who testified against the bill. A fact that we will always be grateful for.
In the open seat in Senate District 8, Angela Paxton (wife of Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton) defeated Phillip Huffines. TMHA’s PAC supported Paxton in her race, and was glad to see that she prevailed.
While members who have previously supported our MH related efforts did very well on election night, not all prevailed. Sen. Craig Estes (R- District 30) was defeated by former state House member Rep. Pat Fallon. Sen. Estes picked up the TMHA supported H.B. 2019 when the bill made it to the Senate and advocated for its eventual passage through the Senate last session.
And finally, Land Commissioner, George P. Bush, won his primary with a strong 58.2% of the vote. Commissioner Bush had three challengers, including his former predecessor. The Land Commissioner runs the state agency where all disaster relief funding goes in the state. Already granted $5 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief, with expectations of more money coming through the recently passed Congressional budget that tagged $89 billion in disaster funding, some of which will also come to Texas, Commissioner Bush’s agency will be busy over the next several years in the disaster recovery efforts.
There are several races headed to run-offs, after which all eyes turn to the November general elections. The results of some of the primary elections are assumed to be forgone conclusions of the eventual results of the general elections later this fall. But as they say, “nothing is nothing; until it is something.”