The 2022 General Election is Now Upon Us
By Kenneth Besserman,
Director of Government Affairs and Special Counsel, TXCPA
June 3, 2022
The 2022 primary election season has officially ended and now winning candidates begin the long slow trek towards the general election on November 8, 2022. The May 24 Republican and Democrat primaries had a number of interesting races and a few surprises. What is notable in Texas about legislative and statewide elections is that most of the battles are in the primaries and not the general election. Because of redistricting and the political landscape, there have been fewer and fewer truly toss-up or contested general election races over the years. Texas is a “primary election” state – most of the key races are decided in the primaries for each party.
Briefly, the statewide races will see Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (D) face off against Governor Greg Abbott (R) in the race for governor; Mike Collier (D) will face off against Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) for lieutenant governor; Janet Dudding (D) will face off against Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R) for comptroller; and Rochelle Garza (D) will face Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) in the race for attorney general.
Most notably in the recent primary election, Attorney General Ken Paxton handily beat George P. Bush in the Republican race for attorney general despite Paxton’s continuing legal and ethical challenges. Also notable, both Mike Collier (D for lieutenant governor) and Janet Dudding (D for comptroller) are TXCPA members. Both have run for statewide and legislative races in past elections.
The general consensus among the political and election observers is that the political climate in Texas and the country will be particularly challenging for Democrats this cycle. On top of it being the midterm election for a sitting president (historically, the party in the presidency loses Congressional seats in the midterm elections), the economy, inflation and pandemic will all be factors weighing against the Democrats. On the flipside, issues like abortion, gun control/gun violence and voting rights may play a role in turning out Democrats. What we all know is that it is a long way until the November general election and more often than not, there are issues that will emerge that may play a role in the election that no one predicted.
In the May 24 primary runoff, House Speaker Dade Phelan once again had a great election and his slate of supported candidates all made it to the general election. Most notable, Rep. Stephanie Klick (R) held off a very conservative challenger who sought to paint Klick as a liberal. In addition, Rep. Glenn Rogers (R) and Rep. Kyle Kacal (R), both important to Speaker Phelan, survived their primaries and are almost certain to win their general election races, as both seats are high Republican numbers.
In House District 70 (which is DFW metroplex), Mihaela Plesa (D) will face Jamee Jolly (R) in the general election. Interestingly, this district is probably the most evenly drawn district – making this race a true toss up in the general election.
Because Texas is a primary state, it is highly likely that the partisan makeup of the Texas House and Senate will stay Republican. The Texas House is currently 83-67 in favor of Republicans. Most Austin political observers believe the Texas House will increase its Republican majority by four to seven seats. Similarly, the Texas Senate is thought to likely increase its Republican majority by one seat, taking the majority to 19-12. The one seat that is likely to flip is Senate District 10 currently held by Senator Beverly Powell (D-Ft. Worth). Senator Powell has suspended her general election campaign against Republican House member Phil King (R-Weatherford) because the district is now heavily tilted towards the Republicans.
The Texas Senate saw two runoffs – one each in the Democrat and Republican primaries. In Senate District 27, currently held by Senator Lucio (D-Brownsville) who is retiring, Morgan LaMantia will be the Democrat candidate in the general election. While SD 27 has been drawn a little more Republican than in the past, most election pundits believe it will remain in Democrat hands.
In Senate District 24, currently held by Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R) who is leaving the seat to be the Republican candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, former Senator Pete Flores (R) won the Republican primary and is expected to win the general election in this largely Republican seat.
As issues materialize and the candidates become more well-known over the summer months, the Texas House will likely see a few hotly contested races primarily in the Dallas and Houston suburbs where the partisan split in the House districts is more even. Many of the suburban Dallas and Houston districts have seen a large influx of new voters from out of state, so their voting history and party identification are unknown, making election prognosticating very difficult this cycle.
Over the next few months, we will come back with more articles, updates and Facebook Live presentations about the election and what it means for TXCPA and the accounting profession.
The TXCPA Political Action Committee (CPA-PAC) is your voice at the Capitol and your voice in the electoral process. Your engagement is vital to ensuring our continued success in Austin, protecting the CPA license and advocating for the profession. We have done an excellent job in increasing our member participation this past year, but we need to continue the momentum as new issues arise. Thank you to all who have contributed and I encourage those who have not contributed to the PAC to do so. It is very easy to contribute and become an advocate for TXCPA. Please reach out if you want to contribute or need more information.