March 4, 2020

Biden Caps Off Turnaround with Texas Primary Victory
as Ramirez Scores Spot in Senate Runoff with Hegar

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

Joe Biden made Texas the icing on the cake with a victory over Bernie Sanders at the finish line early Wednesday morning to go with wins in Virginia, North Carolina and several other Super Tuesday states that re-established the former vice president as the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Biden had stretched his lead over Sanders to almost three points in the Lone Star State in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The Super Tuesday results in Texas and 13 other states appeared to kill any hopes that Democratic contenders Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren have for late surges in the aftermath of dismal showings at the polls this week.

Democrat MJ Hegar of Georgetown led a pack of candidates for the U.S. Senate in Texas in a primary fight that's heading to a runoff with Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez as the apparent runner-up in a crowded field that included State Senator Royce West in a close third. The victor will be attempting to unseat veteran Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn in the November general election. Cornyn sailed to first-round victory over four foes with 76 percent of the primary vote.

The congressional competition here featured a major cliffhanger in a top-target race in the Dallas area where Republican Genevieve Collins was on the verge of winning outright with 49.8 percent of the primary vote in a district where she will face Floyd McLendon in overtime if late returns don't propel to her a first-round victory. McLendon finished second in a field of five with 39 percent after running to the right of Collins in a bid for a seat that Democratic U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas flipped in 2018 and is seeking again.

Democrats Wendy Davis of Austin, Gina Ortiz Jones of San Antonio and Sri Kulkarni of Sugar Land captured nominations with easy wins in districts that Democrats at the national level are targeting in 2020. Davis will challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Austin in the fall when Ortiz Jones will face the winner of a runoff across the aisle featuring Tony Gonzales and Raul Reyes - a pair of Republicans who garnered 28 percent and 24 percent of the vote in a field with seven other GOP contenders.

Kulkarni, who received 53 percent of the vote in a field with three foes, will be waiting in the wings for the winner of GOP runoff that pits Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls against the big-spending rival Kathaleen Wall. Nehls claimed more than 40 percent of the vote while Wall was a distant second with about 19 percent in a district where Pierce Bush was eliminated with a third-place finish and 15 percent.

Irving Republican Beth Van Duyne scored a blowout win against four primary opponents in a target race for Congress in the Dallas area where she will do battle in November with the Democrat who emerges from an overtime duel between Kim Olson and Candace Valenzuela.

Houston Republican Wesley Hunt capped off an impressive campaign with 61 percent of the vote in a field of six in a district that freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher wrestled from the GOP in 2018.

Democrats Mike Siegel and Pritesh Gandhi will face off in a spring runoff in a fight for the right to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin in the general election. Siegel and Gandhi received 45 percent and 32 percent of the primary vote respectively in a district where a third Democrats was eliminated.

Democratic contenders Christine Mann and Donna Imam will tangle in overtime in a fight for the seat that Republican U.S. Rep. John Carter of Georgetown will attempt to defend in the fall in one of a half-dozen Texas races that the Democrats will be targeting.

more to come ..

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