Primary 2024 results: Democratic headlines

It’s going to be a late night and I have a couple of long days ahead of me, so I’m going to do some quick summaries based on what I now know, and will come back later to fill the gaps.

– President Biden was over 90% in Harris County in early voting. The statewide results were very scattered – as of almost 10 PM there were still multiple counties whose early votes, let alone Election Day results, were not yet posted – but he was at about 86%.

– Colin Allred was at 60% statewide and almost 70% in Harris County and was already declared the winner for the Senate primary.

– Rep. Lizzie Fletcher had over 80% in Harris County and over 70% total, winning renomination easily. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was at 62%, far outpacing the one poll we had in that race. Amanda Edwards was at 35% and that dude who dropped out was at 2%. Melissa McDonough and Marquette Greene-Scott were both cruising to victory. In Dallas, Rep. Julia Johnson was just about 50% for CD32 when I last looked; Brian Williams was comfortably in second with about 21% in case she fails to stay above the magic number.

– Rep. Jarvis Johnson was at 39% in early voting in SD15, with Molly Cook at 20% and Todd Litton at 16%; no one else was over ten percent. The one big State Senate primary outside of Harris County was in SD16 in Dallas, where Sen. Nathan Johnson turned back Rep. Victoria Neave.

– Rep. Harold Dutton was over 60% (sigh), but HD146 was very close, with Rep. Shawn Thierry just under fifty percent and Lauren Ashley Simmons only a few points behind. Thierry could climb above 50%, but I think this one will go to a runoff. In HD139, Angie Thibodeaux and Charlene Ward Johnson were leading, likely by enough to make it to overtime.

– I’m sure you already knew this before you started reading, but Sean Teare blew out incumbent DA Kim Ogg, with over 78% of the early vote. That’s an even stronger win than County Attorney Christian Menefee (74%) and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez (70%). For Tax Assessor, Annette Ramirez was the clear leader with just over 40%, with Danielle Bess, Jerry Davis, and Desiree Broadnax all bunched up for the second slot in the runoff.

– A few incumbent judges were trailing: Justices Gordon Goodman, Peter Kelly, and Jerry Zimmerer (currently in second place and a runoff with Velda Faulkner), and judges RK Sandill, Mike Engelhart, Robert Schaffer, Brittanye Morris, Ramona Jackson, and Julia Maldonado. Other incumbents were leading. Nicole Perdue, Ashley Mayes Guice, and Fran Watson were leading for three of the open benches, while Vivian King and Gemayel Haynes were headed to a runoff for the other.

– Katherine Culbert was leading for Railroad Commissioner, while DaSean Jones and Bonnie Lee Goldstein were leading for the two contested Supreme Court seats.

– Based on the Harris County Elections Twitter feed, I think Election Day is going to be well below early voting in turnout. If the last hour was strong and Dems had a fairly sizeable majority of the E-Day vote, they could make it to 200K total in the county, but I’m guessing they will fall short of that. They could still outdo the Republicans with a more modest majority of the E-Day vote. We won’t know that until early in the morning.

That’s all for now. I’ll circle back to this tomorrow. Based on what happened in some of those Republican races, there are a few pretty good legislative pickup opportunities.

UPDATE: As of 4:30 AM, with some vote centers still unreported, Lauren Ashley Simmons had taken the lead in HD146 and was at 49.79% of the vote. It’s possible she could end up winning without a runoff. Wow.

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17 Responses to Primary 2024 results: Democratic headlines

  1. David Fagan says:

    Kim Ogg vs Sean Teare (Hildago’s) is a perfect example of the type of corruption The Democracy party wants to say, and criticizes, only occurs in The Republican party.

  2. I’m very surprised Judge Robert Schaffer lost. He is one of the best judges in Harris County. For all you insiders, why do you think Schaffer was voted out?

  3. Jeff N. says:

    Greg, I agree that Judge Schaffer is one of the best. The same is true of Judge Engelhart and Justice Kelly. I’m grateful for the talent and fairness they brought to their courts. I hate to see those results.

  4. Joe C says:

    Well it does seem in judge races, identity politics comes into play more than in higher profile races. This is not intended to be a slight on those that unseated those good incumbent judges. On the other hand, incumbent Judge Hightower appears to have won, so this hypothesis is not absolute even if somewhat true.

  5. D.R. says:

    He lost because his name is Robert Schaffer. Female candidates do much better in judicial races in Harris County democratic primary – particularly those of color or with a racially ambiguous last name. Sorry but that’s just how it is and the legal experts need to start playing the game and run good candidates who also happen to be electable on a ballot here in the year 2024 with the voting makeup. Don’t live in some fantasy land where you think some guy with a name like “Steve Whataburger” is going to win for judge because no matter how amazing he is he simply won’t.

  6. D.R. says:

    If Ogg wasn’t so influenced by Hooper maybe I’d be inclined to agree with you more but the minute she gets entangled with partisan activists on the other side it throws out all objectivity arguments and voters saw through that.

  7. C.L. says:

    @David… the difference may be, the Democratic Party is very good at policing their own (see Al Franken, Bob Menendez, etc.) and get them out relatively quickly, while the Republicans are happy to have as a leader/nominee an individual under a multi-count indictment (Chester Cheeto), State AG’s under indictment (Paxton), and absolute fruitcakes who get pushed out (George Santos), with virtually narry a word by Republican leadership re: the stain.

  8. Jeff N. says:

    D.R., it’s certainly true what you say. I agree that politics is in many ways can be played as a game. But in most judicial races, the candidates aren’t chosen by legal experts. They’re individual lawyers who have the courage to run for judge. In the cases of Schaffer, Engelhart, Kelly, and Sandill, all of them happen to be experienced and fair-minded lawyers who have been excellent judges. It’s not a game for them.

    I believe judges understand they can lose elections and the outcome is beyond their control. They will all accept defeat because they understand how elections work. But it’s still a sad day when good judges lose at the polls.

  9. Flypusher says:

    Also I don’t see any Dems who lost whining about nonexistent election fraud.

    Al Franken got screwed over. He at the very least should have had an ethics committee hearing.

  10. Well, D.R., I hate to say it, but you might be at least partially right. Back in 2022, Bill King pointed out that all 11 of the incumbent Harris County judges that lost were white (see link below). The purge continues? I love the fact that the Democratic Party is so diverse, but “inclusion” has to include everybody, including whites. When I think of bigots and racists, I think extreme right-wing, neo-nazi Republicans, not Democrats. Anyway, “being white” shouldn’t cost good judges their jobs (if that is what is happening).

  11. D.R. says:

    In the case of Sandill, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the Chron endorsed his opponent. Not that the Chronicle are legal experts but that does add some validity for voters. I myself did some additional research on that one and verified with actual attorneys. It’s very rare for the Chron to not endorse a sitting judge so it usually means something is wrong with the incumbent.

  12. S.M. says:

    I am a white man in Harris County who is conflicted about voting for the party I agree with philosophically (Dems) but would reject me because of my race and gender. Where is the third party for people like me?

  13. Christian Blake says:

    In response to “being white” , Nicole Perdue, Allison Mathis , Denise Brown , Megan Hassan , Richard Hightower are all white . There is not an attack on white people and this rhetoric back fired on the candidates that used it . The white candidates that won didn’t claim that they were disadvantaged for being white people . Being white hasn’t hurt anyone being white and this is evidenced by white people being successful in judicial campaigns , as legal practitioners , and in life . If Democrats start this “ attack on whiteness it will not work because Sandill ( who is not white ) Englehart and Shaffer were not targeted or discriminated against . There are also races like Maldonado v Alexander which also prove that racially ambiguous names aren’t always a win as Alexander prevailed over Maldonado because she was a bad judge . Well informed voters showed up for Carter and Alexander which also disprove your “fear” that white people are being attacked .

  14. Meme says:

    I will add my 2 cents; there is more than race in play.

    Women have an advantage; I doubt that the majority of people who voted for the judges knew if the person was white or something else.

    Most people, including myself, don’t know any of the judges. Well, in my case, if they go to the Southwest Democrats meetings and pay for breakfast tacos, then I do, and a taco is always good for one vote.

  15. S.M. says:

    I think that if the obvious female/nonwhite preference, based on the names as they appear on the ballot, continues in this way in Harris County, and all white male incumbents get primaried as a matter of course just because, then that just drives people like me (white male democrat) away. I am thinking of not doing my usual straight ticket vote this time, just because I was so offended but what I have seen happening down ballot. Maybe the Harris County democrats don’t want white men, but that is sad and probably not the best long-term strategy.

  16. Meme says:

    Greg, for Shafer and many of the others, most of the contested areas were heavily Black areas; they, like many others, tend to go with people who look like them. You had two heavily contested state rep races. You had the Congressional district, and Senate 15 has a large percentage of black areas. Everything being about equal, I usually vote for the Spanish surname person. There ain’t enough Spanish surnames in the primaries to make too much of a difference. The most involved here in Harris County are the gay community and the black community. Want to change that and get more people like you to vote in the primaries? Joe Biden is white. He won, and so did Sean Teare; he won bigly. A long time ago, I would vote in the Republican primaries, always choosing the most moderate.

  17. Meme says:

    Spanish that vote in the primaries.

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