2020 primary runoff results: Statewide

It was a tight race all night, but it looks like MJ Hegar will win.

MJ Hegar

MJ Hegar was holding a 5-percentage-point lead over Royce West on Tuesday night in the Democratic primary runoff for U.S. Senate, according to unofficial results.

With 71% of polling locations reporting, Hegar was ahead of West, 52.4% to 47.6%. Hegar is the former Air Force helicopter pilot endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and West is the longtime state senator from Dallas.

Speaking to reporters shortly after 10 p.m., Hegar said she was not declaring victory yet but felt “very confident.”

West and his campaign, meanwhile, said the runoff was still too close to call and that they expected it to come down to about 10,000 votes.

With about three-fourths of the precincts reporting, Hegar was leading by 40K votes. I don’t think there’s enough time, or enough outstanding ballots, for West to make up the ground. For what it’s worth, West had about a 3K vote lead in Harris County after early voting, but Hegar whittled away at that on Election Day, and very slowly stretched her lead out over the state. There was some bad blood in this race towards the end, and West picked up a number of endorsements from elected officials, while John Cornyn ran some ads stoking the fire. I expect people will mostly forget about all that in November, but for now there’s some healing to do.

In the Railroad Commissioner race, Chrysta Castaneda led everywhere I looked in early voting by a wide amount, and then kept adding to it. She was easily over 60% as Election Day results were coming in. I called that race on Twitter pretty much right away.

We’ve talked about the potential pickup of the Senate seat, as that is one extra reason for the Biden campaign to invest in Texas. The polling we’ve had in the Senate race doesn’t suggest a top tier opportunity, but it’s not like John Cornyn is anywhere near fifty percent, nor is he appreciably ahead of Trump in his level of support. Basically, if Joe Biden can win Texas, or maybe even if he can just come really close to winning Texas, MJ Hegar/Royce West can win that race as well.

The thing is, that also holds true for the RRC race and the statewide judicial races. I can make the argument that Biden will run ahead of other Dems (mostly because there will still be some Republican crossover at the Presidential level but not downballot, as was the case in 2016), and I can also make the argument that Trump will run ahead of other Republicans (mostly because I think there will be more vote-for-Trump-only people than vote-for-Biden-only people, and maybe because the third party vote will be bigger downballot than at the top, as it usually is in Presidential years), but the same basic calculus holds. If Biden wins Texas, the odds are good he will have company. If he falls short, even by less than a point, the odds are no one else makes it across. The national folks have very little reason to care about these races, but the rest of us should.

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14 Responses to 2020 primary runoff results: Statewide

  1. C.L. says:

    All I got to say is THANK YOUR HIGHER POWER Kathaleen Wall was rejected by the voters. What an ugly campaign she ran.

    Per Politico: “Among the notable moments of the four-month runoff: Wall launched a TV ad accusing China of poisoning Americans with its “Chinese virus” and called the country a “criminal enterprise masquerading as a sovereign nation.” She also wrote in a late March Facebook post that the pandemic will “save more lives this week than it takes” because Texas officials ordered abortions providers to cease unnecessary procedures.”

    Just unbelievable. Neither her or Nehls is much of a peach, but he’s [slightly] the lesser of two evils in Ft. Bend County.

  2. Flypusher says:

    I hope she takes the hint this time. Those ads were ugly and she is ugly on the inside.

  3. blank says:

    Yes, I am glad Wall is gone, but it would have been so much easier to beat her in the general election than Nehls. Attacking Asians in Fort Bend is not just immoral but also political malpractice.

  4. Tom says:

    I am curious to see what effect the removal of the straight-ticket option has in downballot races.

    I don’t buy that Democrats are any more likely to undervote downballot races than Republicans are, but I think it will create a lot more unpredictability down the ballot.

  5. Flypusher says:

    I totally get where you are coming from, but I’d rather eliminate any chance that disgusting racist suckup could get into Congress as soon as possible. After 2016 I will never assume that a horrible person is unelectable, so I’d rather not see them make it to the general. Sri is a highly qualified candidate and a decent human being, and can run a smart campaign. Nehls’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a weak spot.

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    Well, well, well. The peanut gallery here can all take a moment to thank me, because I voted against Wall, twice, once for Greg Hill, and then again this go round to vote for Sheriff Troy.

    I too found Wall’s commercials and campaign annoying, but probably for different reasons than the rest of y’all. She’s a poor speaker, a poor presenter with a Christine Ford level vocal fry that is difficult to listen to.

    As to Sri, he’s an anti-white racist whose whole campaign is based on, “Hey, I’m not white, you’re not white, vote for me.” The twist is, he’s reaching out to non white immigrants in the district, in their home languages to hit home that message. He’s taking advantage of people who, while smart and motivated, are new to the country and not as experienced in our political process.

    Racist? Look at Sri. His platform isn’t really good for the burgeoning S.E. Asian community in Ft. Bend County. Those are hard workers, business owners….people that are taxpaying, contributing Americans, who, coincidentally are very socially conservative. They have nothing in common with Sri’s ultra progressive views. The one thing they have in common is….not white, so that’s what he is campaigning on. And you thought Kathaleen’s campaign strategy was rotten.

    I’m thinking Sheriff Troy will win enough of the non white vote in Ft. Bend to win it based on his law and order reputation. Remember the white trash couple that made him famous, driving around with their F Troy sign on the pickup? People saw a guy trying to protect his community from a-holes, trying to keep his people safe, something that should resonate with every decent citizen….including the immigrant population of Ft. Bend County.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    In an unrelated matter, I saw several Cornyn ads blasting Royce right before election day, hitting royce on guns, late term abortion, etc. It was suggested that that means Cornyn actually wanted Royce, figuring Royce would be easier to beat. Possible. I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall of the Cornyn campaign to know if that was really the strategy or not.

  8. Flypusher says:

    “ As to Sri, he’s an anti-white racist whose whole campaign is based on, “Hey, I’m not whIte.”

    Bill, as usual, you are full of shit, and I say that as repeat volunteer for Sri’s campaign.

  9. Bill Daniels says:


    I sure haven’t seen you campaigning in my neighborhood. No door hangers from Sri here. Why is that? Wrong demographic? Too many wipipo? He’s going after the S.E. Asian community, he’s made that strategy very public. I’m not making stuff up….he is out and proud of that strategy. It’s the same strategy Al Sharpton and Sheila Jackson Lee use. Don’t be bashful about it now.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    In case anyone forgot Sri’s strategy:


  11. Brad says:

    I am glad Walls lost.

    With her talent she is destined to higher office for the GOP White Party in the next big election cycle.

    Wall/Daniels 2024!!! If you are white well alright, if you are brown stick around, if you’re black…well you get the idea.

  12. Manny says:

    Bill should we add that you hate women, one more class of people you hate.

    Don’t know if you are stupid or maybe you think that some of us are stupid. I think you are stupid, so stupid that you tend to put some of us in the same category you are in.

    That whiteness is what we were taught at school, white man good worker, smart, family provider, rest of us need not apply.

    Most important lesson I learned when I attended Oklahoma State University was that whites are not smarter. I had never had a class with white students until then. I went to those segregated schools one reads about.

    People like you taught me that this country is full of people like you Bill, small insignificant people who try to build themselves up by thinking they are better than others.

  13. Flypusher says:

    As someone who blocked walked for Sri back in 2018, and again in 2020, I talked to people of ALL racial/ethnic backgrounds, White, Black, Hispanic, and yes, Asian. Voter outreach isn’t some zero sum game (which you Trump suckers seem to think applies to everything). One can do outreach to voter blocs that have been hitherto neglected (in this case Asian Americans) AND White people too. AND everyone else who is a likely Dem voter.

    Plenty of White people among my fellow volunteers too. Your arguments remain weak sauce Bill.

    As to why I never canvassed in your neighborhood Bill, it’s because our first priority is to go where the most Dem/ likely Dem voters are first- that’s Fort Bend Co., and the West side of Pearland. Whether you vote is a matter of public record, as is which primary you voted in, if you vote in primaries. Turn out the base first and foremost, then go for higher hanging fruit if you have the means.

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