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Eventful Political Calendar this Coming May

-    Busier Than Normal May for Texas Elections

Typically, the month of May sees just municipal and school board elections in Texas, but this May will be especially busy for candidates, voters, and broadcasers.

A large number of primary election runoff races, 51 in all, were created by the results of the March 1 GOP and Democratic primary elections.

Some have been surprised to learn there are two constitutional amendments up for a vote in May.
Typically, these happen in November of odd-numbered years.

If that weren’t enough, there are two Texas House seat special elections set for May as well.

Primary Runoff Elections, May 24

The Republican Party has 27 primary runoff contests on May 24.

There are three statewide offices (Attorney General, Land Commissioner, and Railroad Commissioner), seven congressional seats, one Texas Senate seat, and 16 Texas House seats.

Six of those races feature a GOP incumbent hoping to hold onto that job: Attorney General Ken Paxton,
R-McKinney; Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian, R-Center; HD 12 St. Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-College
Station; HD 60 St. Rep. Glenn Rogers, R-Graford; HD 85 St. Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton; and HD 91
St. Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Dallas.

The Democratic Party has 24 primary runoff contests on May 24.

There are four statewide offices (Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Land Commissioner, and Comptroller), seven congressional seats, one Texas Senate seat, seven Texas House seats, four seats on the State Board of Education, and one 3rd Court of Appeals seat.

There is one incumbent Democratic lawmaker facing a runoff, CD 28 U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo.
The FCC political window for the May 24 primary runoff elections opens April 9.

Constitutional Amendments, May 7

There are two proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution up for a vote on May 7.

The Texas Legislature approved both in special sessions last fall.

Each seeks to reduce the school property tax burden in some way.

Proposition One, created by SJR 2 in the second special session, would decrease homestead residence
property taxes for elderly and disabled Texans by reducing the tax amount paid for public schools.

Typically, this is the largest portion of a homeowner’s tax bill.

Proposition Two, created by SJR 2 in the third special session, would increase the amount of the residence homestead exemption from public school property taxes, from $25,000 to $40,000.

In both cases, the state would cover the reduced revenue for Texas school districts.

HD 38, HD 147 Special Elections, May 7

By law, the governor calls special elections to fill vacancies of Texas House and Senate seats.  

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Austin, has set two such special elections for May 7 to fill vacancies in HD 38 in the Rio Grande Valley, and HD 147 in Houston.

The FCC political window for the May 7 special election to fill HD 38 and HD 147 opens March 23.

HD 38 St. Rep. Eddie Lucio, III, D-Brownsville, who had already announced he would not seek reelection, resigned his post on Jan. 31.

House County Affairs Committee Chairman Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who had already announced he would not seek reelection in HD 147, resigned his post on Feb. 28.

Coleman has been battling significant health issues and said in a statement that he wanted to retire early to “focus on serving the community in my next stage of life."

He added that the move would allow his successor “to better prepare for next year's legislative session and build upon the progress we have made."

Both districts are considered heavily Democratic.

In special elections, candidates from both parties run for a chance to fill the unexpired portion of that Texas House or Senate seat term, in this case, till early January 2023.

If no candidate breaches the 50 percent mark in the special election, a runoff is held between the candidates with the two highest vote totals.

Political veterans expect candidates who ran in the recent party primary elections for HD 38 and HD 147 to run for the opportunity to serve in these seats before next year.

Interestingly, there is already a Democratic primary runoff election for HD 147 on May 24.

Municipal, School Board Elections, May 7

Most Texas municipalities and school boards use the May 7 uniform election date to conduct their elections.

Some larger cities use the November general election date.

The FCC political window for the May 7 school board election opened March 8.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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