Central Texas U.S. Congressional races to watch


The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (August 2019)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — From filling seats for retiring members to the possibilities of flipped representation, here is what is going on in the Texas Primaries when it comes to U.S. House seats.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports democratic house candidates, has identified six seats in Texas with the potential to flip from Republican to Democrat. Three of those — District 10, District 21 and District 31 — are in Central Texas.

District 10

Republican Rep. Michael McCaul is an incumbent in the race and will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the General Election in November. He has served as a Congressman for Texas since 2005 and was the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Democrats running to unseat him include Pritesh Gandhi, Shannon Hutcheson and Mike Siegel.

Siegel received 35,651 or 43.99% of the vote, Gandhi received 26,818 or 33.09% of the vote, and Hutcheson received 18,578 or 22.92% of the vote.

District 11

Rep. Mike Conaway is retiring. There are 10 Republicans vying to oppose the single Democratic primary candidate, Jon Mark Hogg: Gene Barber, Brandon Batch, Jamie Berryhill, J.D. Faircloth, Casey Gray, J. Ross Lacy, Ned Luscombe, August Pfluger, Robert Tucker and Wesley Virdell.

Pfluger received 95.63% or 91,455 votes.

District 17

Rep. Bill Flores is also retiring. A total of 12 Republicans — Ahmad Adnan, Scott Bland, Laurie Godfrey McReynolds, George Hindman, Todd Kent, Kristen Alamo Rowin, David Saucedo, Pete Sessions, Trent Sutton, Renee Swann and Elianor Vessali — and three Democrats — William Foster III, David Jaramillo and Rick Kennedy — are running in the primary election.

In the Republican primary, Sessions received 31.61% or 21,706 votes and Hindman received 18.07% or 12,405 votes.

In the Democratic primary, Kennedy received 22,148 or 47.93% of the vote and Jaramillo received 35% or 16,170 votes.

District 21

Rep. Chip Roy is running unopposed in the Republican primary. He took office in 2019.

Wendy Davis is projected to win the Democratic primary.

On Tuesday night, Davis released a statement on her projected win:

“I am honored by the overwhelming support of the people of Texas and am looking forward to the general election campaign. It’s time to fire Congressman Chip Roy. We cannot afford another DC politician beholden to pharmaceutical lobbyists, NRA officials and Wall Street banks. As your member of congress, I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my grandkids by lowering health care and prescription drug costs, creating good paying jobs and improving access to good quality education.”

Davis received 84,593 votes or 86.25%, while Leeder received 13.75% and 13,485 votes.

District 25

Rep. Roger Williams was first elected in 2012 and is projected to win re-election against challenger Keith Neuendorff.

Williams received 87.57% of the vote or 63,146 and Neuendorff received 12.43% or 8,965 votes.

Julie Oliver and Heidi Sloan are running in the Democratic primary.

Oliver received 69.61% or 56,151 votes and Sloan received 30.39% or 24,512 votes.

District 31

Rep. John Carter, the incumbent, is projected to win after facing three challengers in the Republican Primary: Abhiram Garapati, Christopher Wall and Mike Williams.

Carter received 82.28% or 53,070 votes.

All Carter’s Republican challengers say economic policies need to be tackled, and they hope someone local and community-oriented will represent Williamson and Bell Counties.

“I am a small business owner. I think it’s time for a small business owner to get into Congress. I plan to pay off the Nation’s debt by 2050,” Garapati told KXAN’s Kaitlun Karmout ahead of election results. “People in Central Texas are concerned with the debt spiraling out of control that the country is going through right now.”

“What I’ve accomplished is giving Williamson and Bell county an option,” Christopher Wall said. “The option is not the career politician. The option is having a representative that reflects those in the community. One of the things that needs to be addressed is the out of control budget spending by Congress. We all live by a budget, we live by family budgets and we live by our budgets at work. We don’t overspend, and I don’t think our government should be doing that, especially in our county.”

“John [Carter] has been the District 31 representative since there was a District 31,” Mike Williams said. “It was formed after the 2000 census. I’ve supported him 9 times. Now, I’m challenging him. The civil liberties attacks is a big deal to me. The border issues. That needs to be resolved.”

Eric Hanke, Donna Imam, Dan Janjigian, Christine Mann, Mike Grimes and Tammy Young are running in the Democratic primary and the winner will face the winner of the Republican primary.

Mann received 34.7% or 24,145 votes and Imam received 30.69% or 21,352 votes.

Hanke told KXAN he believes the county can swing Democratic once again, after supporting Beto O’Rourke and MJ Hegar in 2019.

watch party Mesa Rosa Round Rock
A watch party at Mesa Rosa in Round Rock March 3, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Kaitlyn Karmout)

“A lot of people have moved into Williamson County. Plus, there are a lot of people concerned with what’s happening at the national level. We think those people are turning out to vote. We are seeing that in the primary numbers,” Hanke said.

He told KXAN a big issue he’s heard about and hopes to address is health care.

“I’m a retirement counselor. I work for the Texas State pension at the Texas county retirement system,” Hanke said. “I’ve spent the last several years of my life talking to people all over Texas. It doesn’t matter if I’m talking to a conservative or a liberal. The thing I hear over and over is that healthcare is too expensive.”

As of 10:07pm, early polling reports suggest that candidates Christine Eady Mann and Donna Imam could be headed to a run-off election, although the race at this point is too early call.

Current polling reports have Mann receiving 39.5% and Imam receiving 30.1% percent of the vote.

Both Mann and Imam’s platforms emphasize healthcare reform.

Mann, who is a family physician, told KXAN, “The biggest thing that people come to me about is healthcare. People are very concerned about the loss of their healthcare. It’s something that I’ve seen in practice for 20 years.”

Imam told KXAN that incumbent Congressman John Carter has not done enough to address healthcare, as well as other issues.

“If you look at when he came into office, everything has gotten worse. Every expense in our community has gone up. Whether its healthcare, education… Texas has the highest number of people who are uninsured today. We have more than 50% of Texans that are living paycheck to paycheck. Whether we talk about nationally what’s happening or what’s happening in Texas, he hasn’t been attentive to either of them.”

KXAN will continue to bring you updates as polling reports come in tonight.

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