Texas Primaries Result in Potential Gains for Women

50th Years of CAWP

LAST UPDATED: 3.14.22 12pm ET (final results)

One primary was held on Tuesday in Texas. Full context about women in the 2022 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, are available via the Center for American Women and Politics’ (CAWP) Election Watch.

Among the most notable results thus far for women:

  • All 6 (4D, 2R) women U.S. House incumbents running for re-election won their nominations and are currently favored to win in November.
  • In Texas’ 15th congressional district – an open seat created via reapportionment and redistricting – Monica De La Cruz (R) is the Republican nominee. Cook Political Report currently rates this general election contest as “Lean Republican.”
  • In Texas’ 28th congressional district, Jessica Cisneros (D) is in a runoff election against incumbent Representative Henry Cuellar (D) for the Democratic nomination. Cassy Garcia (R) and Sandra Whitten (R) are in the runoff election for the Republican nomination in that district, with the potential for an all-woman general election contest in a district currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.
  • Rochelle Garza (D) is in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination to compete against the winner of the Republican runoff election for Attorney General, which pits incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton against George P. Bush. No woman has ever served as Attorney General of Texas. Garza would also be the first Latina to serve as Attorney General of Texas.
     

U.S. Senate

There is no U.S. Senate contest in Texas in 2022.

U.S. House

Women currently hold 7 (5D, 2R) of 38 (18.4%) seats in the Texas congressional delegation. All but one woman incumbent is running for re-election; Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), who has served in the U.S. House since 1993, is retiring. In total, 10 (7D, 3R) women have ever served in the U.S. House from Texas.

Due to reapportionment, the number of U.S. House seats in Texas will increase by two in the next Congress. As of the primary election date, the state’s new congressional map is in litigation.

In 2022, 68 (36D, 32R) women ran for U.S. House seats in the primary election. This marks the highest number of women running for the U.S. House in Texas between 1990 and 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 18 of 55 (32.7%) major-party nominees for U.S. House already selected in Texas, including 12 of 25 (48%) Democrats and 6 of 30 (20%) Republicans. They are 10 of 30 (33.3%) U.S. House candidates moving on to the May 24, 2022 runoff election, including 7 of 14 (50%) Democrats and 3 of 16 (18.8%) Republicans. 40 (17D, 23R) women House candidates were unsuccessful. 

  • All 6 (4D, 2R) women U.S. House incumbents running for re-election will be nominees in November: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D, TX-07), Kay Granger (R, TX-12), Veronica Escobar (D, TX-16), Sheila Jackson Lee (D, TX-18), Beth Van Duyne (R, TX-24), and Sylvia Garcia (D, TX-29). All six incumbent women are strongly favored to win re-election according to the Cook Political Report. There will be all-women general election contests in Texas’ 18th congressional district, where Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D) will be challenged by Carmen Maria Montiel (R),  in Texas' 16th congressional district, where Representative Veronica Escobar (D) will be challenged by Irene Armendariz-Jackson (R).
  • 2 (1D, 1R) women are nominees in open-seat contests. Monica De La Cruz (R, TX-15) is the Republican nominee in a district currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report. Laura Jones (D, TX-08) is the Democratic nominee in a district currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. In addition:
    • 2 (2D) women - Jasmine Crockett (D) and Jane Hope Hamilton (D) - will advance to the runoff election for the Democratic nomination in Texas' 30th congressional district, which is currently rated as "Solid Democrat" by Cook Political Report
    • Diana Martinez Alexander (D) will compete in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination the open-seat contest in Texas' 38th congressional district, which is current rated as "Solid Republican" by Cook Political Report
    • Michelle Vallejo (D) will compete in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination the open-seat contest in Texas' 15th congressional district. If successful, she will run against Monica De La Cruz (R) in an all-woman general election contest. 
  • 10 (7D, 3R) women will challenge incumbents in November. All women challengers are running in general election contests that strongly favor their opponents, according to the latest Cook Political Report ratings. In addition:
    • Claudia Andreana Zapata (D) will compete in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Chip Roy (R) in Texas’ 21st congressional district;
    • Jan McDowell (D) will compete in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Beth Van Duyne (R) in Texas' 24th congressional district; and
    • Jenny Garcia Sharon (R) will compete in the runoff election for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Lloyd Doggett (D) in Texas' new 37th congressional district.
  • In Texas’ 28th congressional district, Jessica Cisneros (D) is in a runoff election against incumbent Representative Henry Cuellar (D) for the Democratic nomination. Cassy Garcia (R) and Sandra Whitten (R) are in the runoff election for the Republican nomination in that district, with the potential for an all-woman general election contest in a district currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report.

The previous high for women nominees in Texas U.S. House contests is 25, set in 2020. The previous high for women Democratic House nominees was 18, set in 2018. The previous high for women Republican House nominees was 8, set in 2020.

Of the 18 (12D, 6R) women nominees selected for U.S. House in Texas, 6 (2D, 4R) identify as Latina, 3 (3D) identify as Black, and at least 6 (3D, 3R) identify as white. These numbers include 1 (1R) woman who identifies as both Latina and white. There are 4 (4D) women nominees for whom self-identified race is unavailable. Of the 10 (7D, 3R) women advancing to runoff elections for the U.S. House, 6 (4D, 2R) identify as Latina, 2 (2D) identify as Black, 2 (1D, 1R) identify as white, and 1 (1D) identifies as Native American. These numbers include 1 (1D) woman who identifies as both Latina and Native American. Texas elected its first Latinas to Congress in 2018 and has never sent a Native American woman to Congress.

Statewide Elective Executive Office

Women currently hold 1 (1R) of 9 (11.1%) statewide elective executive offices in Texas. Cristi Craddick (R), who is one of three of the state’s railroad commissioners, is the only woman currently holding statewide elective executive office in Texas. She won re-election to another six-year term in 2018 and is not on the ballot this year. Nine (3D, 4R, 1I) women have ever served in statewide elective executive office in Texas, including three women who held more than one statewide elective executive post.

In 2022, 13 (8D, 5R) women ran in primaries for the seven statewide executive positions up for election in Texas. This year marks the highest number of women running for statewide elective executive office, overall and for women in both major political parties, in Texas between 2002 and 2022.

Based on primary election results, women are 1 of 7 (14.3%) major-party nominees for statewide elected executive offices already selected in Texas, including 1 of 3 (33.3%) Democrats and 0 of 4 (0%) Republicans. They are 6 of 14 (42.9%) statewide candidates moving on to the May 24, 2022 runoff election, including 4 of 8 (50%) Democrats and 2 of 6 (33.3%) Republicans. 6 (3D, 3R) women statewide candidates were unsuccessful. 

  • Both women running for Governor of Texas – Joy Diaz (D) and Kandy Kaye Horn (R) – were defeated in the primary election.
  • Susan Hays (D) will challenge incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller (R) in the general election. No Democratic woman has ever served as Texas’ Commissioner of Agriculture.
  • Rochelle Garza (D) is in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination to compete against the winner of the Republican runoff election for Attorney General, which pits incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton against George P. Bush. No woman has ever served as Attorney General of Texas. Garza would also be the first Latina to serve as Attorney General of Texas.
  • Dawn Buckingham (R) is in the runoff election for the Republican nomination and Sandragrace Martinez (D) is in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination for Texas Land Commissioner. This is an open-seat contest. No woman has ever served as Texas Land Commissioner.
  • Janet Dudding is in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Commissioner of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar (R).
  • Michelle Beckley (D) is in the runoff election for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R). 
  • Sarah Stogner is in the runoff election for the Republican nomination against incumbent Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian (R).

For primary results summaries from other states and full results, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, see CAWP’s Election Watch.

CAWP Staff