(John Ransom, Headline USA) Candidates backed by former President Donald Trump showed strength in the Texas GOP primary election yesterday, with all 33 candidates winning their primary elections according to a statement by Trump.
Polls close today for the Texas primaries — the first test of former president Donald Trump’s endorsement power in the 2022 midterm cycle.
Here’s where you can find live updates of the election results: https://t.co/5lS9tcGAOU
Learn more about the races⬇️ https://t.co/w8l0hbl9qe
— Silvia Foster-Frau (@SilviaElenaFF) March 1, 2022
“Big night in Texas! All 33 candidates that were Trump endorsed have either won their primary election or are substantially leading in the case of a runoff,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday evening.
At the top of the ticket, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott handily defeated Lt. Col. Allen West, a former Texas GOP chair and former Florida congressman, as well as conservative commentator Chad Prather, amassing nearly 70% of the vote, according to the Epoch Times.
Abbot will now face-off against perennial Texas Democrat candidate Beto O’Rourke, who previously ran for US Senate in Texas, losing to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, and then attempted an aborted run for president of the United States, said the Epoch Times.
Abbott went on the offensive against the would-be Democrat governor immediately, saying Beto wanted to “impose socialism” on Texas.
“From Beto O’Rourke’s reckless calls to defund the police to his dangerous support of the Biden Administration’s pro-open border policies, which have resulted in thousands of fentanyl deaths, Beto O’Rourke has demonstrated he has more in common with President Biden than he does with Texans,” Abbott campaign spokesperson Mark Miner said in a statement, according to Epoch Times.
In another hotly contested race with several marquee names, Texas’s Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton, failed to get 50% of the vote in the primary and will have a May 24 runoff against George P. Bush, according to Reuters.
Although Bush, grandson of the former president George H.W. Bush and eldest child of Jeb Bush, was the only member of the neocon dynasty to support Trump publically, the former president stood behind the incumbent Paxton, who has been an ardent supporter as well, including filing a high-profile lawsuit to contest the disputed outcome of the 2020 election.
Also in the race for attorney general was GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, who currently represents the 1st congressional district. Lacking the coveted Trump endorsement and fresh from being censured by House Democrats, Gohmert failed to get even 20% of the vote, said the Texas Tribune.
The race presents one of the starkest examples of the identity crisis facing the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. While Cuellar has been highly critical of the Biden administration over its failure to maintain border security, Cisneros has been backed by radicals in Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez.
Although Cuellar had the edge when the two faced off in 2020, the runoff may see Cisneros benefitting from the elimination of Tannya Benavides. The pro-open-borders activist garnered 4.7% of the vote, which would be enough to cover the margin by which Cisneros trailed Cuellar.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.