Dan Crenshaw and Chip Roy were among the winners in Tuesday's Republican congressional runoffs, setting the stage for November's general election.
Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL, defeated state Rep. Kevin Roberts in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Ted Poe of Humble. Roy bested Matt McCall in the campaign to replace U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio. Other GOP congressional winners included Michael Cloud, Ron Wright and state Rep. Lance Gooden of Terrell.
In all, six congressional races had GOP runoffs Tuesday. Five of those runoffs were in heavily GOP districts across the state, meaning that Tuesday's winners in those districts are likely to be headed to Capitol Hill. On the Democratic side, 11 congressional runoffs were being decided Tuesday.
Perhaps the most closely watched GOP congressional runoff was the faceoff in the 21st Congressional District between Roy, a former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and McCall, a candidate who also ran in 2014 and 2016. The seat opened after Smith, a San Antonio Republican who was first elected to Congress in 1987, announced in November that he is retiring.
Roy had a significant financial and outside group advantage. He and McCall advanced to the runoff from a field of 18 candidates who were on the GOP primary ballot in March.
While some political observers say the race could become competitive in the fall, it is likely a long shot for Democrats at this point.
The 2nd District race to replace Poe, who also announced his retirement in November, became heated. Roberts had said Crenshaw aims to raise taxes to preserve Social Security and that Crenshaw has posted "demeaning" comments about Christianity. Crenshaw had accused Roberts of "mudslinging" and misrepresenting his viewpoints.
Crenshaw will have the advantage in the November general election, but national and local Democrats are optimistic about the campaign of nonprofit executive Todd Litton, who secured his party’s nomination on March 6.
To the south, Michael Cloud defeated Bech Bruun in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Corpus Christi Republican, in the 27th Congressional District.
There will be a special election for that seat at the end of June to fill out Farenthold's current term, which expires in January. Both Cloud and Bruun are among the candidates in that election.
In North Texas, Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright defeated retired naval aviator Jake Ellzey in their race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, in the 6th Congressional District.
And to the east, Lance Gooden won over Bunni Pounds in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling in the sprawling 5th Congressional District.
The Club for Growth, a powerful anti-tax group, had a strong night with at least three of its endorsed Texas candidates prevailing in their primaries: Cloud, Roy and Wright. The outlier was Pounds.
In the 29th Congressional District, Phillip Aronoff defeated Carmen Maria Montiel in the GOP runoff. He will face state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, as they seek to succeed U.S. Rep. Gene Green. The district heavily leans Democratic.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the district that Lance Gooden and Bunni Pounds competed in. They are in the 5th Congressional District.