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Primary election roundup

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by The Texas Tribune Staff

AUSTIN (THE TEXAS TRIBUNE) - The redistricting maps are finally settled, and the primary campaign mudslinging is all but over — at least until the runoffs. All that's left now is the voting. Before Texans head to the polls on Tuesday, here's a recap of our coverage of the hottest races across the state.

U.S. Senate:

After nine years as Texas' lieutenant governorDavid Dewhurst can point to major conservative victories, with the passage of dozens of major bills. But critics say that when push came to shove, he often avoided tough negotiations.  

You might come to believe that Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general, is the reason the stone monument to the Ten Commandments is still standing near the northwest corner of the Texas Capitol. It's not so. 

During Tom Leppert's tenure as Dallas mayor, the city's crime rate dropped and major projects advanced. But critics say Leppert had always looked at the job as a political stepping stone. 

At a Senate forum in Houston, Democratic candidates Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard finally got a bit of airtime, joining the four leading Republicans vying for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat.

Congress

CD-22: In Fort Bend County, Democrats have made a rare primary endorsement, choosing K.P. George over Kesha Rogers, who has called for impeaching President Obama. 

CD-36: State Sen. Mike Jackson is probably headed for a runoff in the new 36th Congressional District in southeast Texas. With 12 candidates in the GOP primary, it's hard to predict the rest. 

CD-14: The race to replace U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is a free-for-all, with nine Republicans among 11 major party candidates running to represent Congressional District 14. 

CD-6: Congressman Joe Barton isn't expecting too much trouble in his re-election bid. But the longtime incumbent has three opponents in the Republican primary, and political observers say it could be a tougher-than-usual race. 

CD-33: Want to guarantee a campaign throwdown? Toss two major U.S. cities, two large minority populations and 15 candidates into one newly drawn North Texas congressional district. 

CD-30: U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, is a 20-year incumbent with an endorsement from President Obama. DeSoto lawyer Taj Clayton and state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway are angling to unseat her. 

CD-16: It's never been friendly, but the battle over CD-16 between U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, and primary challenger Beto O'Rourke is becoming a full-fledged border brawl. 

Texas House

HD-57: State Rep. Marva Beck, R-Centerville, faces a stiff GOP primary challenge in her redrawn East Texas district from Trent Ashby, the president of the school board in Lufkin. 

HD-19: The Republican primary race in the newly drawn HD-19 between state Reps. James White and Mike Hamilton has the markings of a battle-by-proxy between state leaders who represent different factions of the Republican Party. 

HD-146: Voters in the district could be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu. They truly have been here before. Two years ago. Four years ago. Six years ago. Their ballots always seem to carry the same two names: Borris Miles vs. Al Edwards.  

HD-144: The race to replace state Rep. Ken Legler, R-Pasadena, has sparked competitive races in both the Republican and Democratic primaries. 

HD-133: State Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, is facing a challenge from Ann Witt, a former schoolteacher and developer. With House District 133 now solidly Republican, the primary is where the attention will be. 

HD-121: Last year, opponents of Speaker Joe Straus urged House members to eject him from his powerful job at the Capitol. This time, they are trying to defeat him the traditional way — at the ballot box. 

HD-11: State Rep. Chuck Hopson, R-Jacksonville, faces a tough road to re-election in the redrawn HD-11. Some constituents are calling GOP primary challenger Travis Clardy the conservative alternative in the race. 

HD-7: GOP leaders from East Texas see a tight race in the rematch between state Rep. David Simpson and Tommy Merritt, a former seven-term House member. 

HD-56: Waco's Doc Anderson has two challengers in a classic experience vs. new blood contest that all parties agree is getting only light voter interest. 

HD-110: State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway's campaign for Congress has left a key opening in a historically black southern Dallas state House district — and three Democratic candidates are angling for it. 

HD-35 and HD-40: State Reps. Jose Aliseda, R-Beeville, and Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg, have decided not to seek re-election, leaving six Democrats to run for their seats.

HD-43: Facing a primary challenge in his new party, state Rep. J.M. Lozano, a freshman Republican from Kingsville who was a Democrat just two months ago, is trying to show that he has GOP credentials and isn't an opportunist. 

HD-75: Rivals in the Democratic primary battle to replace state Rep. Inocente "Chente" Quintanilla, 69, D-Tornillo, have spent much of the campaign debating who is too liberal or conservative for the rural West Texas district. 

HD-77Aaron Barraza isn't letting his youth stop him from trying to unseat state Rep. Marisa Marquez of El Paso in the Democratic primary for HD-77. Marquez says her record should earn her another term. 

HD-98: State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, is in a tight race against Giovanni Capriglione, a public equity manager running against her for the second time. Throughout the race, she has played up her image as a tough fighter. 

HD-93: State Rep. Barbara Nash, R-Arlington, is running for re-election in a district that shares only 20 percent of the population with the district that originally elected her two years ago. 

HD-91, HD-92, HD-95 and HD-97: Four state representatives in Tarrant County are pursuing higher office this year, sparking four wide open primaries to replace them.  

HD-101: A three-person Democratic primary in Tarrant County features two former state representatives who can't stop swiping at each other and a fake string of emails that have been called "Machiavellian." 

HD-90: Domingo Garcia's campaign for Congress may boost Hispanic turnout enough to unseat state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, who is facing his first primary challenge in 16 years. 

HD-9: State Rep. Wayne Christian and Marshall Mayor Chris Paddie are waging expensive campaigns. Both conservatives have big endorsements. But Christian says he's fighting more than his opponent.

HD-6: State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is fighting to defeat cancer and a challenger who is giving the seven-term incumbent the first serious threat of his career. 

HD-67, HD-114 and HD-115: The Republican candidates vying to fill three open seats in the Dallas area include Tea Partiers, moderates and a former state representative. In the crowded North Texas field, it's likely all of the races could end in runoffs. 

HD-64, HD-65, HD-70, HD-106 and SD-30: Republicans are expected to win easy victories in several Collin and Denton county legislative races. But that hasn't stopped the candidates from duking it out over who has the most conservative credentials. Here are five races to watch. 

HD-33: A district covering Rockwall County and parts of Collin County is up for grabs. Republican observers expect a close race between former judge Jim Pruitt and Scott Turner, a professional athlete turned businessman. 

HD-96: Republican state Rep. Bill Zedler, who does not shy away from politically charged issues, faces a primary challenge from Mike Leyman, a school district police chief who calls himself a "reasonable conservative." 

HD-137: In southwest Houston, four Democratic hopefuls are running for the seat held for 20 years by Rep. Scott Hochberg. The candidates include two former Capitol staffers, a prosecutor and a school board member.

HD-94: In Arlington, incumbent state Rep. Diane Patrick is being challenged by nurse practitioner Trina Lanza. The candidates — like many this primary season — are fighting over who is the true conservative in the race.

Texas Senate

SD-25: State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, is battling GOP rivals Elizabeth Ames Jones and Donna Campbell, who are both coming at him from his right flank. 

SD-11: Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, Texas' largest single contributor to Democrats in 2010, is pouring money into a GOP primary race, targeting state Senate hopeful Larry Taylor

SD-9: How to pay for the state's transportation needs has emerged as a key issue in the open primary race between Republican state Reps. Kelly Hancock and Todd Smith

Elsewhere:

State Board of Education: Two influential incumbents — who are often at odds with each other — are both facing primary challenges that could result in a power shift on the fractious board. 

Railroad Commission: One overriding theme unifies the multiple Republican candidates for two Texas Railroad Commission slots: The Environmental Protection Agency has overreached and must be scaled back.

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