WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Two credit union-backed candidates will face U.S. Senate and House primary runoffs after their Tuesday Texas primary contests failed to declare clear winners.
One candidate, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (R), will face Republican opponent Ted Cruz in a two-man runoff election on July 31. Dewhurst, who was endorsed by the Texas Credit Union League and has also received support from the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), received 45% of the primary vote, but did not win the more than 50% of the vote needed to win the nomination outright. Cruz tallied 34% of all votes cast in the Republican primary.
The winner of that primary contest is expected to win the Senate seat of the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), as Texas has not had a Democratic senator in office since 1993. The Texas Democratic primary vote for this Senate contest will also be subject to a runoff vote.
In the House primary, CULAC-backed Marc Veasey (D), a current Texas state representative, received 36.7% of the total primary vote. Veasey will take part in a runoff election against Domingo Garcia (D), who received 24.9% of votes cast.
The runoff winner will take on a to-be-named Republican opponent for the state's newly created 33rd congressional district. That seat represents largely democratic areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Credit union candidates saw mixed results in other Texas races. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D), an eight-term House member who was also backed by CULAC, lost his primary contest to former El Paso City Councilman Beto O'Rourke (D), who won with 50.5% of the total vote. O'Rourke will face Republican nominee Barbara Carrasco in November.
Another CULAC-backed candidate, Texas State Senator Michael Jackson (R), came in third in Tuesday's 36th congressional district Republican primary with 19.7% of the vote, and will not compete in the Republican runoff for that nomination. Steve Stockman and Stephen Takach, who received 21.7% and 22.4% of the total votes, will compete for that district's Republican nomination. The winner of that runoff is expected to win the House seat, as there is no Democratic candidate at this time.
The presidency, congressional seats, and state and local positions are all at stake in 2012, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CULAC and state credit union leagues plan to work with credit union friendly candidates ahead of their general election contests.