Texas Senate Runoff Leads Spate of Congressional Primaries

Photograph by Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle/AP Photo

Sarah Palin speaks to a crowd of about 1,000 Ted Cruz supporters on July 27, 2012 in The Woodlands, Texas.

Long overshadowed by the high-profile presidential election, congressional primaries will soon attract more attention.

After no House or Senate primary or runoff election in three of the past four weeks, there will be at least one such contest in each of the next seven weeks — beginning with a Republican U.S. Senate runoff in Texas tomorrow.

That contest pits Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who’s backed by Governor Rick Perry, against Ted Cruz, a lawyer and former state solicitor general who’s preferred by Tea Party activists and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Dewhurst led Cruz, 45 percent to 34 percent, in the first ballot May 29, though Cruz has had the momentum over the past two months. (Bloomberg’s Kathy Warbelow previews the race here.)

Georgia also holds primary elections tomorrow, setting Nov. 6 matchups in its 14 congressional districts, including a new one that was awarded to the fast-growing state following the 2010 census. A majority vote is needed to avoid an Aug. 21 runoff.

Tennessee will vote Aug. 2, a Thursday.

Missouri and Michigan vote the following week, on Aug. 7, with marquee contests including a pair of contests pitting Democratic House members against one another after redistricting. In Missouri, it’s Lacy Clay against Russ Carnahan in a St. Louis-area district. In Michigan, it’s Gary Peters against Hansen Clarke in metropolitan Detroit. Washington state and Kansas also have primary elections Aug. 7.


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