Valdez concedes Dallas County sheriff’s runoff

Former Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez has conceded the Democratic runoff to incumbent Sheriff Marian Brown. In a statement sent to Dallas Voice at about 11:10 p.m., Mike Hendrix, a spokesman for the Valdez campaign, said on behalf of the former sheriff:

“This race was never about us. This race was about highlighting the many problems at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and bringing light to a failing department. Our campaign was honored to be able to bring attention to the many issues affecting deputies, morale and the safety of our inmates and the citizens of Dallas County. Our hope is that our campaign brought light to these issues and that they will lead to an improved sheriff’s department. Our campaign would like to thank all of my supporters, friends and the many deputies who worked so tirelessly for our campaign.

“Lupe Valdez would like to thank Commissioner John Wiley Price and Sheriff Brown for a well fought campaign. Lupe would also like to thank the many. LGBTQ+ voters and volunteers who campaigned so hard for equal representation. We could not have done it without each and every color of the rainbow.”

The runoff victory means Brown will serve another four year term as sheriff because there is no Republican running in the November election.

Texas 12th Congressional District

Craig Goldman, a Republican Texas state representative who opposed Greg Abbott’s school vouchers program and voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, has defeated Paxton-backed businessman John O’Shea to succeed former Congresswoman Kay Granger as the 12th District representative in the U.S. House. With nearly 84 percent of the ballots counted, Goldman led Shea 63.2 percent to 36.8 percent.

Texas House District 146 UPDATE:

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has declared LGBTQ candidate Lauren Ashley Simmons the winner in the Texas House District 146 Democratic runoff.

“Lauren took the brave step to run for office to unseat someone who has consistently voted in favor of anti-equality bills. We know she’ll be a strong voice for equality in the Texas House,” Victory Fund officials said in a statement.

Simmons has herself claimed victory in the contest, saying in an election night speech, “I had no idea how any of this was going to turn out almost a year ago when I set out to do this, but I knew I wasn’t happy with what was going on around me, and I wanted to be the change that I wanted to see.”

Simmons will now face  off against Republican Lance York in the November election.

Dallas County Sheriff

Lupe Valdez

After severe thunderstorms caused some 113 of the 200 polling locations in Dallas County to close early or kept them from opening at all, a Dallas County judge earlier ordered the polls to stay open to 9 p.m. An hour-and-a-half after the polls finally close, very early results have openly LGBTQ former sheriff Lupe Valdez trailing incumbent Sheriff Marian Brown, 32 percent to 68 percent.

Valdez was first elected in 2005 and served two full terms and part of a third before stepping down to run for governor. Although she won the Democratic nomination — making history as the first openly LGBTQ candidate nominated by a major political party in Texas for a statewide office — she eventually lost to Greg Abbott.

Texas Senate District 15

Molly Cook, Texas’ first openly-LGBTQ state senator

Texas’ first and only openly LGBTQ state senator, Molly Cook, trails Jarvis D. Johnson in the Democratic Primary runoff to fill the District 15 seat in the Texas Senate. Cook won a special election last month to finish out the term of incumbent Democrat John Whitmire after Whitmire stepped down to become mayor of Houston. The primary runoff, however, is to determine who will claim the full four-year term that begins in January.

With 53.7 percent of the votes counted, Johnson leads with 51.5 percent to Cook’s 48.5 percent.

Texas House District 21

Dade Phelan, the incumbent Republican in House District 21 and the Speaker of the House, appears to have won his runoff over challenger David Covey. With about 99 percent of the ballots counted, Phelan has claimed a narrow victory with 50.7 percent of the vote.

The runoff has proven to be an expensive race, with Southeast Texans bombarded daily with TV ads and mailers from the two candidates. Covey was hand-picked by Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General  Ken Paxton to challenge Phelan in the primary after Phelan repeatedly refused to back Abbott’s school vouchers plan and after he led the effort to impeach Paxton.

Texas House District 146

In the Democratic Primary runoff in Texas House District 146, early returns show union organizer and

Lauren Ashley Simmons

openly LGBTQ candidate Lauren Ashley Simmons leading anti-LGBTQ incumbent Shawn Thierry by 20 percentage points.

With 38.61 percent of the ballots counted, Simmons had 60.4 percent, over Thierry’s 39.6 percent. Simmons decided to run against Thierry last year after Thierry broke rank with her Democratic colleagues to vote in favor of right-wing Republican legislation denying gender-affirming health care to transgender youth.

District 146 encompasses part of the city of Houston in Harris County.