As of Sunday, the only person officially listed as a candidate for the next U.S. Senate election is Geraldine Sam, the former mayor of La Marque.

Sam, 66, was the first person to get her name on the statewide ballot. She is challenging Ted Cruz in the Republican primary, and, as of Sunday, was still the only person listed as a candidate for the Senate seat on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

Sam did not respond to multiple phone and text messages seeking comment on Friday and Sunday.

On her Facebook page, where she announced her bid, Sam said she believes President Donald Trump, whom she called “45,” has made many mistakes.

“There must be someone there to speak against them,” Sam said. “I am speaking about real solutions for real concerns.”

She did not mention Cruz.

Carl Gustafson, the chairman of the Republican Party of Galveston County, on Sunday confirmed that Sam had declared her candidacy. He declined to go much further than that.

“I think Senator Cruz has done a good job,” Gustafson said. “I like Geraldine Sam. She’s a nice lady.”

In order to file for a place on the statewide ballot, a candidate must pay $5,000 or present a petition with at least 5,000 signatures.

There’s still plenty of time for other candidates to get their names on the ballot. The application window doesn’t close until Dec. 11.

Cruz has already said he plans to run again. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, is the favorite to end up challenging him in the general election next November.

O’Rourke’s bid has received national attention, including a write up in The New York Times in May, and is looking like one of the few races in which a Democrat might threaten a Republican in Texas in 2018.

There are other, lesser-known names that have said they will run for the seat, including Houston energy lawyer Stefano de Stefano and Christian TV producer Bruce Jacobson.

Dan McQueen, who was the mayor of Corpus Christi but quit 37 days into his term, had announced he was going to run for the seat. But on Friday, McQueen told the Corpus Christi Caller Times reporter he was dropping that idea and supporting Jacobson.

Like Sam, they all have little in the way of national profile, except for a few fleeting moments in the spotlight.

Sam did make national headlines last year during the 2016 Republican National Convention by attacking Cruz.

After Cruz refused to make an outright endorsement of President Donald Trump — and gave a speech at the convention in which his non-endorsement was conspicuous — Sam, who was a Texas delegate to the convention, announced that she had become a Trump supporter in an interview with CNN.

“If you cannot be a person, a word of your bond, then guess what, if I can’t trust you to say and do what you’re going to say, then how are you going to expect me to trust you to say any other things?” Sam said at the time.

Aside from name recognition, Cruz’s GOP challengers will have to deal with his $6 million campaign war chest. Sam does not have any recent campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Sam was mayor of La Marque from 2009 to 2011. She was the first African-American mayor of that city, and the first African-American woman to be elected as mayor of any city in Galveston County. She was removed from office early in a recall election amid criticisms of her leadership.

Her mayoral victory aside, Sam is something of a perpetual candidate. She ran unsuccessful campaigns for the city council in 1985, 1990 and 2004, and lost bids for mayor in 2004 and 2011, immediately after her removal. She twice ran, and lost, for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 and 1996. And she failed to be elected as Galveston County district clerk in 1998.

However improbable her campaign against Cruz is, Sam is trying to make state history. Texas has never had an African American U.S. Senator. Its only female senator was Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Like Sam, Hutchison was from La Marque.

The primary elections are on March 6, 2018.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

2018 Primary Candidates in Galveston County and beyond

This page is meant to track candidates who have declared for a place on the ballot during the 2018 primaries.

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4 Field 5
Galveston County Elections Republican Status Democrat Status
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry (I) Declared
Lonnie Cox Declared
Galveston County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Clark (I) Declared
Billy Enochs Declared
Jim Bulgier Filed with state
Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady (I) Declared
Tom Dickens Declared
County Treasurer Kevin Walsh (I) Filed with party
District Clerk John D. Kinnard (I) Filed with state
Galveston County Probate Court Kim Sullivan (I) Filed with state
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 Greg Rikard Filed with state
Alison Cox (I) ???
Multi-County Elections Republican Democrat
Texas Congressional District 14 Randy Weber (I) Declared Adrienne Bell Declared
Bill Sargeant Declared Levy Barnes Declared
Texas House District 23 Wayne Faircloth (I) Filed with party Amanda Gail Jamrok Assigned Campaign Treasurer
Mayes Middleton Declared
Texas House District 24 Greg Bonnen (I) Filed with state
Texas State Board of Education, District 7 Matt Robinson Filed with party Elizabeth "Eliz" Markowitz Filed with state
David Bradley (I) Retiring
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals Place 2 Jane Bland (I) Filed with party Gordon Goodman Filed with state
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals, Place 6 Harvey Brown (I) Filed with party
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals, Place 7 Katy Boatman Filed with party Terry Jennings (I) ?
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals, Place 8 Michael Massengale (I) ? Richard Hightower Filed with state
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals, Place 9 Jennifer Caughey (I) Filed with party
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 4 Marc Brown (I) Filed with party
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 5 Martha Hill Jamison (5) Filed with party
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 6 Bill Boyce (6) Filed with party
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 8 John Donovan (8) Filed with party Michele Barber Chimene Filed with state
Statewide Elections Republican Democrat
Governor Greg Abbott (I) Filed with state Grady Yarbrough Filed with state
Tom Wakely Filed with state
Jeffrey Payne
Garry Brown
Adrian Ocegueda Filed with state
Lietenant Governer Dan Patrick (I) Filed with state Mike Collier Filed with state
Michael Cooper Filed with state
Senator Ted Cruz (I) Declared Beto O'Rourke Declared
Geraldine Sam Filed with state
Stefano de Stefano Declared
Bruce Jacobson Declared
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (I) Declared Justin Nelson Filed with state
Railroad Commission Christi Craddick (I) Filed with state Roman McAllen Filed with state
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar (I) Filed with party
Land Commissioner George P. Bush (I) Filed with state
Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller (I) Filed with party Kim Olson
Justice, Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, Place 8 Michelle Slaughter Declared
Elsa Alcala (I) Not seeking re-election
Jay Brandon Declared
Dib Waldrip Declared


(9) comments

Carlos Ponce

"Sam county's first African-American female mayor" May 10, 2009
"Sam ousted as mayor in La Marque " May 15, 2011

Randy Chapman

Now this is funny; I don't care who you are.

Kelly Naschke

Ted Cruz just read this article...took a deep breath....let out a big “whew”, and said....”this is going to be easy”. On an even funnier note....let’s hope and pray Cruz, Sam, and Beto have a televised debate!

Kay Fritz

That will be good entertainment as Ted Cruz shreds them both.

PD Hyatt

After the name that Sam has made for herself in this area, the odds of her getting over 200 votes is slim to none....

Carlos Ponce

Remember Paul, Auntie Gerrie supported her nephew, former Hitchcock Bulldog and University of Missouri football player, Michael Sam. So she could much of the LGBTQ vote. They are few in numbers but they DO vote. Might even see a few Democrats "cross over" to vote for her.

Dwight Burns

I find this comment of yours to be repulsive at best. ComOn man!

Carlos Ponce

My comment, Dwight?

Dwight Burns

I am not a supporter of the GOP agenda, but best of luck to Ms Sam.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.