Mayes Middleton defeated state Rep. Wayne Faircloth for the Republican nomination for the statehouse seat in Texas House District 23, giving Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a victory in his efforts to replace some members of the legislature’s lower chamber.

It was the only race in which Abbott was successful in his effort.

During the primary campaign, Abbott endorsed three challengers over incumbent Republican state representatives. He also targeted state Reps. Sarah Davis in Houston and Lyle Larson in San Antonio. Davis and Larson won their primary races easily.

“One of three is not much, but it’s not nothing,” wrote Chris Hooks, a reporter for the Texas Observer.

Republican challengers endorsed by conservative activist group Empower Texans also earned few wins aside from Middleton, who once sat on the board of the group’s policy foundation.

Of the 16 House seats Empower Texans went after, only two challengers won their primary elections — Middleton and interior designer Lisa Luby Ryan, who defeated Dallas Republican state Rep. Jason Villalba.

Despite losses, Empower Texans CEO Michael Q. Sullivan tweeted that the group had achieved its top goal — protecting members of the arch-conservative Texas House Freedom Caucus.


One the biggest frustrations of election night was the trouble that people had accessing the Galveston County voter information website,

The election division of the Galveston County clerk’s office posts printouts of the election results to the site periodically on election nights, giving vote watchers a rolling update of who is ahead on Galveston County ballots.

About 8 p.m. Tuesday, however, people were thwarted by a pop-up box demanding a username and password to access the results.

The issue persisted over the next few hours.

On Wednesday, county officials said the problem occurred because of human error. The person in the clerk’s office charged with uploading the printouts accidentally saved the document with password protection, causing the problem, officials said. is a 6-year-old website, and is regarded by some as increasingly outdated. County commissioners plan to issue a request for proposals for a new county website in the near future, officials said. That website could feature an updated election section.



If you’re thinking that some of the candidates who lost in Tuesday’s primary election might make second bids as independent write-in candidates in the November general election, don’t get your hopes up.

Texas election laws prevent people who run for office in a primary election from being a write-in candidate in a subsequent general election.

Eligible write-in candidates have until Aug. 20 to tell the Secretary of State or the county judge that they intend to run. Prospective write-in candidates also have to either pay a filing fee or get gather petition signatures to appear as an independent on write-in ballots.

The rules prevent a situation like what happened in Alaska in 2010, when U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, lost a primary race to a Tea Party challenger, but then ran and won as an independent in the general election.


Galveston County Precinct 1 Commissioner Darrell Apffel apologized for being late to Wednesday’s commissioners court meeting. He told Galveston County Judge Mark Henry that he had been at the store “buying crow.” Apffel had supported Galveston District Court Judge Lonnie Cox during the election. ... 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter won her bid to be a judge on the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals. Her vacant seat will eventually be filled by an appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott. ... Houston-area state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, who is frequently seen around Galveston, won the Democratic nomination to Texas Congressional District 29 on Tuesday. She’s likely to win a seat in Congress in the fall. ... Rest your election clock countdown — early voting for local municipal elections starts in 47 days.

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


(3) comments

Diane Turski

For any Faircloth voters who do not want to support the hard right wing agenda of Middleton, please consider voting for Amanda Jamrock in the general election. She will represent her constituents with common sense and will not lock step vote with Governor Abbott's hard right wing agenda!

Carol Dean

Middleton won primarily because people were "fed up" with Fakecloth!

Gary Miller

Winners and losers is not as interesting as who voted. If reports are true the GOP/DNC divisions of voters has returned to 2002 levels, a midterm year when the GOP added seats in the house and senate. Texas became red again with a record number of GOP voters. More than in any other year ever.

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