By Ernst Stumbo
All views stated or implied in this article are my own and are not representative of The Berea Torch.
Who doesn’t love election season? Well, many people don’t, but if you are reading this article, you probably care at least a little bit. The 2022 midterm elections are winding up, and the first state to have major primary battles before the general election in November, Texas, has had its first primary elections on March 1st.
As a college town, Berea residents have had a history of being politically involved. I looked at some donor databases that I usually browse before deciding which candidate to vote for and saw that Madison County, KY, has had many donations and many donors. I am glad to see that faith in democracy is alive and well in our corner of the country.
Let’s recap some major elections before we go into what the results mean for Texas and the nation as a whole.
- Republican: Governor Abbot won his primary fairly comfortably. Some of his critics in his own party, who claimed that he was not conservative enough, did not rally behind a candidate. The movement to bet him in a primary never fully materialized.
- Democrat: Beto O’Rourke swept the race with over 90% of the vote. After his very close loss to Ted Cruz in 2018, Beto is back to being thrown down against Governor Abbott. The race was only nominally contested, and it was a cakewalk for Beto. In November, he will face off against Governor Abbot in what looks to be a hotly contested race.
Attorney General’s Race:
- Republican: Scandal-ridden incumbent Ken Paxton was forced into a runoff against the torch-bearer of the Bush Dynasty, George P. Bush.
- Democrat: Rocelle Garza has the lead, with either Joe Jaworski or Lee Merritt going into a runoff with her. The results are close, so the race may not be called for a while.
- Republican: Dan Patrick won his primary with minimal opposition.
- Democrat: Mike Collier is leading and will runoff with either Michelle Beckley or Carla Brailey. The results indicate that Michelle Beckley has advanced into the runoff with Collier, but some significant networks have not called the race just yet.
Major House of Representative Primary Battles:
- In the 28th District on the Democratic side, a rematch between Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros has headed into a runoff in the wake of an FBI raid on Cuellar’s home. In 2020, Cisneros narrowly lost the primary to Cuellar and hoped to oust Cuellar, the last anti-abortion Democrat in the House of Representatives. Whoever wins the race will be in a highly contentious race.
- In the 30th District on the Democratic side, Jasmine Crockett leads against all her opponents, being narrowly forced into a runoff against Jane Hamilton. Whoever wins this primary will be heading into a general election equivalent to a coronation.
- In the 35th District, Greg Casar has avoided a runoff against anyone. Statistics say this victory is tantamount to election in this profoundly blue district.
- In the hotly contested 15th District, there were battles on both sides of the aisle. Monica De La Cruz won for Republicans in an overwhelming victory. For Democrats, Ruben Ramirez is guaranteed a spot in the runoff, but who will win the other spot in the runoff is not clear yet. No matter who wins, this district will be significantly contested in the general election.
- In the 3rd District, Van Taylor was forced into a runoff against former Collin County Judge Keith Self. However, after the results were announced, Van Taylor removed himself from the primary ballot after news broke that he was unfaithful to his wife.
The purely political takeaway is that populist Republicans and moderate Democrats have taken a loss. On the Republican side, primaries from the right, for the most part, failed. The exception to this is the 3rd District. On the Democratic side, more progressive candidates such as Jessica Cisneros, Jasmine Crockett, and Greg Casar have found success. These shifts likely represent the long-term shift of the state of Texas towards the democratic party.
I wrote this article because primary elections for Kentucky will happen on May 17th. You can register to vote up to 28 days before the election, but don’t wait. I hope all eligible Berea College students register to vote and turn out on Election Day. If you need help, there are campus organizations such as VEPAC that you can reach out to.
Make a plan to vote and bring friends with you when you are doing it. I hope that everyone participates in the democratic process! Happy voting!