Donald Trump-Backed Candidates Dominate in Texas Primary Elections

Donald Trump proclaimed victory on Tuesday night after every candidate he endorsed in the Texas primaries won, or advanced into a runoff.

In the first sign in whether Trump's backing will have any influence on the midterms, all 33 candidates the former president publicly supported—which ranged from Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott to Tarrant County judge hopeful Tim O'Hare—either won their election, or look to be on their way to doing so.

One minor blip for Trump on the night was that his choice in the GOP primary for state attorney general, incumbent Ken Paxton, failed to win the election outright after not reaching the 50 percent threshold.

Paxton, who is under an FBI investigation over allegations that he abused the power of his office to help a political donor, will now face a runoff against George P. Bush, the son of the former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, and nephew and grandson of George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush respectively.

With more than 95 percent of votes recorded, the Associated Press is reporting that Paxton is way out in front with 42.7 percent, with Bush a distant second on 22.8 percent.

As noted by Texas Monthly, four other Trump-endorsed candidates forced into a runoff—land commissioner candidate Dawn Buckingham, state senator candidates Pete Flores and Frederick Frazier, and Tarrant County district attorney hopeful Phil Sorrells—have significant leads over their nearest rivals and remain favorites to win their elections.

"Big night in Texas! All 33 candidates that were Trump endorsed have either won their primary election or are substantially leading in the case of a runoff," Trump said in a statement.

"Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick have won in a landslide. Thank you, and congratulations to all!"

As with previous election cycles, Trump was successful in endorsing the eventual winners as he generally backed the primary candidate who was already the favorite to win.

As noted by The Washington Post, many of his endorsements in Texas had come in the past few weeks and went to incumbents, who rarely lose renomination. FiveThirtyEight also reported at least seven Trump-endorsed candidates were running unopposed.

While experts have questioned just how much Trump's endorsement will ultimately have on midterm elections, a number of voters in Texas cited the former president as a reason for them deciding to back his preferred candidates.

Vaughn Switzer, 76, of San Antonio, told Insider that Trump's endorsement influenced his decision to vote for Abbott in the GOP primary, saying: "I trust Trump."

Brendan Steinhauser, a Texas GOP strategist based in Austin, added to Insider: "We've seen just in the polling that he still has a lot of sway and popularity, especially for his policies more than anything."

Abbott is now set to face former Democratic congressman and 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke in the Texas gubernatorial election.

The pair have long been considered the overwhelming favourites to win their respective nominations, with Abbott maintaining a substantial lead in the polls in previously hypothetical matchups against O'Rourke.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump shake hands during a border security briefing on June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. All 33 of Trump's endorsed candidates in Texas, including Abbott, won their primaries. Brandon Bell/Getty Images