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Most of the speculation surrounds who might come in second place. Former state Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams is well-known in local GOP circles, but his fundraising has been pitiful. A super PAC spent about $164,000 boosting him, but even his supporters doubt that will be enough to get him into the runoff.
Retired insurance executive David Garrison has invested more than $800,000 out of his own pocket in the race. But he had only used a fraction of it — about $225,000 — as of early May.
In the dramatically redrawn 14 district, GOP Rep. Ron Paul’s retirement created a wide-open race — and a potentially competitive seat.
Republicans say it’s anyone’s guess as to which pair of candidates in a field of 12 will make the runoff. Informed sources speculated any two of the following four might make the cut: Jay Old and Michael Truncale, both Beaumont attorneys, state Rep. Randy Webber and Pearland City Councilwoman Felicia Harris.
Former Rep. Nick Lampson (D) filed to run here, and he’s all but certain to get the nomination. But this coastal district is difficult for any Democrat, no matter who emerges from the runoff.
Finally, there’s a GOP primary in the new 36th district, a solid Republican seat northeast of Houston. Republicans initially believed state Sen. Mike Jackson would be the frontrunner, but his fundraising has not been as strong as expected. He might be forced into a runoff with one of his lesser-known competitors, such as former Rep. Steve Stockman or financial adviser Stephen Takach, The GOP field includes more than 10 candidates in yet another example of a Texas-sized primary today.