On July 14, incumbent Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-27) defeated challenger Sara Stapleton-Barrera (D) in Senate District 27’s Democratic primary runoff. Lucio received 54 percent of the vote to Stapleton-Barrera’s 46 percent.
The runoff in District 27 received media attention after Planned Parenthood Texas, which endorsed Stapleton-Barrera, created a website and other materials opposing Lucio. One ad said, “For 30 years, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. has done the dirty work of extremist politicians like Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott.” The Dallas Morning News’ Allie Morris wrote, “A devout Catholic, [Sen. Lucio] is often the lone Democrat to side with ruling Republicans on contentious social issues, including abortion.”
In a press release from Lucio’s campaign, his son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-38) said, “These big special-interests groups from outside our border community should comprehend the deeper connotations behind the word ‘sucio’ (‘dirty Mexican’) and the association with a person of Hispanic descent.”
District 27 is located south of Corpus Christi along the Gulf Coast and includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Roughly 89 percent of the district’s population are Hispanic.
In total, 16 Senate seats were up for election this year. Two incumbents—Lucio and Sen. Borris Miles (D-13)—faced primary challengers, down from the seven incumbents challenged in 2018. Miles received 55 percent of the vote on March 3, defeating two challengers and avoiding a runoff.
With both incumbents winning their respective primaries, no Senators were defeated in Texas’ primary elections this year. The most recent year an incumbent Senator was defeated in a primary was 2014 when Republican Sens. John Carona and Bob Deuell lost to challengers. No incumbent Democratic Senator has been defeated in a primary since 2006.