One incumbent defeated in Texas’ state legislative primaries, continuing a decade-long decrease

Texas held the first statewide primary of the 2022 election cycle for federal and state offices on March 1. Heading into the primaries, it was guaranteed that at least one of the 151 state legislative incumbents seeking re-election would lose.

Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez (D), who currently represents House District 76, was drawn into House District 79 as a result of redistricting, setting up an incumbent vs. incumbent primary between Ordaz Perez and District 79’s Rep. Art Fierro (D). Ordaz won, receiving 65% of the vote to Fierro’s 35%.

As of March 4, Fierro is the only state legislative incumbent who lost in Texas’ primaries, representing 2.4% of the 41 House incumbents who faced primary challengers. If no other incumbents lose re-election when additional races are called, it would be a decade-low for the legislature.

There are several outstanding races featuring incumbents, all of which involve House Republicans.

Two races are uncalled—Districts 64 and 91—and, in three, the incumbents advanced to runoff elections on May 24 after finishing in the primary’s top-two. Those runoffs will be held in:

In the Senate, three of the 26 senators seeking re-election faced and defeated their primary challengers. No incumbent senator in Texas has lost a primary or primary runoff since 2014.

Additional reading:

  1. Texas House of Representatives elections, 2022
  2. Texas State Senate elections, 2022