Fifteen candidates are running in the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate in Texas

Fifteen candidates are running in the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate in Texas on March 5, 2024. Three candidates lead in fundraising, polling, and endorsements: Colin Allred (D), Roland Gutierrez (D), and Carl Sherman Sr. (D).

Each of the three has legislative experience. Allred, a former NFL player and civil rights attorney, was elected to the U.S. House in 2018. Gutierrez, an attorney, was elected to the state Senate in 2020 after 12 years in the state House and three on the San Antonio, Texas, city council. Sherman, a pastor, was elected to the state House in 2018 and earlier served two terms as mayor of DeSoto, Texas.

Texas Tribune analysis of Allred and Gutierrez found the two differed on adding more seats to the U.S. Supreme Court (with Gutierrez in favor), adopting a single-payer healthcare system (which Gutierrez supports), and introducing term limits for members of the U.S. Congress (with Gutierrez in favor and Allred opposed). The two have also differed on bipartisanship, with Allred saying he would pursue bipartisan legislation if elected and Gutierrez saying he would be a fighter and that bipartisanship was not a realistic goal. Sherman’s campaign has emphasized his personal faith and values, saying Texas needs “a proven leader of unwavering principles and deep faith to guide us back to our centering moral compass.”

Also running in the primary are Victor Dunn (D), Meri Gomez (D), Mark Gonzalez (D), Ahmad Hassan (D), John Love III (D), Soren Pendragon (D), Heli Rodriguez Prilliman (D), Sherri Taylor (D), and Thierry Tchenko (D).

If no candidate wins more than 50% of the primary vote, the top two finishers will advance to a May 28 primary runoff.

Incumbent Ted Cruz (R) won re-election 50.9%-48.3% against Beto O’Rourke (D) in 2018, and Republican candidates have won wider margins in more recent statewide contests. In the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) received 52.1% of the Texas vote to 46.5% for Joe Biden (D). In the 2022 election for governor, Greg Abbott (R) won re-election over Beto O’Rourke (D) 54.8% to 43.9%. The election will help determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate—Democrats are defending a two-seat majority, with 20 Democratic-held seats up for election to 10 Republican-held seats and three seats held by independents, two of whom caucus with Democrats.