Colin Allred defeats eight other candidates in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Texas

Colin Allred (D) defeated eight other candidates in the Democratic primary election for U.S. Senate in Texas on March 5. As of March 6, Allred received 59.2% of the vote. Roland Gutierrez (D) finished second with 17%.

Three candidates led in fundraising, polling, and endorsements: Allred, Gutierrez, and Carl Sherman Sr. (D).

Each of the three had legislative experience. Allred, a former NFL player and civil rights attorney, was first 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.

A 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 and Allred opposed), adopting a single-payer healthcare system (which Gutierrez supported and Allred opposed), and introducing term limits for members of Congress (with Gutierrez in favor and Allred opposed). The two 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 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.”

As of March 1, Allred had raised $21,371,158, followed by Gutierrez with $1,301,543, and Sherman with $173,566.

Also running in the primary were Meri Gomez (D), Mark Gonzalez (D), Ahmad Hassan (D), Steve Keough (D), Heli Rodriguez Prilliman (D), and Thierry Tchenko (D).

The general 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.

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%.