29 of 46 Republican incumbents facing challengers in the Texas House advance to general election

As of March 7, 29 of the 46 Republican incumbents facing a primary challenge in the Texas House of Representatives advanced from their primary. Nine lost their primary and another seven advanced to a primary runoff. One district, House District 61, remained uncalled as of this writing. There were 59 contested Republican primaries overall on March 5.

Of the 34 battleground districts Ballotpedia identified, 18 had incumbents who advanced from their primary, eight had incumbents who lost their primary, six resulted in primary runoffs, one remained uncalled, and one was open, meaning no incumbents ran for re-election. To learn more about the battleground elections, click here.

The 2024 legislative elections were Texas’ most competitive since at least 2012, with 59 out of 150 House districts having contested Republican primaries. Forty-six incumbents — more than half of House Republicans seeking re-election (59.7%) — faced primary challengers.

In the five election cycles between 2014 and 2022, 16.3% of Texas House Republicans facing contested primaries lost re-election. The highest rate of incumbent defeats was 30.4% in 2014, while the lowest was 3.3% in 2022.

The 2024 elections took place against the backdrop of two votes in 2023 that divided the House GOP caucus.

One was the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). The House voted 121-23 to impeach Paxton. Sixty Republicans joined with 61 Democrats in support of impeachment. As of March 1, Paxton had endorsed three incumbents who voted against impeachment and one incumbent who voted for impeachment as well as 35 challengers to Republican incumbents who voted for impeachment. Click here for more on the impeachment.

In the other, the caucus split over removing a provision for school vouchers from an education bill. The vote removing the provision for school vouchers passed 84-63, with 21 Republicans joining 63 Democrats to remove vouchers. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) supported the measure and said he would oppose legislators who voted against it. As of March 1, Abbott had endorsed all 59 Republican incumbents who voted in favor of the proposal and ran for re-election. Abbott had endorsed 10 challengers to incumbents who voted against school vouchers.

On Feb. 10, the Texas Republican Party voted to censure House Speaker Dade Phelan (R). Phelan voted “present” on vouchers and voted in favor of impeaching Paxton. The resolution of censure mentioned Phelan’s vote for impeachment and support for the impeachment process as two of the five counts against him. This was the fourth time in history the state party voted to censure an elected official. On Jan. 30, Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed David Covey (R), who challenged Phelan in the primary. Phelan and Covey advanced to the May 28 primary runoff.

As of the 2024 election, Texas was one of 23 Republican trifectas. A state government trifecta is a term used to describe a single-party government where one political party holds the governor’s office and a majority in both chambers of the state legislature.