One of the greatest duties for U.S. citizens is the privilege to vote for their political representatives through elections. However, very rarely do citizens research the top running candidates before actually going out to vote for the vast distinct positions. For example, while the presidential election is the most known there are various other elections such as those for both state and local representatives. Particularly relevant to Texans are those including Texas Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, etc. who are chosen through midterm elections, which occur every two years, on even numbered years.
This year in particular the candidates running for Governor include Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Democrat Lupe Valdez and Libertarian Mark Tippets. While those running for Lieutenant Governor are Republican Dan Patrick, Democrat Mike Collier, and Libertarian Kerry Douglas McKennon. On the other hand, the candidates for Attorney General are Republican Ken Paxton, Democrat Justin Nelson, and Libertarian Michael Kay Harris.
To begin with the current Governor of Texas is Greg Abbott since 2015, making him a one-term incumbent who at this year’s midterm elections is running against Democrat law official Lupe Valdez and Libertarian Mark Tippets. However, since our country is primarily a two party system libertarians never win even if they do get some votes. Therefore, the race is really between Governor Abbott and Lupe Valdez. Up to now it appears that politically speaking Governor Greg Abbott is the most qualified, considering that prior to being Governor he served as a Chief Justice on the Texas Supreme Court as well as was the longest serving Attorney General (Abbott, “Greg Abbott”).
Against Lupe Valdez who solely served as Sheriff of Dallas County from 2005 to 2017 (Valdez, “Meet Lupe”). At present, the odds seem to be against law official Lupe Valdez as noted by The Dallas Morning News, “Yet, Valdez’s activity is dwarfed by other candidates on the November ballot, especially O’Rourke” (Jeffers, “Is Anybody Watching?”). Since the most anticipated political race of these midterm elections is that of Senator Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke, whom dominate the political scene that unfortunately overshadow Valdez’s efforts to gain voters support through her support of the LGBTQ community, voting rights, immigration, etc..
Additionally, unfortunately for her Governor Abbott has the great advantage of the recognition that comes with being an incumbent, as well as also the upside when it comes to campaign money and political resources. Therefore, while Valdez not only has to make a name for herself in hopes of gaining statewide recognition, she also has to energize voters to take a leap of faith with her. For despite political party preferences many only seek to elect the better qualifying candidate of the latter.
Meanwhile, the current Lieutenant Governor of Texas is Republican Dan Patrick. His opponents in these elections are Democrat Mike Collier and Libertarian Kerry Douglas McKennon. However, since it is proven that incumbents hardly lose because of their renowned recognition within the general public through their service in office. Out of Collier and Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick as Governor Greg Abbott holds the greater advantage to his opponent Collier and thus, holds the uphand in favoritism in these midterm elections. Especially considering that one of the most influential Republicans who holds office in Texas is Dan Patrick, himself. Plus, as Southern methodist university political science professor Matthew Wilson asserts in The Texas Tribune, “The top two state offices are highly likely to remain in Republican hands” (Rocha, “Though they’ve never met”).
Since Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat in years. Moreover, a problem that has arised in this race is the uncertainty on each candidates issues due to a refusal by Patrick to publically debate Collier. Yet, The Dallas Morning News institutes in regards to Patrick that, “If he’s re-elected, Patrick has promised to focus anew on education and property taxes” (McGaughy, “Despite tough odds”). While Collier is mentioned to be against campus carry and primarily has an emphasis on educational matters with hopes of gaining the support of educators. Therefore, this race seems to be against the odds for Democrat Mike Collier due to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s uphand with the general public through his influence from years in service.
On the other hand, our current Attorney General is indicted politician Ken Paxton on charges of fraud. Whose challengers include Democrat Justin Nelson and Libertarian Michael Kay Harris. Such indictment on Republican Ken Paxton is an advantage for opponent Justin Nelson. However, only to an extent since the case has been prolonged over time so much so that it is now considered old news. As assured by Justin Nelson through The Washington Post in, “People don’t know often times who Ken Paxton is or that he’s indicted for fraud” (Weber, “Texas Attorney General”).
Therefore, Nelson admits that the use of such predicament against Paxton can only help him so much. However, if Attorney General is indeed convicted of his fraud charges he could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison which would pretty much disrupt his time in office. Now, if we take a closer look at Justin Nelson’s qualifications as his campaign website assures, he is named one of Texas’ top lawyers, he teaches at The University of Texas Law School and has previously worked for two judges. Moreover, Nelson holds strong stances in areas such as immigration, fending off against corruption, democracy, etc. (Nelson, “My Vision”).
As opposed, to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who in return was elected in 2002 as a state representative in House District 70, where he served 10 years before he was then elected to represent the Texas Senate District 8 where he remained until he became Attorney General where he serves with an emphasis on America’s core values. (Paxton, “About Ken Paxton”). That is why without a doubt even with his indictment and all Attorney General Ken Paxton is more suitable to remain Attorney General through his qualifications and favoritism in these elections.
In conclusion, Governor Abbott seems to be the most politically prepared and is an incumbent therefore, his chances of getting reelected are pretty much a given same goes for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The more questionable win is that of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton mostly because of his indictment yet, even so he is still favored and thus, might indeed win. For if recent Texas history has taught us anything it is that Republicans have dominated statewide elections for years and they may continue to do so unless a great voters turnout comes about.
- Abbott, Greg. “Greg Abbott.” Texans for Greg Abbott, 2018, https://www.gregabbott.com/bio/, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Garrett, Robert T. and Gromer Jeffers Jr. “Greg Abbott, Lupe Valdez collide on health care, in-state tuition and taxes as they compete with Friday night lights.” The Dallas Morning News, 28 Sept. 2018, https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/09/28/greg-abbott-lupe-valdez-collide-health-care-in-state-tuition-taxes, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Jeffers, Gromer Jr. “Is Anybody Watching? Lupe Valdez fights for traction in low-key governor’s race against Greg Abbott.” The Dallas Morning News, 9 Sept. 2018, https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/09/09/anybody-watching-lupe-valdez-fights-traction-low-key-governors-race-greg-abbott, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- McGaughy, Lauren. “Despite tough odds in bout against Dan Patrick, Democrat Mike Collier is still swinging to win Texas’ No. 2 job.” The Dallas Morning News, 21 Oct. 2018, https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/10/21/despite-tough-odds-bout-dan-patrickdemocrat-still-swinging-win-texas-no-2-job, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Nelson, Justin. “My Vision.” Nelson for Texas, 2018, https://www.nelsonfortexas.com/vision, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Paxton, Ken. “About Ken Paxton.” Ken Paxton Campaign, 2018, https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/10/21/despite-tough-odds-bout-dan-patrickdemocrat-still-swinging-win-texas-no-2-job, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Rocha, Alana, Jianing “Holly” He, Justin Dehn and Todd Wiseman. “Though they’ve never met, Mike Collier and Dan Patrick virtually debate the issues for Texas Lt. Gov.” The Texas Tribune, 23 Oct. 2018, https://www.texastribune.org/2018/10/23/texas-lt-gov-dan-patrick-mike-collier-video/, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Weber, Paul J. “Texas attorney general favored to win despite indictment.” The Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/texas-attorney-general-favored-to-win-while-under-indictment/2018/10/27/2ce5ef70-da05-11e8-8384-bcc5492fef49_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ed4a5e72536e, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- Valdez, Lupe. “Meet Lupe.” Lupe Valdez for Governor, 2018, https://www.lupevaldez.com/en/meet-lupe, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.