We’ll be watching two congressional runoffs in Texas: one for Republicans in the 22nd District, and one for Democrats in the 24th District. Both seats have been solidly red in the past but are expected to be competitive in November, because the Republican incumbents are retiring.
The 22nd District, which is in the Houston area and represented by Congressman Pete Olson, is home to a bitter race between Troy Nehls, the Fort Bend County sheriff, and Kathaleen Wall, a conservative activist. Mr. Nehls was far ahead of Ms. Wall in the first round of voting in March, but did not reach the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
Ms. Wall has been running ads accusing Mr. Nehls of failing to combat human trafficking in Fort Bend County, which advocacy groups say is a serious problem there. Mr. Nehls has called the allegation “an absolute lie.”
The winner will face the Democratic nominee, Sri Preston Kulkarni, who narrowly lost to Mr. Olson in 2018.
In the 24th District — a suburban stretch between Dallas and Fort Worth that is represented by Congressman Kenny Marchant — the Democratic candidates are Kim Olson, an Air Force veteran, and Candace Valenzuela, a former school board member who would be the first Afro-Latina member of Congress.
Ms. Olson, who ran for Texas agriculture commissioner in 2018, has advertised her 25 years of military service and the fact that she was part of the first generation of female fighter pilots. Ms. Valenzuela, by contrast, has emphasized her personal connections to the district and her difficult childhood; she grew up poor and became homeless after her mother left an abusive relationship.
Ms. Olson finished more than 10 percentage points ahead in the first round of voting in March, but Ms. Valenzuela’s supporters — who include Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey; the former housing secretary Julián Castro; and Representative John Lewis of Georgia — think the race has shifted.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/what-time-do-polls-close-voting-alabama-maine-texas.html