Local News

Leading Off (7/15/20)

Runoff elections see MJ Hegar top Sen. Royce West in Senate race, and Candace Valenzuela win a chance to vie for a suburban congressional seat

Dallas Runoff Elections Results. MJ Hegar will face off against Senator John Cornyn in November after defeating State Sen. Royce West, who did well in Dallas County but couldn’t compete in Harris County or South and Central Texas. Candace Valenzuela will face former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne in the race for Texas’ 24th Congressional District. If she wins, Valenzuela will be Congress’s first Afro-Latina member. The state house runoffs saw attorney Jasmine Crockett roar back from an early vote deficit to oust incumbent Rep. Lorraine Birabil by 92 votes in the Democratic race for House District 100. Crockett will not face a Republican challenger in November. Here are the full results.

Pete Sessions Is Back. After retreating to his hometown of Waco, Sessions reclaimed a spot in Congress after losing his North Dallas seat in 2018. If we want to use yesterday’s election to read the November tea leaves, Trump waded into two Texas Congressional GOP runoffs. Trump’s candidate in a Panhandle contest, Ronny Jackson, won his race, and Navy vet Tony Gonzales, Trump’s candidate in the race to replace Beto buddy Will Hurd (who resigned his seat), is still locked tight with Ted Cruz’s candidate, retired Air Force officer Paul Reyes. There were also GOP Texas house shakeups, with two incumbents losing to attacks from the right.

Voting Went Smoothly Despite COVID Fears. I voted yesterday at George Peabody Elementary, which is in the heart of Dallas’ most COVID-rich ZIP. I believe only a couple dozen people had voted by 4 p.m., when I walked in. That made it easy to social distance, and there was ample hand sanitizer, masks worn by all, and clear barriers between poll workers and voters checking in. Things seem to have gone as smoothly around town, which bodes well for November. That said, the low turnout yesterday meant we didn’t have to deal with this.

Dallas County Reports 20 New COVID-19 Deaths. Texas set another record for new cases, and Dallas County reported more than 1,000 new cases for the 12th day straight. The 20 new deaths involved hospitalized patients ranging from their 40s to their 90s.

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