The deadline for candidates to file for the March primaries was Monday. Here are five races to watch:
1. Democratic race for governor: Lupe Valdez, the 13-year Dallas County sheriff, has the backing of the Democratic Party establishment. But she has little statewide name recognition and isn’t the high-profile candidate Democrats were seeking to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Can Houston businessman Andrew White, a centrist and son of the late former Democratic Gov. Mark White, pull off the upset?
2. Jerry Patterson vs. George P. Bush: The former longtime Republican land commissioner (Patterson) is making an unusual run at his successor (Bush). Expect a $450 million project to revamp the area around the Alamo to play a central role.
3. Crowded race for Congress: Ten Republicans have filed for the 21st Congressional District, held by retiring U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. They include state Rep. Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs. Four Democrats are also running.
4. Blake Farenthold challenged: Reports that U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, used taxpayer money to settle an $84,000 sexual harassment suit prompted a stampede to challenge him. Six Republicans and three Democrats have filed to run.
5. Six-way race for Dawnna Dukes’ seat: State Rep. Dukes, D-Austin, found new political life after the Travis County district attorney dropped corruption charges against her. That hasn’t stopped five Democrats, including former Austin City Council Member Sheryl Cole, from lining up to challenge her.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the number of Democrats running for the 21st Congressional District. There are four.