Campbell, Schwertner win Senate GOP races

Two Central Texas incumbent state senators defeated challengers in Tuesday’s GOP primaries.

Senate District 25

Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, an emergency room doctor, defeated Shannon McClendon, a gay lawyer who was motivated to run by the unsuccessful attempts to crack down on transgender-friendly bathrooms last legislative session.

In the Democratic race for a district that stretches from southwest Travis County to north San Antonio, Steven Kling, a retired Army Reserve captain who works in information technology, bested Jack Guerra, a property investor and former city planner, in a tight race.

Senate District 5

An orthopedic surgeon seeking a second term, Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, defeated Harold Ramm, a longtime superintendent for several Texas school districts.

Among Democrats, auditor Meg Walsh trounced two challengers — management consultant Brian Cronin and Glenn “Grumpy” Williams, a former lawyer for Child Protective Services — and will face Schwertner in the November general election.

Other races

• Incumbent Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, was defeated by Rep. Pat Fallon, a Prosper Republican who painted Estes as too liberal for the district. Fallon also was endorsed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who turned against Estes for past efforts to block a “sanctuary cities” bill and for opposing a Patrick-backed effort to reduce the power of Democrats to halt floor votes on bills.

• Angela Paxton, wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, won the GOP primary contest over Phillip Huffines, chairman of the Dallas County GOP and twin brother to state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, in a race for an open seat. The Democratic primary was won by Mark Phariss, one of the plaintiffs who successfully sued to overturn the Texas ban on gay marriage.

• Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, defeated state Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale.

• Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, won his race outright, avoiding a runoff against Mike Canon and Victor Leal.

• Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, easily defeated two primary challengers.

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