Republicans, Democrats headed to runoffs for Blake Farenthold’s seat


5:20 p.m Wednesday update: Democrats and Republicans will have to return to the polls in May to decide who should battle to succeed U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, who abandoned plans to run for re-election after admitting taxpayer money was used to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.

On the Republican side, Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud will face off. Bruun, a former chairman of the Texas Water Development Board, won 36 percent of primary vote. Cloud, a former chairman of the Victoria County GOP, followed with 34 percent.

Democrats Raul “Roy” Barrera and Eric Holguin will be on the May runoff ballot. Barrera, a security officer at the federal court in Corpus Christi, led the pack with 41 percent. Holguin, a former staffer at the New York City Comptroller’s office, took 23 percent.

12:20 a.m. update: Both primaries for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, will head to the May 22 runoffs, with no one clearing more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday to win the primary outright.

Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud will face off in the GOP runoff. Bruun is a former chairman of the Texas Water Development Board. Cloud is the former chairman of the Victoria County GOP.

On the Democratic side, Raul “Roy” Barrera and Eric Holguin will head to a runoff. Barrera is a security officer at the federal court in Corpus Christi. Holguin is a former staffer at the New York City Comptroller’s office.

Farenthold chose not to run for re-election after a House committee began investigating sexual harassment claims made against him by a former aide. Farenthold has denied the allegations.

8:40 p.m. update: Michael Cloud, the former chair of the Victoria County GOP, has edged up considerably over Bech Bruun in the primary for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s seat.

At 8:30 p.m., nearly 10,000 votes had been counted in the GOP primary for Texas’ 27th Congressional District. Cloud had 42.3 percent of the vote compared to Bruun’s 30.6 percent.

On the Democrat side, far fewer votes have been counted. At 8:30 p.m., 2,938 votes have been counted with Raul “Roy” Berrera the top vote-getter so far with 37 percent. He is followed by Ronnie McDonald with 23 percent of the vote. Vanessa Edwards Foster has 22.5 percent and Eric Holguin was at 17.5 percent.

In the 2016 presidential election, the 23rd Congressional District favored Republicans by a wide margin, with a 34-point differential between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In both primaries, one candidate will need to win 50 percent of the vote. Otherwise, the top two candidates on each side will have a run-off election on May 22.

Earlier: The GOP primary for Texas’ 27th Congressional District could be headed to a run-off with no candidate nearing a majority of the vote so far with 3,657 votes counted.

At the top of the field of six candidates are Bech Bruun and Michael Cloud with with 35 percent and 32.4 percent of the vote respectively.

Bruun is a former chairman of the Texas Water Development Board. Cloud is the former chairman of the Victoria County GOP.

The story is the same on the Democrat ballot as well with none of the four candidates emerging as a clear victor. Only 1,910 votes have been counted in that primary, which shows Raul “Roy” Barrera with 36.5 percent of the vote, following by Vanessa Foster with 24.3 percent of the vote. Former Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald has 22 percent and Eric Holguin has 17.1 percent of the vote.

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, has held the seat since 2011. Farenthold decided to not seek re-election after a House committee began investigating sexual harassment claims made against him by a former aide. Farenthold has denied the allegations.

District 27 stretches along the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Matagorda and into parts of Caldwell and Bastrop counties.

Six Republicans and four Democrats are running for the seat.



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