Medicine-Friendly Candidates Win Tuesday’s Runoff Elections


Medicine scored big wins in Tuesday’s runoff primary elections — most of them at the expense of candidates backed by extremist groups bent on taking over the Texas Capitol.

With only about 750,000 people voting in Tuesday’s elections, six of the eight candidates TEXPAC endorsed moved on to November’s general election: 

  • State Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican running for U.S. House District 5 (east of Dallas) defeated Bunni Pounds, who was endorsed by Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, by a 6-percentage-point margin;
  • Keith Bell, a Republican running for Texas House District 4 (east of Dallas), defeated surgeon Stuart Spitzer, MD, a former member of the House, with 59 percent of the vote;
  • Cody Harris, a Republican running for Texas House District 8 (south of Dallas), defeated Thomas McNutt by more than 1,200 votes;
  • Ben Leman, a Republican running for Texas House District 13 (northwest of Houston), defeated Jill Wolfskill with 57 percent of the vote;
  • Reggie Smith, a Republican running for Texas House District 62 (in and around Sherman), beat Brent Lawson with an overwhelming 71 percent of the vote; and
  • Steve Allison, the Republican candidate for Texas House District 121 (San Antonio), easily defeated Matt Beebe. 

In races for the Texas House of Representatives, TEXPAC-endorsed candidates won all five of their head-to-head matchups against opponents supported by the extremist groups. 

“Empower Texans, the ring leader of the fringe groups, had a terrible night,” said TEXPAC Board Chair Robert Rogers, MD, of Fort Worth. “The groups collectively spent more than $950,000 on their endorsed candidates, and all but one were defeated. The results of the runoff election send a clear message to these groups that medicine isn’t backing down.”

TEXPAC helped secure these victories thanks to physicians’ generous contributions to the Emergency Primary Runoff Election Battle Fund, which raised more than $100,000 for these elections alone.

“These results demonstrate that medicine is an important and effective political voice in Austin and throughout the state,” Dr. Rogers said. “We could not have done it without the support of local physicians.”

Last Updated On

September 20, 2018

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