It’s over… for now. The 2018 Primary Election cycle has concluded, and the field is decided. Although it seems like we are in a perpetual election cycle and suffering from constant voter fatigue, these elections are important and have a direct impact on our industry. Over-regulation and misguided policy can threaten housing affordability and it’s critical that we are proactive in supporting the most qualified, pro-housing candidates for elected office.
In some cases, this cycle started nearly a year ago with campaign announcements and challenges being made following the end of the legislative session. In others, races only began in November or December following last minute retirements. Regardless, all seats up for election in 2018 were on the primary ballot on March 6. And for those that did not receive 50% of the vote plus one, the top two vote getters were forced into the May 22 runoff.
As previously reported, this primary season was peculiar and somewhat unprecedented. Texas Governor Greg Abbott chose to endorse challengers to and actively campaign against three incumbent house Republicans during their primary races. Incumbents Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University) and Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) were able to overcome Gov. Abbott’s opposition and win their elections, while incumbent Rep. Wayne Faircloth (R-Galveston) was defeated by Abbott endorsed challenger Mayes Middleton (R-Chambers County).
On the federal level, we saw the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) interject in the seven-person primary race for the Democratic nomination for Texas Congressional District 7. In late February, the DCCC released a statement and opposition research against candidate Laura Moser. She ultimately made it to the runoff.
Now that the runoffs are complete, we can turn our focus to the general election in November, but only after a much-needed break for the summer. With that election being nearly six months away, there are myriad of issues that could influence the general election.
At this time last year, who could have predicted that our region would endure the most devastating rain event in the history of our country? Or that Congress would pass the largest tax reform bill in three decades? Point being, a lot can happen in the next six months and that will affect the general election, but the GHBA and HOME-PAC will be focused on supporting the most pro-housing candidates in November.
Runoff results of note:
Texas Congressional District 2:
In the race to replace retiring Congressman Ted Poe (R-Humble), Former Navy Seal Dan Crenshaw received 69.88% of the vote to defeat State Representative Kevin Roberts. In the nine person primary in March, Crenshaw and Roberts received 27.42% and 33.03% of the vote respectively. Attorney Todd Litton won the Democratic nomination in March and will face Crenshaw in November.
Texas Congressional District 7:
In the race to challenge incumbent Congressman John Culberson (R-Houston), attorney Lizzie Fletcher received 67.08% of the vote to defeat progressive activist Laura Moser. In the seven person primary in March, Fletcher and Moser received 29.36% and 24.34% of the vote respectively. Fletcher will face Culberson in November.
HOME-PAC endorsed Republican County Commissioner Precinct 2 Charlie Riley received 55.95% of the vote to defeat challenger Greg Parker. In March, Commissioner Riley received 43% of the vote while Parker received 42% in a three person race.
Current Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts received 51.82% of the vote to defeat Republican County Commissioner Precinct 4 Jim Clark by 172 votes. In March, Commissioner Clark received 34% while Metts received 40% in a three person race.
HOME-PAC endorsed Republican County Commissioner Precinct 4 Ken Clark received 54.34% to defeat challenger Michelle Hatmaker. In March, Commissioner Clark received 47% while Hatmaker received 21% in a four person race.
In the Republican Primary runoff for the open seat for County Commissioner Precinct 2, GHBA HOME-PAC endorsed candidate Walter Smith received 72.03% of the vote to defeat Terry “TJ” Johnson. In March, Smith received 48% of the vote in a four person race.
May 5 City of Houston Special Election
In the race to replace Houston City Council Member, District K, Larry Green, HOME-PAC endorsed candidate Martha Castex-Tatum, CM Green’s Director of Constituent Services. Martha defeated eight other candidates outright to avoid a runoff. This seat was open due to the tragic passing of CM Green in March. She was sworn in on May 16 and will serve out the remainder of CM Green’s term.
Bringing Housing Home Week
On May 4, members of the GHBA Government Affairs Committee attended a meeting with Congressman John Culberson as a part of the NAHB’s “Bringing Housing Home Week.” During this week, local home builder associations were encouraged to meet with members of their congressional delegation in an effort to discuss pressing issues affecting the industry.
During the meeting with Congressman Culberson, GHBA members discussed soaring lumber costs, the need for a more robust workforce in the residential construction industry, the increasing costs of health insurance, and most importantly, thanked the congressman for his work and leadership in securing federal funds for the Houston area to be dedicated to flood mitigation projects in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The GHBA sincerely appreciates Congressman Culberson’s representation and wishes him luck in his re-election campaign. In fact, the NAHB’s federal PAC, BUILD-PAC, strongly supports the congressman’s re-election.