All night long Tuesday, KHOU 11 News will be following the events of the Texas primary elections. While the primary fight for the Texas governor's race is expected to be uneventful, there are several other races of note.
Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appears headed for his first runoff in 11 years on the job. He faces state Sen. Dan Patrick (R – Houston), former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.
George P. Bush, the 37-year-old nephew of former President George W. Bush, and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is running for land commissioner.
Also worth keeping an eye on: singer, comedian, author, politician and Tequila spokesman Kinky Friedman is running on the Democratic ticket for agriculture commissioner.
As for U.S. Senate, Sen. John Cornyn is battling to keep his seat against seven other candidates, the most well-known being Friendswood U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman.
Five GOP challengers are vying against U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, who, at age 90, is the oldest member of the U.S. Congress.
The results will begin the biggest reshuffling of state power in a decade. Although most of the competitive primary races are on the Republican side, Sen. Wendy Davis' bid for governor headlines a roster of underdog Democrats girding instead for the Nov. 4 election.
Primary runoffs are set for May 27. Settling GOP nominations for attorney general, comptroller and agriculture commissioner may also have to wait until then.
7:35 p.m. The poll at Briargate Elementary in Fort Bend County remains open until 8:30 p.m. because of an earlier SWAT standoff that kept voters away.
7:00 p.m. Most polls across Texas have closed. Voters in Travis County will get two extra hours because of icy weather Tuesday morning. Polls in El Paso are open until 8 p.m.
6:17 p.m. The chief elections officer of Harris County reports that the Republican party's precinct conventions are scheduled for after 7 p.m. and may delay results there. Typically, election day staffers will participate in the conventions, during which a political party elects delegates and alternates to Senatorial conventions and adopts various resolutions.
The Democrats there do not have a convention scheduled this cycle.
“Results may be delayed one or more hours later than usual, because generally the election day staff participates in the precinct convention’s proceedings,” said Stan Stanart, Harris County Clerk and Chief Elections Officer of the County in a statement.
Three of the four candidates for lieutant governor –– Dewhurst, Patrick and Patterson –– are from Houston. Harris County will likely decide that race.
5:43 p.m. GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is in a hotel near his campaign headquarters working on his speech to be delivered after the polls close. Current plans are for Abbott to speak between 8 and 9 p.m.
5 p.m. Wendy Davis is still at campaign headquarters while volunteers make those calls. She says she's preparing for a pair of high-visibility events in Austin on Wednesday: a speech at the city's Chamber of Commerce and an appearance with a South by Southwest education committee.
On Thursday, the Texas Tribune will live-stream a forum she's set to be on in Austin.
4 p.m. The Wendy Davis campaign says 12,000 volunteers have made 360,000 calls through Tuesday afternoon. She made a few last minute dials, but it's those volunteers that take on the lion's share of the phone work.
She said she hopes her supporters turn out at the pools as both a show of strength that will bolster her future volunteer ranks. Davis made a handful of calls Tuesday afternoon but mostly found answering machines and voicemails.
3:20 p.m. Candidates in the GOP primary for lieutenant governor are preparing for a late night.
Team David Dewhurst spent the afternoon making last minute calls to voters. The third-term lieutenant governor is fighting for a fourth. He’s going into this GOP primary with a lead in last week’s Texas Tribune/University of Texas poll.
Dewhurst leads with 37 percent of the likely votes. State Sen. Dan Patrick is his closest competition with 31 percent. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples follows at 17 percent, then Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson with 15 percent.
Critics question if Dewhurst is politically vulnerable, following his 2012 loss to Ted Cruz in the runoff for Senate and his handling of Wendy Davis’ filibuster of the anti-abortion bill in the Texas Senate, under his control.
State Sen. Dan Patrick spent the morning greeting voters in Jersey Village, a Houston suburb about 20 miles northwest of the city center.
Staples and Patterson spent their days in Austin. With a total of four GOP candidates, it’s almost a mathematical certainty that the primary won’t be over tonight. The clear winner would have to earn 50 percent of the vote. - News 8's Marie Saavedra
2:22 p.m. Winter weather in Travis County delayed the opening of some polls in Austin. A judge on Tuesday afternoon extended the voting deadline until 9 p.m., although ballots cast after 7 p.m. will be provisional and not counted until Wednesday. Our sister station KVUE in Austin has more details on this decision.
1:05 p.m. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, his wife, Cecilia, and their daughter, Audrey, 17, voted at Western Hills Church of Christ in Austin during the lunch hour.
Abbott said besides checking his own name for governor, he also voted for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. Abbott joked that the rest of his ballot would remain secret.
The attorney general also spoke a lot about trying to get the Hispanic vote in the general election. His wife is Hispanic, Abbott announced his candidacy in San Antonio (which has a large Latino population), and his campaign will have an election night watch party there Tuesday night, as well. He has no other public events scheduled for today.