FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls defeated Kathaleen Wall in Tuesday’s primary election runoff, according to the Associated Press.
Nehls took a commanding lead over Wall early Tuesday evening. He claimed victory during a live video on Facebook where he addressed supporters at his watch party.
"There are others that think a lot like us and we can continue to build and we can and will be successful on November 3," Nehls said.
The two Republicans were running for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District, a traditionally conservative district that represents Katy, Sugar Land and Pearland and has seen more competition in recent years.
Congressman Pete Olson, who has represented the district since 2009, announced last year he would not seek reelection.
Nehls will face off against Democratic nominee Sri Preston Kulkarni in the general election.
In March, Nehls finished first in the GOP primary, securing 41 percent of the vote to 19 percent for Wall.
Last week, human trafficking became the focus of the heated race during a panel discussion in which Nehls did not attend. Residents wanted to question the sheriff on his record regarding a TV ad Wall ran featuring sex-trafficking survivor Courtney Litvak and her family putting Nehls on blast, claiming he didn’t take their daughter’s story seriously.
However, Nehls told KHOU 11 it wasn’t his agency who originally investigated.
“Law enforcement agencies in Harris County have investigated human trafficking concerns for the Litvak family and I don’t believe there have ever been charges filed in Harris County,” he said.
The parents called the department because their daughter went to school in Fort Bend County. They chimed in on the forum, saying they weren't happy with his response.
“We did have a detective go visit with Mr. and Mrs. Litvak and request access to her daughter. We have tried numerous times to interview Courtney Litvak, but to no avail,” Nehls said.
Wall did not respond to KHOU 11’s request for comment after the panel.
This is Wall’s second Congressional campaign. She lost in the 2018 GOP primary for the 2nd Congressional District and narrowly missed a runoff despite pumping nearly $6 million of her own money into her campaign.