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In a GOP primary runoff in Texas, U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales is facing a tough challenge from Brandon Herrera, a gun-rights YouTube creator. Gonzales has clashed with some of his hard-right colleagues in Washington and drawn criticism from the state party for his voting record. A loss for Gonzales could potentially give Democrats an opportunity to flip a traditionally moderate district in November. On the other hand, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan survived his own challenge after angering conservatives for leading the 2023 impeachment of state Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Gonzales represents a large district along the Texas-Mexico border and has faced backlash for his independent stance, including supporting same-sex marriage and new gun-safety laws following a school shooting in his district. Despite the sanctions from the state party, Gonzales has support from key Republicans who are wary of ousting an incumbent from a safe seat. His opponent, Herrera, has garnered support from the far right, including a campaign appearance with Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Santos Limon in the general election.

In another race, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan won his runoff after a tough challenge from David Covey, a former local party chairman and oil and gas consultant. Phelan has faced criticism for presiding over the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was later acquitted. The victory keeps Phelan on the ballot in his district but raises questions about his ability to retain the powerful speakership. Phelan has faced backlash for his support of tough anti-abortion laws, expanded gun rights, and curtailed LGBTQ+ rights.

Republicans in Texas also selected Jay Furman, a retired Navy veteran, to run against Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, who has been indicted on federal bribery, money laundering, and fraud charges. Cuellar, who has held his seat since 2005, maintains his innocence, and his legal troubles could impact his sister, Rosie Cuellar, who is running in a Democratic runoff for a state House seat. Another Republican nominee, Craig Goldman, will replace outgoing GOP congresswoman Kay Granger in a heavily Republican district anchored in Fort Worth.

Severe storms in Texas on the day of the primary runoffs left some voters struggling to get to the polls, with several polling stations experiencing power outages. Despite the challenges, the runoff elections proceeded, with turnout potentially impacted by the weather conditions. Overall, the primary runoffs in Texas have highlighted the divisions within the Republican Party and the challenges faced by incumbents and newcomers in maintaining support and navigating party politics.

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