AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on primary runoff elections in Texas (all times local):
A 58-year-old legal secretary says she cast her vote for Lupe Valdez in the Democratic runoff for Texas governor, albeit with some "hesitation."
Renita Boykin was voting Tuesday morning at a Dallas church. She said she wasn't sure how Valdez would "be able to manage the state," adding that she wasn't impressed with Valdez's work as Dallas County sheriff. Still, she says, "nobody's perfect, you're not going to get a perfect candidate."
Boykin explained she thought Houston businessman Andrew White is more experienced but didn't like his approach in gearing his campaign toward the middle. She says "it's OK to stand up for Democratic and liberal values."
Boykin said that while she'd be surprised if a Democrat was able to win the governor's race in the fall, she does think Democrats are gaining some momentum across the state.
Polls have opened across most of Texas for voters to decide on primary runoff races, including for party nominees for governor and Congress where no candidate won at least 50 percent of the votes cast during the March primary.
The outcome of voting Tuesday will set up November races where Democrats hope to flip three Republican-held U.S. House seats, a once unthinkable total in such a conservative state.
Voters, meanwhile, will choose between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Lupe Valdez, ex-Dallas County sheriff, and Houston businessman Andrew White, whose father, Mark, was governor from 1983 to 1987.
The runoff elections come just four days after a gunman killed 10 people and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School near Houston. That attack sent shockwaves through Texas and the nation, but it's unlikely to be a major factor in Tuesday's balloting.
Texas' primary runoff will test whether the national Democratic Party's establishment can overcome an insurgent wing more openly hostile to President Donald Trump.
It will also set up November races where Democrats hope to flip three Republican-held U.S. House seats, a once unthinkable total in such a conservative state. And the party will learn its gubernatorial nominee, even if Republican Gov. Greg Abbott looks unbeatable.
But one Democratic issue not expected to resonate is gun control, even though balloting comes four days after a shooting killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School near Houston.
Top Texas Republicans have promised to discuss better fortifying schools — not gun control. And Democrats generally agree on more gun control so there hasn't been much debate.
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