Texas held the first primary of 2022 in March, but two runoffs in the state are drawing outsize attention: Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to hold off Land Commissioner George P. Bush from holding onto the post, while Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar is trying to fend off his progressive challenger in a rematch from 2020.
WATCH: Breaking down the primary results and what they mean for midterm elections
One puts the Bush family dynasty on the line: Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has spent the past year mounting a primary challenge to Paxton, the two-term attorney general.
In March, Bush finished 20 percentage points behind Paxton in a four-way primary. Since then, Bush’s efforts to close the gap have centered on emphasizing Paxton’s legal troubles, including an ongoing FBI investigation into corruption allegations and a separate 2015 indictment on securities fraud charges.
Paxton, who has denied wrongdoing, has broad support among the Republican party and Trump’s endorsement.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Cuellar’s bid for a 10th term has run head-on into a reenergized national battle over abortion rights. His position as one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress has become a central issue in his runoff against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney and abortion rights supporter.
Democratic House leaders have lined up behind Cuellar. Cisneros trailed Cuellar by roughly 1,000 votes in March, but Cuellar didn’t hit the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
Associated Press writer Paul Weber in Austin, Texas contributed to this report.