Dutton defeats Money in House District 2 runoff election

The two Republicans will face each other again in the March 5 party primary.

By Mark Haslett, KETRFebruary 1, 2024 9:45 am, ,

From KETR:

The vacant seat in Texas House of Representatives District 2 has been filled, but voters have yet to select the lawmaker who will hold the office during the 2025 session of the Texas Legislature.

Republican Jill Dutton defeated fellow GOPer Brent Money in a special runoff election Jan. 30. Unofficial totals show Dutton winning by just 111 votes (6,830 to 6,719).

With the win, Dutton will move into the seat through 2024. However, Dutton and Money will face one another again in the March 5 Republican Party primary election. The winner of that race will be the favorite to represent the solidly Republican district when the Texas Legislature convenes next on Jan. 14, 2025.

The office has been vacant since former State Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Royse City Republican, resigned and was then expelled from the Texas House in May 2023. An investigation determined Slaton had an inappropriate relationship with a 19-year-old intern on his staff. Slaton, who is married, gave the woman alcohol and had sex with her at his Austin apartment.

Slaton won the district’s seat in 2020, when he defeated longtime Republican incumbent Dan Flynn, who had represented Texas House District 2 in Austin since 2003.

The district includes Hopkins, Hunt and Van Zandt counties. Both Dutton and Money won their home counties. Money, a Greenville attorney, took Hunt County by 483 votes (3,262 to 2,779). Dutton, a Republican activist from Ben Wheeler, won Van Zandt County by 348 votes (2,812 to 2,464). In Hopkins County, Dutton defeated Money by 246 votes (1,239 to 993).

Money is a former two-term Greenville city councilman and former city attorney in Greenville and in Quinlan. Dutton is a former president of the Republican Women of Van Zandt and Van Independent School District board trustee.

In a six-candidate special election last November, Money and Dutton advanced to this week’s runoff by finishing first (32 percent of the vote) and second (25 percent), respectively.

Turnout for Tuesday’s runoff was 10.22 percent over the district’s three counties. In Hunt County, 8.86 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Van Zandt County reported voter turnout of 13.23 percent, while Hopkins County reported 9.09 percent.

The Hunt County GOP Club is hosting a forum on Friday at the Landmark on Lee Street featuring Dutton, Money and other candidates in other GOP primaries. Money and Dutton will also participate in a Meet the Candidates forum to be hosted by the Hunt County Economic Development Alliance next Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fletcher Warren Civic Center in Greenville. The event is free, but attendees must register at GreenvilleChamber.com.

Early voting for the March 5 primaries begins on Feb. 20 and ends on March 1. The last day to register to vote in March is Feb. 5.