Texas attorney general runoff will be a ‘battle of orthodoxies’

A Texas political communication expert weighs in on results from key primary races, Trump’s continued influence and what national Democrats are watching for in Texas.

By Rhonda Fanning & Caroline CovingtonMarch 2, 2022 12:39 pm,

Texas was the first state to hold midterm primary elections this year, and the results could be a sign of things to come elsewhere in the country.

Richard Pineda, director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso, spoke with Texas Standard about the races he watched closely and how their results could determine party strategy going forward. Plus, he weighs in on the extent of former President Donald Trump’s influence in Texas.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above or read the highlights below:

– The runoff for the Republican candidate for Texas attorney general – between incumbent Ken Paxton and George P. Bush – will be a “battle of orthodoxies,” Pineda says, and a likely referendum on Trump’s influence over the Texas Republican Party.

– This was a very expensive primary for many candidates, especially in the governor’s race and the race among Democrats vying for Texas House District 28. Pineda expects the general election to be costly as well, and likened it to an “arms race.”

– Some candidates spent a lot of money on traditional advertising like TV and billboards, but the outbreak of war in Ukraine has put more people on social media and more eyeballs on social media campaign advertising.

– Despite the focus on whether South Texans would go for a more “traditional” or progressive Democrat, in the case of the race between Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros, Pineda says Democrats outside of Texas are more concerned with Democrats’ overall success, and less concerned about possible shifts leftward or rightward within the party.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.