Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Early voting in primary runoff begins Monday

Out of the Republican and Democratic primaries in March, only one local race is headed to a runoff election: Texas House of Representatives District 63.

New State House district maps

According to election results, the four-way race for the Republican nomination for HD 63 was fairly even, with Flower Mound Councilman Ben Bumgarner receiving 3,725 votes, 29% of the 12,846 votes cast in the newly redrawn district covering part of far south Denton County. Jeff Younger, an anti-transgender activist, came in second with 27.5% of the vote, edging out former Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders. Young Lewisville businessman Jake Collier, no stranger to southern Denton County ballots in recent years, came in fourth with 19% of the vote.

Republican voters in HD 63 will choose between Bumgarner and Younger — both Flower Mound residents — this month. Bumgarner, 38, is completing a three-year term on the Flower Mound Town Council, while Younger, 56, got into state politics because of an ongoing dispute he has with his ex-wife over their transgender child.

This week, Bumgarner — who owns a small business manufacturing firearms — said the biggest difference between him and Younger is that he has “a long record of fighting and winning to lower taxes, increase government transparency, pay down debt and demand small, efficient government.” Bumgarner said property tax reform will be his top priority in the Texas Legislature.

“If we do not get to work and start working on a solution to help out property owners from the rising tax issue, then we will effectively kill property ownership in Texas,” Bumgarner said. “Texas have worked their entire lives to pay off their homes and enjoy their retirement, only to find out that they can’t retire because their tax burden is much more than they can afford on their fixed income.”

Bumgarner’s endorsements include Gov. Greg Abbott, Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan, Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree, Denton County Commissioner Dianne Edmondson, the National Rifle Association, the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, the Associated Republicans of Texas, Texas Alliance for Life, several current state legislators and more.

“Ben Bumgarner is a champion of conservative values, a family man, and a public servant,” Abbott said in a social media post. “I urge everyone in House District 63 to support Ben Bumgarner.”

Younger did not respond to the Gazette‘s request for comment this week, but earlier this year in his candidate questionnaire, Younger claimed to be the most conservative and best conservative choice. He has made it clear that his top priority is to “ban transgender child abuse.”

“A Texas court allowed my nine-year-old son to be transitioned to a girl without my consent,” Younger wrote. “I have skin in game. My son’s life is on the line. I’ve been harmed by government. I know why it must be strictly limited.”

The day after the primary election on March 1, Younger’s speech on “criminalizing healthcare for transgender children” at the University of North Texas drew a large protest. Younger’s endorsements include Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller, conservative commentator Chad Prather, former State Senator Don Huffines, Texas Right to Life, several current state legislators and more.

In the November General Election, the runoff winner will take on Democrat Denise Wooten, who was unopposed in her March primary. The winner in November will replace Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, who is running for State Senate District 12.

Early voting in the primary runoff will run Monday through Friday, May 16-20, and Election Day is May 24. Of all the state house and senate primaries in March that represent parts of southern Denton County, HD 63 is the only one that will be on the runoff ballot.

For more information about Denton County elections, click here.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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