One longtime Texas legislator fell and another survived to win Republican Party nominations Tuesday.
Collin County businessman Pat Fallon unseated longtime Wichita Falls state Sen. Craig Estes for the GOP nomination to Texas Senate District 30, which covers northern Denton County. State Rep. Lynn Stucky survived a challenge from the right to again secure the Republican nomination for Texas House District 64, which covers Denton, Krum and the Lake Cities.
In November, Fallon faces opposition from Democrat Kevin Lopez. He also likely faces opposition from Keely Briggs, a Denton City Council member who plans to run as an independent.
Stucky will face a Democratic opponent, too. But Democratic hopefuls Andrew Morris and Mat Pruneda are headed to a runoff on May 22.
Senate District 30
Fallon, 50, stepped down after three terms in the Texas House to challenge Estes, 64. Fallon easily avoided the runoff threat posed by a third candidate, Craig Carter, by sweeping up about 60 percent of the vote.
Fallon did not return multiple calls for comment.
Most of Denton, but not all, is part of Senate District 30. The district covers all or part of 14 North Texas counties and runs from Wichita Falls to Stephenville in Erath County to Anna in Collin County.
Carter's door-to-door campaign netted him about 15 percent of the vote, but not enough to stay in the race. Carter did not return a call for comment Tuesday.
Fallon and Estes threw their best punches throughout the campaign, including short videos attacking each other's legislative records. While the final reports aren’t in, Fallon also loaned his campaign $1.8 million, positioning himself to spend $3 for every dollar Estes had raised.
Estes said he was surprised at the results.
"Nobody wants to come up short and I came up short by a lot," Estes said. "I'm just proud that I've been able to represent the district for all these years."
"I'm humbled to have been able to serve," he added.
House District 64
Stucky handily beat a challenge from the right to secure the Republican nomination for Texas House of Representatives District 64.
Pharmaceutical salesman and former U.S. Marine Mark Roy enjoyed the support of Empower Texans, a statewide conservative political action committee which contributed more than $27,000 to his campaign. But it was not enough to convince District 64 voters.
Stucky said he felt good that people understood his message.
"Denton County voters look at the big picture and understand how they are being represented," Stucky said.
Roy did not return a call for comment Tuesday night.
District 64 is situated wholly in Denton County and encompasses Denton, Krum, Corinth, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas and Shady Shores.
No Democrat emerged as the clear winner Tuesday night. Matt Farmer quit early in the primary race, but still garnered enough votes to force a runoff. Democratic hopefuls Andrew Morris and Mat Pruneda will take their campaigns to the primary runoff on Tuesday, May 22.
Morris said he anticipated the possibility of a runoff, given the challenge of name recognition with voters for any political newcomer.
"I can see the positive in this," Morris said. "I've just got to keep going and prosecuting my case to the voters of District 64."
Pruneda did not return a call for comment Tuesday night.
House District 106
Four hopefuls trimmed the race to two in the run to replace Fallon, who stepped down after three terms representing District 106 in the Texas House of Representatives to run for state Senate.
District 106, which covers eastern and northern Denton County, includes Aubrey, Cross Roads, Krugerville, Little Elm, Oak Point, Pilot Point, Sanger, The Colony and western Frisco, as well as portions of Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Plano and Prosper.
Ramona Thompson, 64, beat Michael Rhea, 52, for the Democratic nomination to the ballot.
Jared Patterson, 34, secured the Republican nomination over Clint Bedsole, 46.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881.