Former sheriff, GOP mega-donor headed to runoff in Texas GOP race

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls and businesswoman and GOP mega-donor Kathaleen Wall are headed to a runoff after neither was able to garner the 50 percent needed to secure the Republican nomination for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District on Tuesday.

Both candidates emerged as the top vote getters among a crowded field of 15 GOP candidates running in the primary to succeed retiring Rep. Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonPeople over politics on PPP funding Kulkarni wins Texas House Democratic primary Former sheriff, GOP mega-donor headed to runoff in Texas GOP race MORE (R-Texas).

The primary shaped into a three-way race between Nehls, Wall and Pierce Bush, a grandson of former President George H.W. Bush.

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Wall, who previously challenged Rep. Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawGOP lawmakers call for new sanctions on senior Chinese officials Michigan suspends license of barber who vowed to keep his shop open ‘until Jesus comes’ The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Rep. Hurd says China engaged in global disinformation campaign; US unemployment highest since Great Depression MORE (R-Texas) in the primary for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District during the 2018 cycle, largely self-funded her campaign, spending roughly $4 million on her race. 

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Nehls benefitted from being a popular sheriff in the largest county in the district and having high name recognition despite having less money than other candidates.

Operatives praised Bush’s campaign, but noted the difficulties of being part of the Bush political dynasty during the Trump era.

The runoff is expected to take place on May 26 and the winner of the runoff will take on Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni, a former foreign service officer who came within five points of ousting Olson in 2018.

Kulkarni easily won his primary on Tuesday.

The district is rated as a “toss-up” The Cook Political Report.

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