Texas Primary Results and Possible Applications to Illinois – Including “RINO Hunting”

Henry Cuellar Forced to Runoff, Ratings Changed for Cuellar District to “Toss-up”

Written by John Lopez

The day after the United States Senate successfully filibustered the pro-abortion-on-demand H.R. 3755, the Texas primary kicked off the 2022 primary season which could have some ramifications to Illinois.

From California Target Book

With H.R. 3755’s filibuster as a backdrop and Congressman Henry Cuellar’s lone Democrat vote in the U.S. House last September making him a target of the pro-abortion zealots, Cuellar won the most votes in the March 1 primary.

Under Texas’ laws for winning a party’s nomination due to Cuellar not receiving 50%+1 of the Democratic primary vote in the Texas 28th Congressional District, Cuellar faces a runoff against 2nd place finisher, progressive Jessica Cisneros.  Third candidate Tannya Benavides garnered nearly 5% of the primary vote, enough to force the runoff between Cuellar and Cisneros. 

Expect to see comparison memes, like this one showing leftist Cisneros’ endorsements by a rogue’s gallery of the far left.

The February 25th article “Last Pro-Life Democrat in the U.S. House in Trouble as Ratings Changes Confirm” pointed out Cuellar’s lone Democrat vote against the “Women’s Health Protection Act” as well as his two votes against the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act plus an FBI raid on Cuellar’s home in January placed him in peril for defeat, as two ratings changes confirmed in January and February.

After Tuesday’s primary result, the same two major ratings services, Cook Political Report with Amy Walter and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball issued another ratings change for the TX-28:  both services now rate the district as “Toss-Up”.

The runoff campaign has begun in earnest, with more leftists, like U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D, MA) joining Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY-14) to put Cisneros over the finish line.  But as Thursday, March 10’s headline shows, other information has come out about Cisneros’ past, which the Texas primary showed was not confined to Democrats.

Other Lessons from Texas Primary with Possible Replicability to Illinois

With the March 1 Texas primary now in the books, with primary runoffs pending on May 24, several lessons learned can be gleaned by the results in the Lone Star state for the next set of primary elections, beginning with the Ohio primary on May 3 (an Ohio Supreme Court ruling on March 16 risks the May 3 primary being pushed back to summer), highlighted by the winner-take-all primaries for the open U.S. Senate seat with the retirement of Senator Rob Portman (R).

The following lessons can be gleaned from the completion of the Texas primary vote on March 1:

  • None of former President Trump’s endorsed candidates (33 total) lost, winning outright or six being leading vote getter for the runoff
  • Race to succeed Congressman Kevin Brady (R, TX-08), which included a candidate backed by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA-14), Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) and others didn’t make runoff in an 11-candidate field, losing to Morgan Luttrell who garnered earned 52% of the vote
  • Two-term Congressman Van Taylor forced into runoff, then quitting the 2022 campaign day after primary due to extramarital affair with a former “ISIS bride” proves truth always comes out

Donald Trump’s Endorsements Still Carries Weight as none of his 33 endorsed candidates lost

While six of the 33 Trump-endorsed candidates face Republican primary runoffs on May 24, none of the 33 candidates, from governor through congressional and state legislative candidates to a few local offices lost on March 1.

The highest profile race where a Trump-endorsed candidate did not win outright on March 1 is the Texas attorney general primary where two-term incumbent Ken Paxton was forced into a runoff with 2-term Land Commissioner George P. Bush set to decide the nomination between the two twice-elected statewide Republicans.

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Congressman Louis Gohmert (R, TX-01) did not qualify for the runoff.

The Republican establishment has begun to rally behind Paxton’s candidacy, and many see a Paxton win over the last of the Bush dynasty in Texas as a crucial turning point in Texas, though Bush is the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife Columba, which makes George P. Bush one of the Hispanic members of the Bush family.

The Trump endorsement record of 2022 thus far brings positive news to Illinois for Congresswoman Mary Miller (R, Oakland) in her incumbent-vs.-incumbent spotlight Republican congressional primary with Congressman Rodney Davis (R, Taylorsville) for the 15th Congressional District in June.

But Miller and her supporters should pay heed to what happened when many of the conservatives across the country who are backing her candidacy went “RINO Hunting” in the open, safe Republican seat in the TX-08 to replace retiring Congressman Kevin Brady (R).

“America First” Clashed with “RINOs” in the TX-08 open seat Republican primary

Morgan Luttrell

In the open primary to replace 13-term incumbent Congressman Kevin Brady in the safe

Christian Collins

TX-08 seat where former President Trump did not endorse, 11 Republican candidates ran for the honor to be the heavily favored candidate to win the U.S. House seat on November 8.

With 11 candidates running, with 2 or 3 Republicans gaining high profile endorsements from across the country, a primary runoff on May 24 was widely expected.

The winning candidate, former Trump Administration official and former Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell of Magnolia, TX won the nomination outright with over 52% of the primary vote. 

This was an 11-candidate field, and Luttrell, who had the backing of former Texas Governor and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (R, SC) and the Congressional Leadership Fund bested the 2nd place finisher Christian Collins of Conroe, TX, who garnered 22% of the Republican primary vote.

Collins had the backing of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX), FreedomWorks and a who’s who of “America First” movement leaders.

A huge rally livestreamed on Red State Broadcasting Network (RSBN) on February 19 in The Woodlands took place.

A closer examination of some of the names on the list backing Collins from the rally meme includes:

  • Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA-14)
  • Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R, NC-11)
  • Congressman Lance Gooden (R, TX-05)
  • Congressman Troy Nehls (R, TX-22)
  • My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell
  • Arizona state Senator Wendy Rogers (R) via video
  • Congressional candidate Graham Allen (R, SC-07)
  • X Strategies CEO Alex Bruesewitz, a political consultant of IL-11 Republican candidate Catalina Lauf
  • Congressional candidate Bo Hines (R, NC)

All of the above were among the speakers to a crowd of Collins supporters in The Woodlands, TX to rally the faithful against “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) Morgan Luttrell.

And their candidate didn’t even make the runoff, let alone win the Republican primary and it wasn’t close.

TX-08 result can be reapplied to the upcoming Illinois Republican congressional primaries in multiple districts, including the IL-15 (Miller vs. Davis).

Many of the national luminaries speaking in The Woodlands on February 19 are also backing Miller in the IL-15, with the most vocal being Greene, or “MTG” as she’s often referred.  Many credit MTG for convincing former President Trump to endorse Miller in the 2022 primary against Davis.

Indeed, Miller utilizes much of the language employed by nearly all of the speakers seen on the RSBN livestream last month, particularly the use of the “RINO” four-letter acronym.  Many of the Collins supporters spoke saying Luttrell, because he was being backed by Congressmen Crenshaw and Kinzinger, would be the next “RINO” in the U.S. House.

“RINO Hunting” proved to be more of a story in the TX-03 Republican primary covered more in-depth below.

But the overuse of the “RINO” reference attempted to convince TX-08 Republican primary voters to nominate a 33-year-old, never married man with little-to-no life experiences to prove he’d be a solid conservative vote in Washington.

Republican primary voters in TX-08 applied discernment and saw differently, in spite of all the high-profile out-of-state endorsements Collins received.

When “RINO Hunting” fails, the truth ultimately comes out to cause the fall of Congressman Van Taylor

Signs in TX-03 Febuary 2022

The Republican primary for the TX-03, a Dallas-area district in North Texas composed of suburban and exurban Texans, proved to be another battleground for “RINO” hunters which has direct impact to IL-15 this year.

Two-term Congressman Van Taylor (R, Plano) was primaried by 4 candidates, including former Collin County Judge Keith Self (R, McKinney) and Suzanne Harp (R, Allen).

To clarify, a Texas “county judge” is the equivalent of an Illinois county board chairman elected at-large by the county’s voters.

Former President Trump did not endorse a Republican candidate in TX-03.

The “Republican in Name Only”, or “RINO” epithet was used extensively against Taylor including a 3rd party super PAC Defeating Communism, which set-up an anti-Taylor micro site called “RINOReckoning.org”.

The super PAC included material which blurred the truth on Taylor, particularly over his voting record on the two votes in the U.S. House last year to create a National Commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol Riots, and the House resolution to create the U.S. House January 6 Select Committee.

Van Taylor

The Taylor record on January 6 votes, which is identical to Illinois’ Rodney Davis:

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 3233 for the National Commission & 35 House Republicans voted in favor of the Commission on May 19 of last year, but H.R. 3233 was filibustered in the U.S. Senate on May 28 and was never implemented
  • Voted against House Resolution 503 in June of 2021, which created the current U.S. House Select Committee to investigate January 6, and only two Republicans voted with the Democrats, and those two are members of the Select Committee – Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Liz Cheney of Wyoming

Yet, the RINOreckoning.org website included materials like this one, which attempted to blur the two votes above and cast blame on Taylor for the antics of the hyper-partisan January 6 Select Committee and the actions of law enforcement:

Source: RINOreckoning.org

Additionally, attempting to cast blame for a vote for a Commission that was never created and then make the vote the reason for prolonged imprisonment of accused lawbreakers was the result of an act of Congress is not just an embellishment, but an outright lie.

Law enforcement and judges with jurisdiction arrest, prosecute and remand the accused in this country, including those accused of the lawlessness on January 6, 2021.

Because of disinformation by a 3rd party, and by some of Taylor’s primary challengers, risks of the truth being lost in IL-15 between now and June 28 could manifest themselves in Illinois.

While Congresswoman Miller, who in Congressman Davis like Congressman Taylor, has an opponent with the identical voting record of January 6 on the two House votes in 2021, one would expect Miller to remember all of the reasons Illinois Family Action formally endorsed her candidacy on February 18 over Davis, specifically from David E. Smith:

“Mary is a proud and vocal believer in Jesus Christ, and her Christian faith guides her positions on moral issues.  Mary Miller is pro-life, pro-religious liberty, and pro-marriage between a man and a woman…Mary bows her knee to no one but Jesus Christ, and her actions demonstrate that she will always make sound moral judgments…”

Miller cannot be held accountable for misinformation/disinformation of 3rd parties.  She can and will be held accountable if lies, including embellishments, half-truths, lies by omission are used by her or her campaign.

When one describes a brother or sister in Christ as Smith described Miller, then living by Scripture expected.  The Greatest Commandment is to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

The truth, even within the realm of politics, must always be told.

If one does not tell the truth on their own, the truth always comes out.

As for the TX-03 Republican primary on March 1, Taylor received the most votes garnering 48.8% of the vote, but was forced into a runoff against Keith Self, with 26.5%.

The next day Texas Tribune‘s political correspondent tweeted:

“RINO hunting” did not end Taylor’s congressional career.

His sin, an extramarital affair with an “ISIS bride” in 2020-2021 did.

Taylor withdraws from primary runoff, giving the nomination to Self and in a Trump +15 TX-03, will be sworn-in to Congress on January 3.

The truth always comes out.