Race to replace Poe
Dan Crenshaw easily beat Kevin Roberts in the Republican runoff May 22 for Congressional District 2. Roberts, a former state representative who gave up his Texas House seat to run, was the first-place candidate after the Republican primary in March but he lost 6,500 voters by the May election.
Crenshaw received a whopping 69.88 percent of the vote, while Roberts got 30.12 percent. The overall turnout was low, with only 29,164 voting of the 442,347 registered Republicans in the district.
The pair were the top two in a nine-candidate primary March 6. Roberts was the victor that time, earning a third of the total vote. But in the intervening months, Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL who lost the sight in one eye and nearly died while serving in Afghanistan, rose in prominence, buoyed by the support of veterans across the district.
“We fought and we fought and we persevered,” the 33-year old Crenshaw told supporters at his election celebration.
Roberts conceded less than two hours after polls closed when early results gave Crenshaw 68 percent of the votes in the battle to replace Rep. Ted Poe, who is retiring.
The pair, initially friendly competitors, grew hostile in the two months between the primary and the runoff. Dozens of mailers accusing Crenshaw of being anti-Trump, akin to socialist Bernie Sanders, and un-Christian flooded mailboxes for weeks.
Roberts declined to respond when asked if the negativity of his campaign had contributed to his defeat, but Crenshaw took a positive approach.
“I think voters want to vote for something, not against something. Negative campaigning can turn voters off and that’s why we didn’t campaign that way,” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw will face attorney Todd Litton, who won the five-way Democratic primary in March, on Election Day, Nov. 6.