A History of LPTexas Ballot Retention

As candidates for statewide positions line up to be considered for the LPTexas nomination at its state convention in April 2018, it might be useful to consider the Party’s history of retaining ballot access through vote results. Though winning an election should always be the goal of anyone running for office, state convention delegates may also want to consider the likelihood that each candidate will be able to garner sufficient votes to retain ballot access for 2020 (see my recent blog).

Since 1992 (13 general elections) LPTexas failed to retain automatic ballot access only once. That was in 2002, a year when every statewide race had both Republican and Democratic challengers. Regaining ballot access for 2004 required an expensive and time-consuming petition drive. It was not pretty.

Every statewide race had both Republican and Democratic challengers in only 2 of the 12 elections that LPTexas passed the retention threshold. Railroad Commissioner nominees qualified the party for ballot access in both 1992 (6.99% of the vote) and 2016 (5.28% of the vote).

Since 1992, a total of 31 nominees garnered sufficient votes for ballot retention – 24 in judicial races (where the Democrats often do not have nominees for every position) and 7 in executive positions (where the Democrats usually, though not always, have a nominee).

Only once (2010) has the party’s gubernatorial candidate achieved greater than the 2% threshold for that race.

In 6 of the 12 elections where access was retained, it was done so by the results from a single race (1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2008, 2016).

If the Democrats run someone for every statewide office in 2018 (as they did in 2016), retaining access for 2020 could turn out to be a significant challenge for LPTexas. 

A list of the party’s Ballot-Retention Champions is given below.

  1. Richard Draheim (1992, TRRC 6.99%)
  2. John Hawley (1994, SC#1 18.68%)
  3. John Hawley (1996, SC#3 15.89%)
  4. Larry Perry (1998, CCA#2 18.46%)
  5. Carolyn Fields (2000,TRRC 15.66%)
  6. Anthony Garcia (2000, TRRC 15.83%)
  7. Mike Jacobellis (2000, SC#1 11.49%
  8. Joe Izen (2000, SC#2 15.74%)
  9. Lance Smith (2000, SC#3 18.67%)
  10. Rife Kimler (2000, CCA#1 15.55%)
  11. Quanah Parker (2004, CCA#2 16.04%)
  12. Tom Oxford (2004, CCA#5 14.22%)
  13. Tom Oxford (2006, SCCJ 23.63%)
  14. Jerry Adkins (2006, SC#4 24.52%)
  15. Todd Phillippi (2006, SC#6 24.07%)
  16. Jay Cookingham (2006, SC#8 23.69%)
  17. Quanah Parker (2006, CCA#7 24.14%)
  18. Dave Howard (2006, CCA#8 23.97%
  19. William Strange (2008, CCA#9 18.11%)
  20. Kathie Glass (2010, Governor 2.19%)
  21. Mary Ruwart (2010, Comptroller 10.50%)
  22. Randell Stevens (2010, CCA#2 17.66%)
  23. Dave Howard (2010, CCA#5 17.09%)
  24. Jaime Perez (2012, TRRC 18.32%)
  25. Roberto Koelsch (2012, SC#2 21.23%)
  26. Tom Oxford (2012, SC#4 16.89%)
  27. Mark Bennett (2012, CCA#7 21.94%)
  28. Roberto Koelsch (2014, SC#7 11.96%)
  29. Quanah Parker (2014, CCA#4 13.34%)
  30. William Strange (2014, CCA#9 13.15%)
  31. Mark Miller (2016, TRRC 5.28%)

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