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Two Republicans headed to runoff for northwest Texas House seat

Updated: Jan. 23, 2021 at 10:11 PM CST
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ORIGINAL STORY FROM THE TEXAS TRIBUNE

Republicans David Spiller and Craig Carter appear to be headed to a runoff in the special election to fill the seat of former state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, now a state senator.

With all precincts reporting Saturday night, Spiller — the top fundraiser in the race — had a significant lead, holding 44% of the vote, with Carter taking 18%, according to unofficial results from the Texas Secretary of State. Carter was closely followed by another GOP candidate, John Berry, who trailed Carter by about 60 votes Saturday night. Jason Brinkley, also a Republican, snuck in fourth place, with 16% of the vote. The only Democrat running, Charles D. Gregory, finished last with 4%.

Source: KCBD Video
Source: KCBD Video

Spiller is an attorney and Jacksboro school board trustee. Carter is a former candidate for an overlapping Texas Senate district.

The safely Republican Texas House district covers a large swath of rural northwest Texas wrapping around Wichita Falls and up into the Panhandle.

The safely Republican Texas House district covers a large swath of rural northwest Texas wrapping around Wichita Falls and up into the Panhandle.

Springer vacated the seat last month after winning a special election runoff to replace now-U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper, in the Texas Senate. Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a sped-up special election for Springer’s state House seat due to the legislative session, which began earlier this month.

Abbott will set a date for the runoff election sometime in February, after the votes are canvassed, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The race was sleepy, with GOP candidates avoiding attacks as they sought to burnish their credentials as advocates for rural Texas. Spiller raised the most money and had the most notable endorsement — that of former Gov. Rick Perry, who grew up inside the district.