SOUTHEAST TEXAS - The Associated Press has called the District 14 GOP congressional runoff for Randy Weber, and he'll face Nick Lampson in November.
Weber was leading Felicia Harris by a margin of 67% to 33% for most of the evening.
Former congressman Lampson won the Democratic Party nomination May 29.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Ron Paul's preferred successor in the U.S. House easily won his Republican runoff Tuesday while Democrats awaited a winner in a sprawling Texas border district that figures to factor prominently in the race to control Congress this November.
Randy Weber rode the endorsement of Paul in the 14th Congressional District that the former presidential candidate has represented since 1997, beating Pearland City Councilwoman Felicia Harris. Weber needed just two terms in the Texas Legislature to burnish a reputation as one of its most conservative members and counted Gov. Rick Perry among his supporters.
Weber will face former Democratic Congressman Nick Lampson in November. Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams also won his Republican runoff in the new 25th Congressional District that is solidly GOP from Austin to Fort Worth.
In the Rio Grande Valley, Filemon Vela beat Denise Saenz-Blanchard for the Democratic nomination in the newly created 34th Congressional District. But the Texas race most closely watched by Democrats nationwide was in the 23rd, where former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez was trying to win a rematch with Republican U.S. Rep. Francisco Canseco.
Canseco ousted Rodriguez two years ago in what was among the most expensive and bitter congressional races in the country. The same is expected to unfold in November, and establishment Democrats had this time backed popular state lawmaker Pete Gallego. His endorsements included San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who on Tuesday was chosen to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
Millions of dollars in the coming months are expected to pour into the district that Canseco narrowly won in 2010 and Democrats have targeted nationally.
In addition to Rodriguez, a lesser-known former congressman from East Texas was also trying to get back to Washington. Steve Stockman served just one term starting in 1994 but earned lasting notoriety for accusing the government of "executing" members of the Branch Davidian cult after the 1993 siege near Waco.
Stockman faced Stephen Takach, a financial adviser from Baytown, in the solidly Republican 36th Congressional District. It's one of four new U.S. House seats awarded to Texas because of the state's booming population in the last decade.
Democrats were poised to take another new district that spans Dallas and Fort Worth. The runoff for the 33rd Congressional District put state lawmaker Marc Veasey against Domingo Garcia in a race where both men were relying on their political bases. Nearly two-thirds of the district is Hispanic, and Garcia has called the 2012 elections a "key test" of Latino voting power.
Veasey is a black state lawmaker who already partly represents the district in the legislature. Turnout for the runoff was expected to be low, and at the Grauwyler Recreation Center in Dallas, activity was slow.
Rudy Gonzalez, 58, of Dallas voted for Garcia and said he hoped race wouldn't play a factor.
"I hope people vote more on the way candidates look at the issues rather than race," Garcia said. "People throw the race card around like it's play money. It's ridiculous."
Vela's father was a well-known federal judge in the Rio Grande Valley whose wife is a Republican on the state's 13th Court of Appeals. Saenz-Blanchard worked 20 years for former Congressman Solomon Ortiz, including as his chief of staff.
PAUL J. WEBER
Associated Press writers Sarah Kuta in Dallas and Christopher Sherman in McAllen contributed to this report.
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