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Updated 10:10 a.m. March 3
With all voting centers reporting, incumbent John Whitmire has won the Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 15 with 57.5% of the vote, or 24,724 votes.
Whitmire went up against Molly Cook, an emergency room nurse and community advocate, who finished with 42.5% of the vote, or 18,260 votes.
In a Q&A with Community Impact Newspaper, Whitmire said he thought the most pressing issues facing District 15 related to public safety, health care and flooding. Among his priorities for the 2023 legislative session are enacting bail reform, pushing for the expansion of Medicaid in the state, and fighting for more flood control resources to go toward drainage and building another reservoir.
Whitmire has served in the Texas Senate since 1983 and currently as the chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
In a statement on Twitter, Whitmire thanks his voters for their support.
"I ran on my record, [and] you rewarded me with your vote," he said. "I will continue to be a fighter for you in Austin [and] use my experience to make the district a better place to work and live."
Updated 7:36 a.m. March 2
With 200 of 750 voting centers reporting in Harris County, John Whitmire remains on track to win the race for Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 15, through Molly Cook has narrowed the lead since early voting results were released.
Whitmire has 58.9% of the vote, or 19,866 votes to Cook's 13,813 votes. A total of 33,679 votes have been counted in the race so far, with votes from 550 voting centers still remaining to be counted, putting the race on track to surpass the 36,466 total ballots cast in 2018.
The seat is located entirely within Harris County.
Updated 10:54 p.m. March 1
With six of 750 voting centers reporting in Harris County, incumbent John Whitmire continues to lead Molly Cook in the March 1 Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 15.
Whitmire has 15,051 votes to Cook's 9,189 votes. Most of the vote totals reported as of press time came from early voting.
Meanwhile, Harris County election officials have reported delays in the release of election results. Texas election code requires precinct election records to be delivered 24 hours after polls close, but county officials said political parties are seeking a court order related to the time needed to count ballots.
This story will be updated as results continue to come in.
Posted 8:07 p.m. March 1
With early votes counted, incumbent John Whitmire is leading Molly Cook in the March 1 Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 15. Whitmire has 61.1% of the vote, or 15,040 votes, and Cook is following with 37.9% of the vote, or 9,170 votes.
The winners for each party in the March primaries will determine which candidates will be on the ballot in the November general election. The winner of the Democratic primary for District 15 will face Republican George Brian Vachris in the general election, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary.
If no candidate exceeds 50% of the vote by the time all ballots are counted, the two candidates with the most votes will compete in a runoff election in December. Read a Q&A with both candidates here.
Texas Senate members are up for election every four years. A total of 36,446 ballots were cast in the Democratic primary race for District 15 when the seat was last up for election in March 2018. Whitmire handily won the race outright with 74.9% of the vote against two challengers.
After new district boundaries were drawn during the 2021 redistricting process, the coverage area of District 15 was altered to include the cities of Bellaire and West University Place, which were formerly covered by Texas Senate District 17 under Republican Sen. Joan Huffman. The newest iteration of the district covers parts of the western half of Houston's Inner Loop as well as a parts of of north Houston around Spring, Humble and the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Although he is running for re-election, Whitmire has also announced his intentions to run for mayor of Houston in 2023, an election that will not include Sylvester Turner, who is term limited.
All results are unofficial until canvassed.
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