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Five LGBTQ Harris County Candidates Won Their Primary Elections 

Two queer candidates face runoff elections on May 28.

Clockwise from top left: Judge Kelli Johnson, State Rep. Ann Johnson, State Rep. Jplanda Jones, Judge Fran Watson, and Judge Charles Spain.

Last month, OutSmart reported that there were at least nine LGBTQ Harris County candidates on the March 5 primary ballot. Five of these candidates won their races last night and will head to the general election in November. 

Four of these candidates were Democratic incumbents, three of whom—Rep. Ann Johnson, Rep. Jolanda Jones, and Judge Kelli Johnson—ran unopposed. Incumbent Charles Spain won his race for the 14th Court of Appeals Place 4 with 56 percent of the vote, and Fran Watson won her race for Harris County Probate Court No. 5 with 55 percent of the vote. 

Molly Cook (l) and Lauren Ashley Simmons both advanced to runoffs on May 28.

Two other queer Democrats—Molly Cook and Lauren Ashley Simmons—advanced to their respective May 28 runoff elections. In order to win a race in Texas, a candidate must receive more than 50 of the vote to win. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates face a runoff election. 

Cook, who is running for Senate District 15, took home 20.7 percent of the vote and will face a runoff against Jarvis Johnson, who received 36.1 percent of the vote. If Cook wins her election, she would become the first LGBTQ senator in Texas, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund

Simmons, who is running for State House District 146, received a majority of the vote with 49.5 percent. Simmons will face a runoff against a runoff against anti-LGBTQ Democrat Shawn Thierry

Two LGBTQ candidates lost their elections. Incumbent Kim Ogg, who currently serves as Harris County’s District Attorney, lost her election to Sean Teare. Ogg served two terms as District Attorney and was the first LGBTQ person to do so. Mo Jenkins, who is also a queer history-maker, came in third place for Texas House District 139 with 17.7 percent of the vote. Jenkins is the first transgender woman to serve as a committee director and a committee clerk in the Texas Legislature.

In order to vote in the primary runoff election on May 28, Texas residents must be registered to vote at least 30 days before the election date. For more information about voting in Harris County, visit





Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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