Former Lubbock City Councilman Randy Neugebauer (R) and Midland accountant Mike Conaway (R) advanced Saturday to a runoff in the special election to replace Rep. Larry Combest (R-Texas), who is resigning May 31.
Neugebauer led the 17-candidate field with 22 percent while Conaway secured the second runoff spot by taking 21 percent, with fewer than 800 votes separating the two. State Rep. Carl Isett (R), widely perceived as the frontrunner going into the election, placed third with 19 percent. Former Lubbock Mayor — and Democrat — David Langston (R) took fourth place with 14 percent. No other candidate received more than 4 percent.
The runoff is likely to take place June 7, but the date will not be officially set until the election result is certified.
Both Neugebauer and Conaway maximized their own geographic bases in order to catapult themselves into the runoff. More than half of Neugebauer’s votes came from Lubbock County, where he bested Isett and Langston, both of whom could lay claim to an electoral base from their past political service. Neugebauer also dominated the field in the 16 less-populous counties of the district, winning a majority in 10.
Conaway took more than 9,000 votes out of Ector (Odessa) and Midland counties, known collectively as the Permian Basin, in the southern end of the district.