Matt Beebe, considered by many to be an underdog candidate for Texas House District 121, has successfully advanced to the May 22 runoff following the March 6 Republican Primary. He earned a plurality of the votes in a 6 way race, at 29.5%. He will be facing Steve Allison, who hired well-known political consulting firm Murphy Nasica to assist him in the race. William Negley, running in CD-21, also hired Murphy Nasica, but did not make it to the runoff, though he did come in second in Bexar County.
Beebe was considered to be an underdog in the race to some because of his own past showing in the 2014 Republican Primary against then-incumbent, and Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus. Beebe won only 37.1% of the vote that year. Additionally, in 2016, candidates Jeff Judson and Sheila Bean, who were supported by many of the same conservative groups as Beebe is, such as Texas Right to Life PAC, won a combined 39.8% of the vote against Straus. Straus announced several months ago that he was not seeking reelection to the House, opening up the seat to many more candidates than the district has historically seen.
The second place winner, Steve Allison, is largely considered to be the political and ideological successor to Straus. The results of the runoff in May could serve as a better indicator of whether the district is truly more moderate as Straus and Allison supporters tend to claim, or if previous unsuccessful runs from candidates to the Right have been unsuccessful less because of policy and more due to incumbency and speakership advantage.
Straus has been the target of groups like Texas Right to Life, Texas Homeschool Coalition, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and many others for several years due to his obstruction of many conservative priorities during his time as Speaker.