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Texas Congressional Elections Heat

April 12, 2000

HOUSTON (AP) _ A retired military attorney won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to run against Republican incumbent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in November, while a longtime state lawmaker won the Republican nomination for retiring GOP Rep. Bill Archer’s seat.

The two races were among four runoffs held in Texas for Senate and House nominations.

In the Senate contest, South Texan Gene Kelly, who lost six previous statewide races, defeated former one-term state representative Charles Gandy. They had emerged from a field of five Democrats in the March 14 primary.

With 74 percent of Texas precincts reporting, Kelly had 118,038 votes, or 58 percent, to 84,194, or 42 percent, for Gandy.

Hutchison, whose campaign has more than $6 million in the bank, will be the heavy favorite in November.

Fourteen-year state Rep. John Culberson defeated businessman Peter Wareing in a bitterly fought runoff for Archer’s seat.

With 67 percent of precincts reporting, Culberson had 21,288 votes, or 58 percent, while Wareing had 15,445 votes, or 42 percent.

Wareing accused Culberson of being a career politician and an ineffective leader. Culberson branded Wareing a disloyal Republican for voting in six Democratic primaries and donating to Democrats as recently as 1997.

Democrat Jeff Sells is expected to provide only token opposition in the predominantly Republican district in November.

Also, retired Temple oilman Ramsey Farley defeated Belton contractor Rodney Geer in a Central Texas GOP runoff to challenge Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards.

Bryndan Wright, a former aide to House Majority Leader Dick Armey, defeated retired lawyer Bill Payne for the right to oppose Rep. Martin Frost, the third-ranking Democrat in the House.

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