Primary Decisions: March 2020


By Patti Parish-Kaminski –

This year marks a unique election year across America, but especially in Fort Bend. While the March 3rd primaries will lead up to the general election featuring what many assume will be President Trump’s reelection bid, Fort Bend voters will decide in the March primary on candidates in some interesting and notable races, including US Congressional District 22, a county commissioners’ contest and a run for Fort Bend County Sheriff among others.

US Representative District 22

One of the most closely watched primary contests is expected to be the race to replace retiring Republican Representative Pete Olson for US Congressional District 22. The field of candidates is vast, including the recent addition of Pierce Bush from Houston to emerge as the latest member of the Bush family to enter politics.  Bush’s race will be a crowded one as he is one of 15 Republican candidates seeking the Republican win.  Other Republican candidates seeking the congressional office include former Brazoria County Judge, Pearland City Councilmember and former US Border Patrol Agent Greg Hill, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls, who has had his eye on the seat for some time, and conservative activist Kathaleen Wall, who recently purchased a home in CD 22.

Other Republicans seeking the CD 22 seat include Bangar Reddy, Douglas Haggard, Howard Steele, Dan Mathews, Matt Hinton, Brandon T. Penko, Diana Miller, Shandon Phan, Joe Walz, Aaron Hermes and Jon Camarillo.

The Republican primary winner will face one of five Democrats vying for the CD 22 nomination, including Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni. Kulkarni ran against Representative Pete Olson in 2018 in a close race with Olson retaining his seat. Other Democratic candidates include Pearland City Councilman Derrick Reed, Chris Fernandez, Nyanza Davis Moore and Carmine Petricco, III.

County Commissioner Precinct 3

Fort Bend County Commissioner Precinct 3 W.A. “Andy” Meyers will face off in the March primary with two opponents.  The Republican incumbent will run against Wendy Duncan, Willow Fork Drainage District board member, and Glenn “Harry” Gustafson. The winner will face the lone Democratic candidate, Air Force Veteran Hope Martin, in the November 2020 election.

Fort Bend County Sheriff

Six candidates filed to replace incumbent Republican Troy Nehls, who is running as a Republican Congressional District 22 candidate, and the list includes Nehls’ twin brother.  Trever J. Nehls is currently serving as Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Constable, which leaves the position open for two Republican and two Democratic primary candidates. The Republican candidates for Precinct 4 Constable are Mike Nguyen and current Chief Deputy of Precinct 4 John G. Hermann. The two Democratic primary candidates are Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Joseph “Joe” Villareal and Harris County Constables Office Precinct 4 Deputy Nabil Shike.

Other candidates vying for the Republican nomination for Fort Bend County Sheriff include Houston Police officer Siddiqi Muzasffar and former Chief of Police John Minchew.

Democratic primary candidates for Sheriff include retired Houston Police officer and former president of the African American Police Officers’ League Eric Fagan, Army veteran and former commander of criminal investigations for the Missouri City Police Department Geneane R. Hughes and Navy veteran Holland Jones. Jones served as a former captain for the office of Harris County Precinct 7 Constable.

Texas House District Races

The race for District 26 has been making headlines as State Representative Rick Miller resigned in December from seeking another term after making racially charged comments in a December 3rd Houston Chronicle article.  Miller was quoted as saying his two primary opponents, former Fort Bend GOP Chairman Jacey Jetton and Houston Fire Department analyst Leonard N. Chan, joined the race because they are Asians targeting a district with a substantial Asian population. Soon after the newspaper printed the article, Governor Greg Abbott and Fort Bend County GOP Chair Linda Howell withdrew their endorsements of Miller.

The primary now includes three Republicans: Jacey Jetton, Leonard N. Chan and Matt Morgan. The winner will face one of four Democrats: consultant Rish Oberoi, State Board of Education member Lawrence Allen, community activist L. “Sarah” DeMerchant and physician Suleman Lalani. DeMerchant is married to Fort Bend County Commissioner Precinct 4 Ken DeMerchant who was elected to office in 2018.

Other Texas house primary races include Democrat incumbent District 27 State Representative Ron Reynolds running against Byron Ross. The winner will face one of two Republican candidates in the November election: Tom Virippan and financial analyst and CPA Manish Seth.

Additional Primary Races

In the race for Fort Bend County Attorney, Republican Steve Rogers does not have a primary opponent. He will face the winner of the Democratic primary candidates Sonia Rush, David Hunter and Bridgette Smith-Lawson.

In the Tax Assessor-Collector race, the Republican primary candidates are Phillip Andrews, J.J. Clemence, Jaison Joseph and James Pressler. The winner will face one of two Democratic primary candidates: Neeta Sane and Carmen Turner.

For more information on the candidates or the upcoming March 3rd primary, visit the Fort Bend County Republication Party at fortbendgop.org and the Fort Bend Democratic Party at fbdemocrats.com.