In the race for Texas Senate District 24 — which extends from Killeen westward to Abilene — incumbent Dawn Buckingham, a Lakeway Republican, is being challenged by political newcomer Clayton Tucker, a Lampasas rancher who is running as a Democrat.
Both candidates were unopposed in their respective March primary elections.
Buckingham, who was first elected to the District 24 seat in 2016, is a physician and conservative small-business owner.
She made history in 2016 as the first Republican from Travis County to be elected to the Texas Senate, as well as the first woman ever elected to represent Senate District 24 — a sprawling district with about 800,000 residents.
While in the Senate, Buckingham has served on the Sunset Advisory Commission and was named Chair of the prestigious Senate Nominations Committee.
Most recently, she served on the Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee, Higher Education Committee, and Health and Human Services Committee.
Among Buckingham’s priorities are improving public education, keeping taxes low, strengthening border security, empowering small businesses and defending the sanctity of life, according to the Texas Senate’s website.
Among her endorsements are Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas for Lawsuit Reform PAC.
Tucker has campaigned on improving access to healthcare, increasing education funding and addressing climate change.
He also favors expanding Medicaid in Texas and creating living-wage jobs, according to his campaign website.
Tucker has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, People for the American Way, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower.
The two candidates are separated by a wide gap when it comes to funding their respective campaigns.
According to a report on Ballotpedia.org, Buckingham raised $1.454 million and spent $569,624 between Jan. 1, 2019 and Sept. 24 of this year.
By contrast, Tucker raised $105,314 and spent $58,611 during the same period.
Tucker is a former kindergarten teacher, a former water researcher, and a current beekeeper and science fiction author.
He has spent the last year of his life working with former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower in advocating for healthcare policy solutions to benefit all Texans.