AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A former U.S. Department of Agriculture official will join a former professional football player in the May runoff to face U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions.

Former former Obama administration official Lillian Salerno and former NFL linebacker and a civil rights attorney Colin Allred advanced Tuesday to a May 22 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the 32nd Congressional District seat. The winner will face Sessions in November.

Salerno said she entered the race after seeing Republicans’ attempts to repeal Obamacare. “Pete Sessions doesn’t fight for our values,” she said. “He tried to kick 22 million people off of Obamacare. Over 30,000 of them were right here in this district and that’s not acceptable.”

lillian salerno 2 Runoff Set To Challenge GOP U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions


Sessions was first elected to Congress in 2002 and his district includes cities in both Dallas and Collin Counties, including Highland Park and Richardson.

Hillary Clinton got more votes than Donald Trump in Sessions’ district in 2016, even as no Democrat challenged Sessions. With renewed Democratic energy this year, a seven-way field of Democrats emerged to try to challenge him this time.

colin allred 5 Runoff Set To Challenge GOP U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions


Allred was one of seven Democrats vying to face off against Sessions. “In this era with Donald Trump as President, with this Congress, and with this version of the Republican Party in charge, I felt like the time is now, there’s no time to wait,” he said before the primary.

For all the talk of renewed Democratic energy heading into the 2018 midterms, Texas Republicans set a new benchmark for turnout in a midterm election.

More than 1.5 million people voted Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, won by incumbent Ted Cruz. That beats the previous record of 1.48 million in 2010, during former President Barack Obama’s first term.

At least 1 million people voted in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Senate.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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