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Republicans send Goldman, O’Shea to runoff for Granger’s congressional seat

State Rep. Craig Goldman and businessman John O'Shea.
Jacob Sanchez, Camilo Diaz
Fort Worth Report
State Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, raised more than $1 million in his bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Kay Granger.

The impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will likely take center stage in the runoff to decide who will be the Republican nominee for the 12th Congressional District.

Republicans Craig Goldman and John O’Shea were the top vote-getters in the March 5 GOP primary, according to unofficial election results. Neither was able to get 50% of the vote, forcing a May 28 runoff.

The district covers west Tarrant County and most of Parker County. This election marks the first open race for the seat since U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, was initially elected in 1996. Granger is retiring after nearly three decades of service in Congress.

Goldman, a Fort Worth Republican in the Texas House, received 44.3% of the vote to O’Shea’s 26.4%. So far, 97.62% of votes have been counted, according to the Associated Press.

As voting numbers rolled in at 8:45 p.m. March 5, Goldman told supporters at Courtside Kitchen in Fort Worth to get ready for a second round of campaigning.

“Full steam ahead, and I look forward to earning your support in the long haul,” Goldman said.

O’Shea did not immediately return a request to comment late March 5.

The winner of the runoff likely will face Democrat Trey Hunt. He led Sebastian Gehrig with 55.9% of the vote to Gehrig’s 44.1%, according to unofficial election results.

Hunt was already making plans for November. His campaign plans to meet with fundraisers and strategists, according to a news release.

“We are the change we want to see Texas’ 12th Congressional District, the state of Texas and the United States of America,” Hunt said in a statement.

Goldman and O’Shea are far apart when it comes to Paxton, who the Texas House impeached in May and the Senate later acquitted.

O’Shea is a longtime friend of the attorney general and received Paxton’s endorsement. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller also backed O’Shea.

“John O’Shea is a principled, America-first patriot who will serve Tarrant County and Texas with distinction. I join Ken Paxton in enthusiastically endorsing John O’Shea,” Miller said in a Facebook post.

Goldman, chair of the GOP caucus, joined 60 Republicans to impeach Paxton over allegations of misconduct. The vote was 121-23.

Goldman described the vote as not a decision on guilt or innocence, but rather the House’s obligation to determine whether there was enough evidence to let the Senate consider removing Paxton from office.

Goldman has been the top fundraiser in the race. He raised nearly $1.5 million, according to campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.

His closest competitor was electrical engineer Shellie Gardner. Goldman raised more than $5 for every $1 she collected.

Key Tarrant County officials threw their support behind Goldman, including Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and Tarrant County’s five Republican state senators. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and former Gov. Rick Perry also endorsed Goldman.

“This campaign is not over yet,” Parker said.

The winner of the Nov. 5 election will serve a two-year term.

Editor's note: This story was updated March 6, 2024, with updated vote totals and a statement from Democrat Trey Hunt.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or @_jacob_sanchez. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His work has appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram, The Texas Tribune and the Texas Observer. He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University. Contact him at or via Twitter.