AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Early voting for Texas primary runoff elections started Monday.

Early voting for the May 27 election will run through Friday in statewide races in which candidates from the March 4 primary election failed to capture a 50 percent majority, according to the Office of Secretary of State.

The most closely watched Republican races include lieutenant governor, attorney general, agriculture commissioner and railroad commissioner.

Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lost by a double-digit margin, 13 percent, to state Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston conservative radio jockey, in the March 4 primary.

The winner faces state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, in the November election.

In the Republican runoff for attorney general, state Sen. Ken Paxton, who captured 44.44 percent of the total vote in the runoff, will face state Rep. Dan Branch.

The Republican nominee will face plaintiffs attorney Sam Houston, a Democrat, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Tommy Merritt and Sid Miller are in the Republican runoff for commissioner of agriculture, while musician Richard "Kinky" Friedman and Jim Hogan are battling for the Democratic nomination.

Republicans Wayne Christian and Ryan Sitton are competing in the runoff for railroad commissioner.

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