Brian Birdwell soundly defeated former Senator David Sibley in the SD 22 primary runoff yesterday with almost 60% of the vote. This election was to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Kip Averitt, who had resigned his senate seat for health reasons. However, Averitt is still the Republican nominee in the general election for the next four-year term for SD 22. There is no Democratic opponent. Averitt was expected to resign before the November general election, which would allow the Republican and Democratic precinct chairs to name respective candidates for the race. But the Waco Tribune, Austin American-Statesman and Texas Tribune have all speculated that Averitt may not resign, choosing instead to represent SD 22 in the Texas Senate for another term.
Averitt is concerned over Birdwell’s eligibility to serve. There have been continuing questions about whether Birdwell satisfies residency requirements for the seat and Averitt believes the Democrats might successfully sue to remove Birdwell defaulting the seat to the Democrats. Averitt says, "I really don't want to go back to the Senate, but I feel like I'm now physically capable of doing so if I have to. We need to make sure there's a Republican candidate on the ballot. It's nothing personal against Mr. Birdwell but it's just a question of whether he's eligible."