2 Democratic candidates vying for State Republic District 22 seat

The winner will face Republican Jacorion Randle in November.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The race for state representative from District 22 will likely head to a runoff after votes for the top two Democratic nominees fell short of the majority needed for a victory.

Three Democrats decided to run in an effort to keep the blue seat.

Tuesday evening, Joseph Trahan was in the lead with 48% of the vote and Christian “Manuel” Hayes followed closely with 43% of the vote. Lisa Weber, a Beaumont school teacher and education advocate, was also vying for the state seat.

MORE | 2022 Southeast Texas Primary Election Results

The primary election results left Manuel and Hayes competing in a runoff.

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Hayes is the current Chief of Staff representative for District 22 Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont. Hayes held this position for 10 years, and before that he was district manager, assistant clerk and social worker at Deshotel.

Deshotel announced in mid-November that he was retiring after his 11th term in the Texas House of Representatives.

Hayes previously told 12News that one of his priorities is better health care for Texans.

“We’re the fastest growing state in the union, but we’re 42nd in development as far as Texas has assured that has to change. We’re leaving so much money on the tables,” Hayes said.

RELATED: Jefferson County Dem Party Chairman Announces Bid for Joe Deshotel’s Texas House Seat

Trahan is the former chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party. He told 12News he was looking to improve infrastructure and drainage systems to prevent flooding.

“Advocate for resource allocation, which means taxpayer dollars will come into this area to help fund projects on behalf of drainage districts six and seven,” Trahan previously told 12News.

Trahan was elected Jefferson County’s youngest official in March 2020 when he became chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party.

He graduated from Hamshire-Fannett High School and the University of Texas at Austin.

Trahan is a fifth-generation Jefferson County resident with deep community ties and is the son of Sergeant Howard J. Trahan of the Beaumont Police Department.

The winner will face Republican Jacorion Randle in November.

In Jefferson County, 28,938 of 146,956 registered voters voted for a turnout of 19.69%.

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