The 2014 Texas gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014, to elect the Governor of Texas. This will be the first open election for Governor since 1990. Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry, who has served in the office since December 21, 2000, has announced that he will not run for an unprecedented fourth full term as Governor. The winner of the election will take office for the term lasting from January 20, 2015, to January 15, 2019 on the third Tuesday every four years, along with the Lieutenant Governor. The election for governor is expected to take place between nominees who were selected on March 4, 2014: Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis and Republican State Attorney GeneralGreg Abbott.
In the primary election, Greg Abbott polled 787,766 more votes than Wendy Davis though both were considered certain winners of their party nominations. The Republican turnout overall exceeded the Democrat strength by 786,487, nearly the same gap as that between Abbott and Davis.
Both parties saw their turnout decline from 2010. The GOP had 151,101 fewer primary voters in 2014 than in 2010; the Democrats declined by 133,354. Republicans had a total turnout of 9.8 percent in 2014; the Democrats, 3.7 percent.
Political scientist Mark P. Jones of Rice University in Houston, declared that the primary returns "looks bad for Democrats. There also wasn't very much going on [for Democrats] in 2010, yet more people voted in 2010 than voted in 2014. ... Instead of moving toward turning Texas blue, they are moving back towards Texas as an even redder state."
Davis' intraparty rival and political unknown Ray Madrigal (born c. 1942) of Corpus Christi finished with nearly 21 percent of the vote, but he still outpolled the nominee in two high-profile South Texas counties with large numbers of Hispanic voters, Webb (56-44 percent) and Hidalgo (53-47 percent). In the smaller Willacy and LaSalle counties, Madrigal finished ahead of Davis with nearly 61 and 58 percent, respectively.
In the 1994 Democratic gubernatorial primary, a candidate similar to Madrigal, Gary Espinosa, polled 22.2 percent of the vote against incumbent Ann Richards, who was thereafter unseated by George W. Bush. Richards remains thus far the last Democrat to have served as governor of Texas. Despite the similarity with 1994, Davis told a candidate forum after the primary that she expects no difficulty in attracting large Hispanic support in South Texas in her campaign against Abbott. Democratic operatives insist that there is little correlation between primary turnout, which is traditionally very low in Texas, and the prospects to win a general election.
Davis advisor Matt Angle said that he still believes the Republicans performed poorly in the primary and will be damaged in the general election by the rhetoric against illegal immigration in the heated primary race for lieutenant governor, which continues to a runoff contest on May 27 between the incumbent David Dewhurst and the frontrunner, State Senator Dan Patrick, both of Houston. Conversely, Republican consultant Matthew L. "Matt" Mackowiak (born c. 1979) of Austin said that the Democrats missed an opportunity to bring voters to the polls in a show of strength: "If they think they can skip the primary and have a stunning victory [in the general election], that's extremely naïve."