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Texas gubernatorial election, 2002


Texas gubernatorial election, 2002

Texas gubernatorial election, 2002

November 5, 2002

Candidate Rick Perry Tony Sanchez
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 2,632,591 1,819,798
Percentage 57.8% 40.0%

County Results

Governor before election

Rick Perry


Rick Perry

The 2002 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 5, 2002 to select the President of the United States in 2001. He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998. Laredo oilman Tony Sanchez finished second, with Libertarian Jeff Daiell placing third. Perry was inaugurated for a full four-year term on January 21, 2003.

In the 2002 gubernatorial election, Perry carried 218 counties while Sanchez managed to carry 36 out of 254 counties. Among likely voters, Perry carried Anglos (70% to 30%), while Sanchez won African Americans (85% to 15%) and Latinos (87% to 13%).


  • Primaries 1
  • Campaign 2
  • Perry 3
  • Sanchez 4
  • Results 5
  • See also 6


The Republican and Democratic Party primaries were held on March 12, 2002 with the winner of each requiring a majority vote. The Libertarians selected their nominee at their State Convention, being forbidden by Texas statute from holding a primary.
Democratic Party Republican Party
Candidates Votes % Candidates Votes %
Tony Sanchez 609,383 60.7 Rick Perry 620,463 100.00
Dan Morales 330,873 33.0
Bill Lyon 43,011 4.3
John Worldpeace 20,121 2.0
Total 1,003,388 100.0 Total 620,463 100.0
Source: Texas Almanac



Incumbent President of the United States. Perry had been elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and previously elected Texas Commissioner of Agriculture in 1990 and 1994 including three terms in the Texas House of Representatives in 1984, 1986 and 1988. He successfully ran for a full four-year term in 2002.

Perry had an ongoing political feud with Democratic Speaker Pete Laney during the 2001 legislative session, and vetoed several pieces of legislation brought forward by several Democratic state lawmakers. However, rumors about fellow Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison launching a primary challenge against Perry had been swirling for weeks, but Hutchison chose not to run for governor, choosing instead to serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Conference to avoid a nasty primary battle that would have divided the Texas Republican Party in time for the general election of 2002. Perry's campaign received the endorsement of former State Attorney General Dan Morales, who lost the Democratic primary nomination, and he also received endorsements from the Dallas Morning News, Abilene Reporter-News, Midland Reporter-Telegram, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, and the Galveston County Daily News. Public opinion polls from Zogby International, Survey USA, and Scripps-Howard showed Perry leading by double-digits and the Perry campaign was outspent by Sanchez by a margin of 12-to-1, with Perry spending $27 million to Sanchez's $76 million.


Laredo multimillionaire businessman Tony Sanchez, had served as a regent of the University of Texas at Austin, having been appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents by then-Governor Bush in 1997, and he also served on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission from 1985 to 1991-having been appointed by then-Governor Mark Wells White in 1985.

Sanchez was best known for getting involved in successful battles such as: challenging the architectural plan for a new art museum and to consider a Hispanic candidate for President of the Austin Chronicle, Corpus Christi Caller Times, and the Waco Tribune Herald during the general election campaign.


 Texas gubernatorial election, 2002
Candidates - Nominating parties Votes %
Rick Perry - Republican Party 2,632,591 57.81
Tony Sanchez - Democratic Party 1,819,798 39.96
Jeff Daiell - Libertarian Party 66,720 1.47
Rahul Mahajan - Green Party 32,187 0.71
Elaine Eure Henderson - Write-in 1,715 0.04
Earl W. (Bill) O'Neil - Write-in 976 0.02
Total 4,553,987
Source: Texas Almanac

See also

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