United States Senate election in Texas, 1984

United States Senate election in Texas, 1984
November 6, 1984

Nominee Phil Gramm Lloyd Doggett
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 3,111,348 2,202,557
Percentage 58.6% 41.5%

U.S. Senator before election

John G. Tower

Elected U.S. Senator

Phil Gramm

The 1984 United States Senate election in Texas was held on November 6, 1984. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John G. Tower decided to retire, instead of seeking a fifth term. Republican Phil Gramm won the open seat.

Democratic primary



The primary was 45% Hispanic, but included many moderate to conservative voters. Hance positioned himself as the most moderate to conservative candidate, who co-sponsored President Ronald Reagan's tax package.[1] Doggett was the more liberal candidate, attacking Reaganomics and getting endorsements from the Texas teachers' union and Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower.[2] Krueger was seen as the front runner and was a moderate who supported the state's oil and gas industry, but had close ties with the Hispanic community because he was Spanish-speaking.[3] Hance attacked both Kroeger and Doggett for supporting amnesty for illegal aliens and supporting gay rights.[4] The initial primary was extremely close between the top three candidates. Each candidate got 31% of the electorate. Hance ranked first, only 273 votes ahead of Doggett and 1,560 votes ahead of Krueger.

Since no candidate passed the 50% threshold, Hance and Doggett qualified for the run-off election. Hance fired his pollster despite ranking first.[5] Krueger endorsed fellow U.S. Congressman Hance, saying "Ultimately, the quality of one's public service depends upon the character that one displays in filling an office."[6][7] In the June election, Doggett very narrowly defeated Hance by just 1,345 votes.


Initial election in May 5, 1984
May Democratic primary[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Kent Hance 456,446 31.2
Democratic Lloyd Doggett 456,173 31.2
Democratic Robert Charles Krueger 454,886 31.1
Democratic David Young 47,062 3.2
Democratic Robert S. Sullivan 34,733 2.4
Democratic Harley Schlanger 14,149 1.0
Run-off election on June 2, 1984
June Democratic primary[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Lloyd Doggett 491,251 50.1
Democratic Kent Hance 489,906 49.9

Republican primary



The primary was a highly competitive, multimillion-dollar contest.[10] Gramm recently switched parties in 1983, but he was a conservative who supported Reagonomics. Gramm spent $4 million.[11]


May Republican primary[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Phil Gramm 247,280 73.3
Republican Ron Paul 55,771 16.5
Republican Robert A. Mosbacher Jr. 26,250 7.8
Republican Hank Grover 8,055 2.5

General election



General election results[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Phil Gramm 3,111,348 58.6
Democratic Lloyd Doggett 2,202,557 41.5


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