Early voting is now where Texas primary elections take place, which calls into question the need for so many candidates to blast out last-minute "gotcha" ads that land in potential voters' mailboxes.Judging from last night's preliminary results, the early mailers worked just fine.The Tea Party influence within Republican Party politics in North Texas is undeniable. Kelly Hancock was besting Todd Smith in the Texas Senate District 9 race by a healthy 30 percentage point margin with 25 percent of precincts reporting.Giovanni Capriglione was leading Texas House District 98 incumbent Vicki Truitt 57 percent to 42 percent in early voting. In District 92, Todd Smith's former House seat, Jonathan Stickland was leading Roger Fisher 59 percent to 40 percent in early voting.Craig Goldman was beating Susan Todd, the darling of the medical lobby, 55 percent to 35 percent in Texas House District 97 early voting. The third person in that race, Chris Hatch, wasn't even a spoiler with 9 percent of the early vote.Despite all the noise about "throw the incumbents out of Washington" that's enveloped this election, it's not happening, not among North Texas Republicans anyway. U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, Kenny Marchant and Kay Granger cruised to wins.The jury was still out on who will face Roger Williams in the runoff for U.S House District 25. Tea Party favorite Wes Riddle, with 15 percent of the vote in a 12-person race, was inching up on Williams' 26 percent. And former Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams? In the middle of the pack with about 9 percent.The U.S. Senate race for the Republican nomination was heading in the direction many expected -- right toward David Dewhurst's worst nightmare. Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz is poised to face the lieutenant governor in a late July runoff that will see only the most rabid voters heading to the polls.The most interesting Democratic race of the night was the contest for the new congressional District 33. It was a classic east vs. west dynamic, with Fort Worth's Marc Veasey headed into a runoff with former state Rep. and Dallas City Councilman Domingo Garcia.Despite all the talk about the "unity" of Dallas-Fort Worth and the compatibility of the two counties and their black and Latino residents, it appears the two front-runners in the 11-person race managed to motivate their bases. It will be interesting to see if either can chip away at the other's core voters across county lines.Tarrant County did turn out more voters in this race, and they were divvied up -- unevenly -- between Veasey and Fort Worth City Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks. Will her endorsement in the runoff matter? Every little bit will help a candidate trying to energize voters to go back to the polls in the dead of a Texas summer.