Colin Allred, Lillian Salerno in runoff to face Pete Sessions in fall

A former NFL player turned civil rights attorney and former U.S. Agriculture Department official will battle in a runoff for the right to face Pete Sessions this fall.

Colin Allred captured nearly 40 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. House District 32, with Lillian Salerno squeaking out second place.

Former TV journalist Brett Shipp finished in third place and the most well-funded candidate, Ed Meier, finished a disappointing fourth. A total of seven candidates ran in the competitive primary. Two years ago, Sessions didn’t even face a Democratic nominee in the general election.

Allred said he's running because he believes Sessions has lost touch with the district, which includes parts of Dallas, the Park Cities, Richardson, Garland and Wylie.

"My biggest, biggest issue is I think he's disconnected from the people of this area, I don't think he spends enough time here, he doesn't come back and have town halls," Allred said.

Allred has been flooding district mailboxes with glossy fliers discussing his school days at Hillcrest High School and support from other Democrats, like former gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. Salerno had raised little money and hadn't been on TV with any advertising.

The biggest shock was the failure of Meier to even make the runoff. He had the most money, $800,000, and has been running TV ads for weeks.

Sessions is being targeted, even though he won 71 percent of the vote in 2016, because Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump within the district.

Whoever wins will face a well-funded Sessions, who already has $1.3 million in the bank.

The runoff election between Allred and Salerno will be May 22.