Texas Midterm Election Results: Abbott, Cruz Win Re-Election; Allred Beats Sessions
Updated, 7:29 a.m.
Democrat Colin Allred has won the U.S. House District 32 seat, defeating Republican incumbent Pete Sessions in the most competitive congressional race in North Texas.
Sessions faced his toughest challenge in years from Allred, who worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under then-President Obama. Allred, a civil rights lawyer, was an NFL linebacker for the Tennessee Titans.
Allred’s victory is a chance for the Dallas Democrat to follow through on campaign promises, including improving health care.
“If a senior is cutting her pills in half, or if a young person is rationing her insulin, that we are less free, that we are in this together," Allred told supporters at a Dallas hotel Tuesday night. "As John Lewis would say, we live in the same house. We are all Americans, we are all Texans, and starting tonight, we're going to start acting like it."
Sessions has been in Congress since 1997 and has represented Texas’ 32nd district since 2003. He was considered vulnerable this election cycle because the district voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
The district includes parts of northern and eastern Dallas, the Park Cities and a small part of Collin County.
Rep @PeteSessions in his concession speech, thanks supporters for 22 years in Congress, says he lost bc Dallas has become so attractive due to GOP policies that people moved here, esp from “territories to our west” (ahem CA), who don’t know how great GOP policies are/have been. pic.twitter.com/vQuVBedVJK— Christopher Connelly (@hithisischris) November 7, 2018
In the much-watched Texas Senate race, Republican Ted Cruz has won re-election, fending off Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke.
As The Associated Press reports "the race began as a cakewalk but needed a visit from President Donald Trump to help push the incumbent over the top." O'Rourke visited every county in Texas, including staunchly conservative parts of the state, and shattered fundraising records, despite shunning donations from outside political groups.
Cruz argued that his opponent's support for gun control and universal health care were too liberal for Texas. Trump and Cruz were bitter 2016 rivals, but the president visited Houston last month to solidify the senator's win.
We just want to say thank you to everyone who made this possible. Everyone who made us feel hopeful, everyone who inspired us. Everyone who became the most amazing campaign we could have ever hoped to belong to. Grateful that we got to do this with you. We love you. Goodnight! pic.twitter.com/1j6JnhtP0f— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 7, 2018
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also won a second term after an uneventful race against Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez. The Associated Press called the race an hour after the polls closed in Texas.
Republicans have won every governor's race in Texas since 1994, starting with George W. Bush and continuing with Rick Perry and now Abbott.
Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, would have been Texas' first openly gay, Hispanic governor. But she struggled to raise money and support.
Today, and through our campaign, we visited party offices, candidate field offices, and each time, so many of you were calling, preparing to knock, and organizing to get out the vote–– I thank you for that. No matter the results of this race–– we all won tonight.— Lupe Valdez (@LupeValdez) November 7, 2018
In the state Senate, a pair of Republican incumbents have conceded to Democrats. In Texas Senate District 16, Democrat Nathan Johnson defeated Republican Don Huffines. And in Tarrant County, Democrat Beverley Powell beat out Republican Konni Burton in Texas Senate District 10. Both races were considered toss-ups this year.
Incumbent @KonniBurton (R) has officially conceded to @beverlypowelltx (D) for the district 10 Texas Senate race. She said, “At the end of the day, senate district 10 is a swing district. We knew it...Tonight it swung the other way.” @keranews #TXDecides #ElectionDay— Bekah Morr (@bekah_morr) November 7, 2018
Tarrant County voters strongly supported the largest bond package in the county's history to benefit the county hospital system.
Thirteen candidates ran in the Dallas City Council District 4 race to replace former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway. But none earned a majority of the vote. That means former City Council member Carolyn King Arnold and activist Keyaira Saunders will face off in a runoff next month.
Tax ratification elections were approved in the Dallas, Richardson and Frisco school districts to generate more funding.
Find more results and background on races below. For national midterm coverage, follow NPR's blog.
Check election returns across the state and by your North Texas county below.
- Statewide (The Texas Tribune)
- Statewide (Texas Secretary of State)
- Collin County
- Dallas County
- Denton County
- Ellis County
- Rockwall County
- Tarrant County
Result: Republican Greg Abbott has won re-election.
- Republican Greg Abbott (I)
- Democrat Lupe Valdez
- Libertarian Mark Tippetts
Background: Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking a second term in the state’s highest office. Democrat Lupe Valdez, the longtime Dallas County sheriff, resigned last December to run against him. Abbott easily won the Republican nomination in the March primary. Valdez secured her spot on the ballot in the May runoff, becoming the first openly gay and first Latina candidate to win a major party nomination for Texas governor.
Abbott is popular in Texas and polls sow he has a commanding lead in the race. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994. And as of this summer, Abbott had 130 times more money for his campaign than Valdez. However, as KERA reported soon after Valdez filed her candidacy, an uphill battle is nothing new for her. They held their one and only debate on Sept. 28. Mark Tippetts will be on the ticket as a Libertarian.
Result: Republican Dan Patrick has won re-election.
- Republican Dan Patrick (I)
- Democrat Mike Collier
- Libertarian Kerry McKennon
Background: Incumbent Dan Patrick is seeking a second term as lieutenant governor. Before that, he represented Texas in Houston's Senate District 7. The deeply conservative Senate majority leader is widely known for strongly pushing the so-called bathroom bill in the most recent legislative session. The failed bill would have required transgender Texans to use the bathroom coinciding with their gender at birth.
Mike Collier, a Houston-area accountant, stepped down as finance chair of the Texas Democratic Party to challenge Patrick. Collier was the Democratic nominee for state comptroller in 2014, but ultimately lost to Glenn Hegar by more than 20 points. Patrick refused to debate Collier ahead of the midterms. Patrick similarly dismissed debating his Republican challenger, Scott Milder, before the March primary. Now, The Texas Tribune reports, Milder is backing Collier. Kerry McKennon is running as a Libertarian.
Result: Republican Ken Paxton has won re-election.
- Republican Ken Paxton (I)
- Democrat Justin Nelson
- Libertarian Michael Ray Harris
Background: Republican Ken Paxton has spent most of term as Texas attorney general under indictment. Three years ago, a Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton for securities fraud. No trial date has been set. Paxton wasn’t challenged in the March Republican primary, and it remains to be seen if his legal troubles will hurt his chances at re-election.
That’s the hope for Democratic challenger Justin Nelson. The Austin lawyer has said it’s “embarrassing that [Paxton’s] indicted for fraud in one of the most heavily Republican counties in Texas,” and said he sees the race as one of “integrity versus indictment.” However, the last time Texas elected a Democrat for attorney general was over two decades ago. Michael Ray Harris is running as a Libertarian.
Result: Republican George P. Bush has won re-election.
- Republican George P. Bush (I)
- Democrat Miguel Suazo
- Libertarian Matt Piña
Background: George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is seeking a second term at the helm of the Texas General Land Office. Bush won the Republican primary in March, beating three opponents, including former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Bush now faces Democrat Miguel Suazo, an Austin-based oil and gas attorney. Patterson last month endorsed Suazo over his political rival for the job. Patterson attributed his rare cross-party endorsement with what he called Bush’s mismanagement of the Alamo and Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, according to The Texas Tribune. Matt Piña is running as a Libertarian in the race.
Result: Republican Sid Miller has won re-election.
- Republican Sid Miller (I)
- Democrat Kim Olson
- Libertarian Richard Carpenter
Background: Democrat Kim Olson, a farmer and Air Force veteran, is challenging Republican incumbent Sid Miller. As The Texas Tribune reports, the race for Agriculture Commissioner centers on food, which ties into larger issues of immigration, trade and the state’s school lunch program. The opponents disagree on most things, except, perhaps, immigration. Olson has never run for statewide office. Miller was elected to lead the department in 2014 and he's faced scrutiny throughout his tenure. Richard Carpenter's running as a Libertarian.
Result: Republican Christi Craddock has won re-election.
- Republican Christi Craddock (I)
- Democrat Roman McAllen
- Libertarian Mike Wright
Background: Republican Christi Craddock is the only member of the three-person commission up for re-election this year, according to The Texas Tribune. The members serve staggered, six-year terms on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry. She was first elected in 2012. Her challengers include Libertarian Mike Wright, a military veteran and Harvard graduate, and Democrat Roman McAllen, the historic preservation officer for the city of Denton.
Result: Republican Ted Cruz has won re-election.
- Republican Ted Cruz (I)
- Democrat Beto O’Rourke
- Libertarian Neal Dikeman
Background: The race for U.S. Senate is arguably the most talked about race in Texas — and it’s garnered national attention, too. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is seeking his second term after spending a chunk of his first term running for president. The Republican faces Democrat U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. The majority of polls have favored Cruz but one poll in September showed O'Rourke with a narrow lead. The native of El Paso raised a record-breaking $38.1 million for his campaign in the third quarter — three times more than Cruz's fundraising haul.
Cruz and O'Rourke have wildly different stances on issues. That much was apparent in their first debate in Dallas. Despite their differences, the race between Cruz and O’Rourke mirrors Cruz’s first run for the Senate in 2012, according to The Texas Tribune. For one, “Cruz framed his 2012 bid as that of a grassroots champion taking on an entrenched politician. O'Rourke is running the same play.” Neal Dikeman is the Libertarian candidate in the race.
U.S. House District 3
Result: Republican Van Taylor has won election to the U.S. House.
- Republican Van Taylor
- Democrat Lorie Burch
- Libertarian Christopher Claytor
Background: Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Richardson, is retiring after 26 years in Congress. Democrat Lorie Burch, an attorney, and Republican Van Taylor are competing for the seat. Taylor stepped down from his state Senate seat to run. Christopher Claytor, an IT manager, is running as a Libertarian. Texas’ 3rd Congressional District covers much of Collin County, including McKinney, Plano and Frisco. The seat remains a Republican stronghold. Voters in the district haven’t elected a Democrat to the U.S. House since 1967 and haven’t favored a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, according to The Texas Tribune.
U.S. House District 5
Result:Republican Lance Gooden has won election to the U.S. House.
- Republican Lance Gooden
- Democrat Dan Wood
Background: Republican U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling is retiring after 14 years in Congress representing Texas’ 5th Congressional District. The district includes parts of Dallas, Garland and Mesquite and extends to the south and east to include all of Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson, Kaufman and Van Zandt counties, and parts of Wood County. Lance Gooden, a 35-year-old insurance consultant, has represented a rural Kaufman County portion of the district for three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. Dan Wood, the Democrat in the race, is a former Terrell City Council member. The 63-year-old lawyer is board certified in criminal appellate law and owns a farm with his wife.
U.S. House District 6
Result: Republican Ron Wright has won election to the U.S. House.
- Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez
- Republican Ron Wright
- Libertarian Jason Allen Harber
Background: The race to replace long-serving U.S. Rep. Joe Barton pits an established Republican against a Democratic newcomer. Tarrant County Tax Collector-Assessor (and one-time Barton staffer) Ron Wright says if he’s elected, he’ll join the far-right Freedom Caucus in Congress. Former journalist and public relations executive Jana Lynne Sanchez of Waxahachie has built an energetic campaign and pledged a moderate approach in office. After more than three decades, Barton is retiring from this seat, which includes Arlington and parts of Tarrant County, as well as Ellis and Navarro counties. Libertarian Jason Allen Harber will also appear on the ballot, though he is not actively campaigning.
U.S. House District 12
Result: Republican Kay Granger has won re-election.
- Republican Kay Granger (I)
- Democrat Vanessa Adia
- Libertarian Jacob Leddy
Background: Democrat Vanessa Adia and Libertarian Jacob Leddy are attempting to unseat Republican incumbent Kay Granger of Fort Worth in the 12th Congressional District. Granger was first elected in 1996. Granger is the only female Republican serving in Congress from Texas. She’s also the last freshman woman elected to a full term in Congress from the state, according to The Texas Tribune. Adia is a middle school teacher. Leddy works in logistics and trucking. District 12 covers the western part of Tarrant County, including parts of Fort Worth and its suburbs, as well as Parker County and the southeast corner of Wise County.
U.S. House District 24
Result: Republican Kenny Marchant has won re-election.
- Republican Kenny Marchant (I)
- Democrat Jan McDowell
- Libertarian Mike Kolls
Background: The District 24 race is a rematch of 2016: longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, and Jan McDowell, a Carrollton Democrat. In 2016, Marchant won with 56 percent of the vote. Marchant was first elected to the 24th District in 2004. Previously, he served in the Texas House of Representatives and was Carrollton mayor. Libertarian Mike Kolls will also appear on the ballot. The Texas Tribune reports that Marchant’s district is one of five in Texas held by Republicans where President Trump won by fewer than 10 percentage points. District 24 includes the northwestern suburbs of Dallas and northeastern Tarrant County.
U.S. House District 32
Result: Democrat Colin Allred has won election to the U.S. House.
- Republican Pete Sessions (I)
- Democrat Colin Allred
- Libertarian Melina Baker
Background: Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions has been in Congress since 1997, and has represented Texas’ 32nd Congressional District since 2003. The district includes parts of northern and eastern Dallas, the Park Cities and a small part of Collin County. Sessions is seen as a key player in Republican House leadership, chairing the powerful House Rules Committee.
He's facing his toughest challenge in years from Colin Allred, who worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under then-President Obama. Allred, a civil rights lawyer, was an NFL linebacker for the Tennessee Titans. Sessions is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican Congressmen in Texas because his district voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. Libertarian Melina Baker is also running, but does not have the campaign infrastructure or funding that Allred and Sessions have.
U.S. House District 33
Result: Democrat Marc Veasey has won re-election.
- Republican Willie Billups
- Democrat Marc Veasey (I)
- Libertarian Jason Reeves
Background: Democrat Marc Veasey of Fort Worth has represented Texas’ 33rd Congressional District since 2013. He’s a member of the House Armed Services and Science, Space & Technology committees. He’s also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and New Democrat Coalition. U.S. House District 33 was a new district created as a result of the 2010 census. The first candidates ran in the 2012 U.S. House elections. That’s when Veasey was elected. Republican challenger Willie Billups of Arlington is a retired military officer and small business owner. He has not held or run for any previous office. Jason Reeves, the Libertarian candidate in the race, also ran for the seat in 2014.
Texas House District 92
Result: Republican Jonathan Stickland has won re-election.
- Republican Jonathan Stickland (I)
- Democrat Steve Riddell
- Libertarian Eric Espinoza
Background: District 92 in Tarrant County covers Hurst, Bedford and Euless as well as parts of Fort Worth, Arlington and Grand Prairie. Incumbent state Rep. Jonathan Stickland is serving his third term in the seat. Stickland’s a member the Texas Freedom Caucus, a group formed in the 85th legislative session of hardline conservative state lawmakers. Democrat Steve Riddell works for an internet company in Dallas and says his top priority is public education funding. Eric Espinoza is running as a Libertarian.
Texas House District 107
Result: Victoria Neave has won re-election.
- Republican Deanna Maria Metzger
- Democrat Victoria Neave (I)
Background: Republican businesswoman Deanna Maria Metzger is running to unseat Democrat Victoria Neave. After unseating a Republican incumbent in 2016, Neave earned "freshman of the year" honors from her fellow Democrats, in part for getting a law passed aimed at easing a backlog of rape kits. But a few days after the 85th legislative session ended, she had a car wreck and ended up pleading no contest to drunken driving. Neave told KERA she knows that makes her a target for Republicans in her re-election campaign, but she wants to continue representing District 107, which covers parts of Mesquite, Garland and Dallas.
Texas House District 114
Result: Democrat John Turner has won election to the Texas House.
- Republican Lisa Luby Ryan
- Democrat John Turner
Background: In the March primary, incumbent Jason Villalba, one of the most moderate Republicans in the state House according to The Texas Tribune, lost his re-election bid to Republican Lisa Luby Ryan, an interior designer. Attorney John Turner, the lone Democrat on the primary ballot, will challenge Ryan for District 114, which wraps around Dallas to the north. The district has been Republican-controlled for years, but whether it will stay that way isn't guaranteed. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by nearly 9 percentage points in 2016, according to the Tribune.
Texas House District 115
Result: Democrat Julie Johnson has won election to the Texas House.
- Democrat Julie Johnson
- Republican Matt Rinaldi (I)
Background: State Rep. Matt Rinaldi represents one of 10 Republican-held House districts that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election, according to The Texas Tribune. The incumbent from Irving drew national attention as part of an incident on the Texas House floor in which he said he reported protesters to immigration authorities. Democratic attorney Julie Johnson is running against the Texas Freedom Caucus member for District 115, which covers parts of Irving, Coppell, Carrollton and Farmers Branch.
Texas Senate District 8
Result: Republican Angela Paxton has won election to the Texas Senate.
- Republican Angela Paxton
- Democrat Mark Phariss
Background: District 8 is Texas’ only open state Senate seat up for election this year. It was left empty when state Sen. Van Taylor announced he’d be stepping down to run for Congress. Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, is running as a Republican. Ken Paxton once held the Collin County seat. Mark Phariss, a Plano lawyer who sued Texas over the right to marry his partner, is running as a Democrat for the seat.
Texas Senate District 10
Result: Democrat Beverly Powell has won election to the Texas Senate.
- Republican Konni Burton (I)
- Democrat Beverly Powell
Background: Texas Senate District 10, which covers about half of Tarrant County, is the closest to a swing district among the 31 Senate districts in the state, according to The Texas Tribune. Democrat Beverly Powell, a real estate developer, is running to unseat incumbent state Sen. Konni Burton. The Colleyville Republican won her seat in 2014 after Democrat Wendy Davis ran for governor instead of running for re-election. Burton’s re-election bid is considered a toss-up.
Texas Senate District 16
Result: Democrat Nathan Johnson has won election to the Texas Senate.
- Republican Don Huffines (I)
- Democrat Nathan Johnson
Background: District 16 is one of three Republican-held state Senate seats potentially in play this election. State Sen. Don Huffines is running in a district where Hillary Clinton edged Donald Trump by nearly 5 percentage points in the 2016 election, according to The Texas Tribune. Democrat and attorney Nathan Johnson is challenging Huffines. The district covers the northern Dallas as well as parts of Garland, Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Addison.
Dallas City Council District 4
Result: No candidate earned a majority of the vote. Carolyn King Arnold and Keyaira Saunders will face off in a runoff next month.
Background: After former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in August, 13 candidates hurriedly filed to replace him. Those running for the empty seat include (information from The Dallas Morning News):
- Carolyn K. Arnold, former council member and teacher
- Brandon J. Vance, college adviser at KIPP Schools
- Vincent T. Parker, pastor of Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church
- Becky L. Lewis, former constituent liaison for U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Obi E. Igbokwe, former Dallas County Schools bus driver
- Dawn M. Blair, city of Dallas Aviation Department employee
- Lester Houston, Cedar Haven Association leader
- Joli A. Robinson with the Dallas Police Department’s Office of Community Affairs and the Youth Outreach Unit
- Justina Y. Walford with Studio Movie Grill community outreach
- Donald A. Washington, retired JCPenney manager
- Kebran W. Alexander, member of NAACP Dallas
- Activist Keyaira D. Saunders
- Attorney Corwyn M. Davis
Dallas County District Attorney
Result: Democrat John Creuzot has been elected Dallas County district attorney.
- Republican Faith Johnson (I)
- Democrat John Creuzot
Background: Republican Faith Johnson was appointed in 2016 by Gov. Greg Abbott to replace Susan Hawk, who resigned to focus on her mental health. Johnson is the first African-American woman to hold the position. Democrat John Creuzot is challenging Johnson in a race that’s captured the attention of advocates who want the DA to use the office to end mass incarceration and reduce disparities in the justice system. Both candidates are former criminal court judges and both are running as reformers.
Dallas County Sheriff
Result: Democrat Marian Brown has secured her role as Dallas County sheriff.
- Democrat Marian Brown (I)
- Republican Aaron Meek
Background: Democrat Marian Brown was unanimously appointed interim Dallas County Sheriff by county commissioners in December after Lupe Valdez resigned to run for governor of Texas. Brown and Republican Aaron Meek, a sheriff’s deputy, are running to complete Valdez’s term, which expires at the end of 2020. It remains to be seen whether Brown’s interim role will give her an advantage over Meek.
Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector
Result: Republican Wendy Burgess has won election.
- Republican Wendy Burgess
- Democrat Ollie Anderson
Background: Ron Wright left his post to run for Congress. Former Mansfield council member Wendy Burgess and Democrat Ollie Anderson want the job. The Tarrant County Tax Assessor’s office calculates taxes due, sends out the bills, collects the money and sends revenue collected to taxing entities.
Tax Ratification Elections
Result: Voters in Dallas, Richardson and Frisco school districts have approved tax ratification elections.
Background: State funding for public education has decreased, and the reliance on local property taxes has increased. That’s why the Dallas (Prop C), Richardson (Prop A) and Frisco (Prop A) school districts are all asking voters to approve a tax ratification election to add millions of dollars to their budgets. They’re not alone in asking voters for financial help: Lancaster, Duncanville and Cedar Hill ISDs have also held tax ratification elections in recent months. School funds come from both the state and from local property taxes, which have been rising. Yet those extra property tax dollars are not staying in districts.
Tarrant County Bond Package
Result: Voters have approved the bond package for the Tarrant County Hospital District.
Background: On the ballot in Tarrant County this year is the largest bond package in the county’s history. The $800 million bond proposal will pay for the Tarrant County Hospital District – which operates as John Peter Smith Health Network – to build new facilities and expand existing ones. The last time Tarrant County voters approved a bond program to support the public hospital system was 1985.
The bond funds would go toward building a new psychiatric hospital that would triple the size of the current facility, four new regional medical centers to serve suburban populations, a new ambulatory surgery center, and an expansion of the main hospital in central Fort Worth. JPS plans to use up to $400 million in other funds for the expansion. The bond package will not increase taxes.
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