Texas House 100 Headed To Runoff; Voters Approve Arlington ISD $1 Billion Bond Package
Tuesday, North Texas voters weighed in on variety of county and local races and initiatives, plus 10 Texas constitutional amendments on every ballot across the state.
Though final returns in Dallas and Tarrant counties were not finalized until early Wednesday, voters have approved a massive Arlington ISD bond package, and the race for the Texas House District 100 seat is headed for a runoff election.
The City of Denton approved most of an over $200 million bond package, and nine of 10 amendments to the Texas Constitution were passed across the state.
In Dallas County
In Texas House District 100, Lorraine Birabil and James Armstrong will advance to a runoff election. Birabil led the race from the beginning of the evening. Once the tally was finished being counted she had over 32 % of votes, but didn’t have the 50% of votes required to win outright. Armstrong beat out Daniel Davis Clayton to advance to the runoff by a very slim margin – just five votes. They both had just over 20% of district voters' support, and Sandra Crenshaw finished not far behind with just under 19% of votes.
The seat has been open since Eric Johnson was elected Dallas mayor.
Birabil has a history of working in government and politics, including working on Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in 2018.
Armstrong leads a nonprofit organization that develops housing.
There were three Richardson ISD seats open on the ballot. This was the first trustee election since the district settled a recent lawsuit over how school board members are elected.
Eron Linn won the District 2 race, and Regina Harris won in District 4. Karen Clardy ran unopposed in district 5.
In Tarrant County
Several school bond packages were passed in Tarrant County.
Slightly more than 60% of votes were cast in favor of the Tarrant County College bond. The $825 million bond package is the first bond proposition for the district in 25 years. The bond money would fund new and upgraded classrooms, libraries, student services and other facility improvements. Funding would also go toward parking, flood mitigation and physical plant improvements in some of the oldest buildings.
Arlington ISD also had a $966 million bond package on the ballot. Nearly 67% of voters supported the measure. District officials say the bond program is focused on school building upgrades, as well as improvements in fine arts, transportation, security and technology. Under the plan, three older schools would be fully rebuilt. Some of the other improvements include new school buses, renovations to full-day pre-K classrooms, new playgrounds for all elementary schools and new fine arts instruments and uniforms.
Voters also approved Keller ISD’s $315 million bond package. The district wants to replace certain outdated elementary schools and build additions to middle schools. Four high schools would get indoor facilities – the spaces would include 100-yard turf fields.
Daphne Brookins won the Fort Worth ISD District 4 seat on the ballot. She got more than 60% of votes in the race which was a special election.
In Denton County
Proposition A, covering improvements and construction for streets and roads, got support from almost 75% of voters. The majority of the money in the package – about $150 million – will be spent on that program.
Proposition B passed with nearly 65% of votes. It has about $60 million in funding for public safety projects. Proposition C, which includes money to acquire land for public parks, got almost 65% of votes.
The results for Proposition D – covering funding for public art – were nearly split. The measure ended up failing with just over 51% of voters casting ballots against it.
Texas Constitutional Amendments
Nine of 10 amendments to the Texas Constitution were passed, including a proposition banning a state income tax. The one proposition rejected was a measure that would have allowed elected municipal judges to serve more than one jurisdiction. The state was still wating for returns from one county early Wednesday morning.
Proposition 1 failed with only 35% of voters supporting for the measure. It would have allowed elected municipal court judges to serve more than one city at a time just like appointed judges currently can. Critics of the current law say prohibiting elected judges from holding multiple positions makes it more challenging for small and rural cities to find qualified judges.
Proposition 2 allows the Texas Water Development Board to issue bonds up to $200 million to fund water and wastewater infrastructure projects in economically distressed areas. Over 65% of votes cast were in favor of it.
Almost 85% of votes cast supported Proposition. The measure allows the Texas Legislature to create temporary property tax exemptions for people whose property is damaged in an area where the governor declares a disaster.
Texas voters showed they are strongly against a state income tax. Almost 75% of votes cast were in favor of Proposition 4. It prevents future lawmakers from enacting the tax unless they got support from two-thirds of the House and Senate (up from a simple majority), and a majority of Texas voters.
Proposition 5 also had a vast majority of voters' support, with over 88% of votes cast in favor. This measure earmarks all revenue from the sporting goods sales tax for the state parks and wildlife department and historic commission, as was intended when the tax was created in 1993.
Over 63% of votes supported Proposition 6. It allows the Legislature to double the maximum amount of bond money it can issue on behalf of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to $6 billion.
Proposition 7 allows the General Land Office, the State Board of Education and other entities to double the amount of money they can put into the Available School Fund each year. Over 73% of voters supported it.
Proposition 8 got almost 77% of votes. It creates a flood infrastructure fund that the Texas Water Development Board could use to finance projects following a disaster.
Returns for Proposition 9 were close with nearly 52% of voters supporting the measure and more than 48% voting against it. Proposition 9 allows the legislature to create a property tax exemption for precious metals held in state depositories — like the Texas Bullion Depository scheduled to open in Leander next year.
Proposition 10 got over 94% of voters' support. The measure allows former handlers or qualified caretakers to adopt retired law enforcement animals without paying a fee.
More analysis on each of the 10 propositions that were on the ballot is available from the House Research Organization. The League of Women Voters also created a guide for the proposals, and the Texas Tribune did a detailed breakdown.