Texas Lobbyist News

November 5, 2014

Republicans Continue to Dominate Texas

For all of the talk of “Turning Texas Blue,” it turned increasingly even more red last night.

For the first time in the 21st Century, without Governor Perry running for Governor, a new slate of Republican officeholders were on the ballot.  Republicans swept the statewide offices for the 10th consecutive general election.  The Republicans also took back Senate District 10, the Fort Worth area seat held by Gubernatorial Democratic nominee Wendy Davis.  Davis – running for Governor after her well-publicized filibuster on abortion – lost to Republican nominee Attorney General Greg Abbott by 20 percentage points.  In fact, Davis failed to achieve the vote percentage won by Rick Perry in his 2006 re-election bid against three major opponents (White, Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman). She even lost the female vote to Abbott 54-45%.

The rest of the statewide ballot easily won their races as well.  Twenty seemed to be the lucky number of the evening as every officeholder won by at least 20 points.

Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston), who defeated incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in the primary, easily beat Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) – 58% to 38%.  Senator Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) took out Democrat Sam Houston 58% to 38%.  Another State Senator, Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) beat Democratic nominee and CPA Mike Collier of Kingwood 58% to 37%.

In other statewide races, the Republican sweep continued:

George P. Bush – nephew of former Governor and President George Bush and son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush – won the Land Commissioner’s post 60% to 35.5%;

Sid Miller won the Agriculture Commissioner seat 58% to 36%; and

Ryan Sitton handily beat Democrat Steve Brown 58% – 36%.

The story goes on as Republicans dominated the Supreme Court races and gained a new Texas Congressional seat.

The New Numbers

Last night’s voting means there will be eight new freshmen Senators.  The Senate has lost six current Committee Chairmen including Business & Commerce, Economic Development, Education, Finance, Nominations, and State Affairs. Of course, with a new Lt. Governor, all Committee Chairs could change and certainly the partisan makeup of chairmen are likely to change under Lt. Governor-Elect Dan Patrick.

In the Texas House the partisan make-up will now consist of 98 Republicans to 52 Democrats.   Over a dozen Chairmen did not return due to retirements, which means that Speaker Joe Straus will have plenty of plum assignments to hand out in January.

The Politics Behind the New Numbers

Overall, Battleground Texas and the Texas Democratic Party failed to flip one swing seat, lost five swing seats overall, and the Republican candidates which won shifted the Republican delegation even further to the right.   The attempts to turn Texas Blue, didn’t even have a hint of purple.  As we all say “Everything is Bigger in Texas”.  After last night, everything is redder too!

PDF Download: Click below for “Texas Candidates General Election Results” and get more details on each race by district.

Texas General Election – 2014