There was never a dull moment in this election cycle and Election Day was equally full of shock and awe. At around 2 A.M. this morning, the Associated Press finally called the last swing state and Donald Trump was named President-Elect. Republicans continue control of Congress with a majority in both the House and the Senate. What that means for Texas, only time will tell.
Across the state there were a few upsets, surprises, and nail biting races that came down to just a few votes. In what is considered the only swing congressional seat, Congressman Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) was able to fend off second time challenger Democrat Pete Gallego, 48% to 47%, respectively.
Four incumbent Republican House members fell to challengers last night. Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R-Mesquite) lost to Democrat Victoria Neave by 828 votes. Rep. Rick Galindo (R-San Antonio) was ousted by former state representative Philip Cortez 48% to 51%. Rep. Gilbert Peña (R-Pasadena) suffered a heavy loss to former state representative Mary Ann Perez, with Perez claiming 60% of the vote. Finally, special election winner Rep. John Lujan (R-San Antonio) lost to Sen. Carlos Uresti’s brother, Tomas Uresti, 45% to 55%.
Although most of the local Harris County races fell to Democrats, Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) was able to prevail with 54% of the vote. In the Dallas area, Rep. Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie), Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas), Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) and Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), were all able to hang on to their seats in hotly contested, close races.
Dr. Dawn Buckingham was able to secure former Sen. Troy Fraser’s seat with 72% of the vote. Dr. Buckingham will join former state representative Bryan Hughes and Sen. Boris Miles as the newest members of the Texas Senate.
Republicans also swept all state-wide races, with Wayne Christian (R-Center) handedly winning the race for Railroad Commissioner, and of the three seats up for grabs in both the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, all went Republican.
The Texas House will have 26 new freshman members. Additionally, there will still be a special election triggered by the resignation of Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) who has already declared she will resign before the 85th Legislature. Now that the last chips have fallen into place this election cycle, 20 Republicans and 11 Democrats will enter the Texas Senate, and 95 Republicans will meet 55 Democrats in the Texas House, securing a Republican majority for each chamber. Even so, not everything will remain at the status quo: the Texas Senate has lost 2 committee chairmen, and the Texas House has lost 9 committee chairmen.