Republicans take losses, largely hold off 'blue wave'

Cruz, Carter re-elected, Cedar Park State Rep. Tony Dale defeated by John Bucy.


The much-discussed 'blue wave' never really came ashore, though many incumbents in longtime Republican strongholds like Williamson County felt the effects of a surge in Democrat voting. 

In Texas, Republicans held off their Democratic challengers across the top of the ballot, with Gov. Greg Abbott easily winning re-election, along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Comptroller Glenn Hegar. 

In Williamson County, voting trends were set aside as the number of early voters surged, exceeding a 48 percent turnout. After Election Day, the final turnout was 61.41 percent — far exceeding the turnout from both the 2010 and 2014 midterms. 

Williamson County voters also made a sharp shift left in several key races, unseating Cedar Park Republican State Rep. Tony Dale and sending Democrat James Talarico to the statehouse as 11 total Texas House seats went from red to blue.

"We were working towards a victory so we could continue to represent the people of Williamson County and it appears as though voters have gone in a different direction," Dale said just after 9 p.m. Tuesday. "I certainly respect the voters of Texas. It's been a great honor to serve in the Texas House."

Republicans swept the countywide offices, with Bill Gravell winning the Williamson County Judge seat vacated by Dan Gattis' retirement, Nancy Rister fending off a challenge from Jessica Tiedt and Scott Heselmeyer beating Democrat Omar Kadir.

"I want thank my fellow Republicans for their hard work in Williamson County...," Gravell said Tuesday night. "I want you to know that there was a blue wave that moved through Texas tonight. But it ran into a red, immovable wall among the Travis County and Williamson County lines."

Countywide and statewide offices notwithstanding, there were still surprises in Williamson County results, as Democrat Beto O'Rourke carried the county by a margin of 50.73 percent to Ted Cruz's 48.03 percent. In the race for U.S. House, District 31, Mary Jennings "MJ" Hegar slightly edged out longtime incumbent Republican John Carter in the Williamson County vote.

Both Cruz and Carter won re-election, with both Republicans holding off their Democrat challengers by about 3 percentage points in unofficial tallies. Carter carried Bell County by a large enough margin to hold off a tough challenge from Hegar.

"Let me say that this has been a very, very tough fight. It came down to the wire," Carter said very late Tuesday. "For all the people who voted for me, I'm very grateful you came through for me... Life is changing, the work is getting harder so we're going to have to unite and work together or we will find ourselves on the losing end of the stick very soon."

Republican Michael McCaul won re-election to Congress in District 10 and Republican Chip Roy held off Democrat Joseph Kopser in the District 21 Congressional race. Republican Will Hurd won re-election to Congress in District 23 and Roger Williams will return to Congress as the U.S. Representative from District 25.

Republican Michael McCloud won the contested District 27 Congressional seat, while Republican Charles Schwertner will return to the State Senate in Districdt 5 after handily beating Meg Walsh and Amy Lyons. Terry Wilson easily won re-election as the Republican State Rep. in District 20, while Democrat and former Austin Mayor Kirk Watson earned 71.9 percent of the vote in his re-election bid as the state senator from District 14. 

In another statehouse upset, Democrat Vikki Goodwin beat incumbent Republican Paul Workman in the Texas House District 47 race. Goodwin earned 52.3 percent of the vote to unseat Workman, who has represented District 47 since 2011. 

Locally, incumbent Republican Cynthia Long held off a challenge from Democrat Kasey Redus in the race for Williamson County Commissioner Pct. 2. Incumbent Edna Staut held her post as Justice of the Peace in Williamson County Pct. 2, defeating Audrey Amos-McGehee. 

Leander ISD

Incumbent Trish Bode will return to the Leander ISD school board in Place 1, Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia won the LISD Place 2 seat, incumbent Aaron Johnson will hold his Place 6 seat, and Elexis Grimes won the Place 7 seat. 

Round Rock ISD

A $508 million bond package passed with 65 percent of the vote in favor. 

"With the passage of this bond we will be able to meet the needs of our growing population, enhance safety on our campuses and modernize aging facilities to ensure equity across the district," RRISD Superintendent Steve Flores said on Tuesday night.

Amber Feller won the Place 3 board seat, Amy Wier defeated incumbent Suzi David by a large margin in Place 5, and Ching Choy won the Place 6 seat.  Cory Vessa defeated incumbent Edward Hanna and  two other challengers in the race for the RRISD Place 4 seat.

Liberty Hill ISD

Liberty Hill's $98.6 million facilities bond passed 59.07 percent to 40.93 percent. 

Lago Vista ISD

Laura Spiers won the Place 7 board seat, beating Brandy Cumberland by a 30-point margin. 

Block House MUD Board

Ursula Ann Logan, Steve Bennett, Byron Keonig, Vanessa Lynn Longoria-Carter and David Shoemaker won seats on the Block House MUD board. 

Williamson-Travis MUD No. 1 Board

Catherine Franke, Luis Zervigon, Art Medrano and Bharath Navaneethan won seats.

Village of Volente

David Springer defeated Judy Barrick for the position of Mayor of the Village of Volente.

See more election results at: http://hillcountrynews.com/election-tracker-2018.html