Statewide Showdown: A Handful of Election Results

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Big Republican wins in major statewide races solidify once again the GOP's stronghold of our state's leadership. Take a look at these and few more key races that went down in Texas this midterm election. 

U.S. Senate

John Cornyn, R-Texas, will keep his long-held U.S. Senate seat after defeating Democratic opponent David Alameel. Voters gave Cornyn a nearly 30-percentage point win, making him the second most senior member of The Hill's upper chamber.

U.S. Congressional District 23

For months, political pundits considered this congressional race to be one of the most competitive in the state, and as results rolled in, that's sure as hell what it was. 

Incumbent Democrat Pete Gallego and Will Hurd, a Republican, fought tooth and nail Tuesday night to represent a district that sprawls from west San Antonio all the way to El Paso. The race went down to the wire, and ultimately, Hurd took home the win over Gallego. The Associated Press called the race after midnight, with Hurd winning by three percentage points.

This seat has jockeyed between a Democrat and Republican in the last few election cycles. In 2012, Gallego won the position by a narrow margin after defeating Republican Quico Canseco, who won just two years prior after unseating long-time Democrat Ciro Rodriguez. 

Governor

The guy who is litigating in court to shut down abortion clinics, institute requirements found to suppress voters, ban same-sex couples from getting married and who refuses to expand health care to poor Texans is now our governor. 

Greg Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis by more than 20 points Tuesday night. His win, combined with Dan Patrick's in the race for lieutenant governor and (spoiler alert) Ken Paxton's in the race for attorney general, as well as a handful of other statewide positions that went to the GOP, solidifies Republican control of our state's leadership for another four years. 

After a long campaign, Davis sent out a long note to supporters after she conceded the race to Abbott:

"Just a few minutes ago, I called General Abbott to congratulate him on being elected Governor of this great state. And I wished him the very best because it is in every Texan's interest that he have a productive four years as Governor. Tonight, I know that you are disappointed. And being disappointed is okay. But being discouraged is not. Because what we have before us is an opportunity to remake this state and to prove to the world what we’ve always known: that this was never about Wendy Davis or Greg Abbott. This has always been and forever will be about you."

Exit polls by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas show that Davis did carry the African American and Hispanic vote and women of color, while Abbott carried among white men and Texans in upper income brackets. Abbott will hold a press conference this week to announce his transition plan.

Attorney General

The votes are in, and it looks we have an Attorney General with a history of shady business practices and questionable ethics. Ken Paxton, a red meat-lovin’ state senator, is now Texas’ highest law enforcement officer. Paxton, who hid from the media during his entire campaign, defeated Democrat Sam Houston, a graduate of Baylor University with a strong legal background, by more than 20 points.

In its editorial endorsement of Houston over Paxton, the Houston Chronicle outlined some of Paxton’s more egregious acts, which include encouraging his legal clients to invest in his friends’ companies, who then turn around and gave him a cut. His ethics filings, the Chron reports, also raise some eyebrows.

Oh, and because of all that he faces disbarment and a possible felony charges. But who needs a lawyer who hasn’t broken the law anyway?

State House District 117

The Texas House gets one more Republican in this House race representing far west and southwest San Antonio. Rick Galindo III defeated incumbent Democrat Philip Cortez, who only served one term at the Texas Legislature, by five points, which translates to about 1,300 votes.

State House District 123

In the land of not-shocking election results, Mike Villarreal destroyed his Green Party opponent and will keep his long-held House seat. And by keep, we mean not really. Villarreal, who is running for mayor of San Antonio, announced over the summer that should he win his House position again, he'd formally resign from the new term to focus on his local campaign. Villarreal said he plans to do so on Sunday. Now the question is: who will replace him?

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