Tuesday’s midterm elections marked the end of a year’s worth of elections in Texas.
Between the five elections this year — including primaries and runoffs — about 167,437 votes were cast in Galveston County. Most of those came in Tuesday’s election, when 113,436 people cast ballots in the highest turnout midterm election in county history.
Local races ended up with the status quo winning out. Republican candidates maintained control of county-wide offices, with almost every race going unopposed in the midterms.
It would have been interesting to see what Democrats could have done in Galveston County had they fielded more candidates in county races, but the unofficial voting numbers show how much of a turnout gap exists in the county.
In races that had candidates from both major parties, Republicans received an average of 68,097 votes and Democrats received an average of 41,729 votes. Republican candidates won by an average of 26,368 votes.
Based on the averages, it’s apparent where people in the county were splitting their tickets.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott received 3,498 votes more than the average Republican in a contested race in Galveston County, while his Democratic Party opponent, Lupe Valdez, received 2,818 fewer votes than the average Democrat.
For Democrats, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke received the most votes on average, while indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton received the fewest votes for a Republican, compared to the average.
VOTES TO COME, NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND
Locally, there’s still one more election to be held this calendar year, on Dec. 18, when voters in League City cast ballots in a runoff between Chris Gross and Chad Tressler for a spot in the city council. It will be the sixth election in Galveston County this year.
After that, voters won’t go back to the polls until May 4, 2019, the next uniform election date. That promises to be a pretty light election, but there is already some talk about what could be on the ballot in seven months time.
The Galveston City Council has indicated a city-wide referendum on seawall parking likely will be on the ballot, and League City leaders already have floated the idea of having a bond election — the city’s first since 1992.
When it comes to the 2020 elections, locals will be voting not only on a president, but also on the Senate seat held by John Cornyn, the Texas Senate seats held by Larry Taylor and Brandon Creighton and on U.S. and Texas House races.
TEXAS REACTIONS TO SESSIONS FIRING
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired on Wednesday afternoon — ending a two-year stint as the country’s top law enforcement official during which he was frequently being criticized by President Donald Trump.
Sessions gave Trump his resignation Wednesday, writing that he was resigning at Trump’s request.
Sessions’ departure will likely ignite new controversies over White House attempts to end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Sessions had recused himself from the investigation early in his tenure, a move that drew Trump’s ire.
One elected Texas official was quick to release statements about Sessions, but didn’t mention the Russia investigation.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Sessions was a “selflessly dedicated” public servant.
“Those who know him understand his commitment to the rule of law, and his deep and abiding concern for our country,” Cornyn wrote. Cornyn’s statement about Sessions was released so quickly, that some observers guessed that he and other Senate Republicans received the news before it broke.
U.S. Rep. Randy Weber’s released a short statement when asked about Session’s firing by The Daily News.
“Congressman Weber is grateful for Attorney General Sessions’ two years of service in the administration and wishes Mr. Sessions all the best in his future endeavors,” said spokeswoman Emma Polefko.
Galveston 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter, justice-elect to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, claimed the title of most total votes of any single candidate in Texas on Tuesday. Slaughter received 4.74 million votes in a race with only a Libertarian challenger. The next highest total vote getter was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He received 4.6 million votes. ... There are 61 days until the 86th Texas Legislative Session begins on Jan. 8.