The 2020 election has finally come and gone. Well, almost anyway. As I write this at 8 am on Wednesday morning, the outcomes for President and US Senate remains unclear but we do know a few things that should make Texas Republicans happy. And there are even a few bright spots for Republicans in Harris County. Just a few quick thoughts this morning.
While we wait for the national outcomes, let’s focus on the wins in Texas. But first, take a look at this from Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo:
Yeah, I’d say he’s running for office. As for his opinion, I’d agree.
Texas remained red, deep red. Trump won Texas, Sen. John Cornyn easily defeated his well funded challenger, the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals remained firmly in Republican hands and a completely unknown and underfunded Republican won the very important Railroad Commission seat. Good news.
The Texas House remained red despite all of the predictions (hope?) from the Texas political media. This was incredibly important due to the upcoming redistricting fight.
Sarah Davis lost. Although I like her and think she represented her district well, there will be no gnashing of teeth from Republicans about her loss. This is from Michael Quinn Sullivan this morning:
- The Texas House has remained firmly in GOP hands.
- As I type this just before 2 a.m., only one incumbent Republican member of the Texas House has officially lost: State Rep. Sarah Davis of Houston.
- It would be fair to have put quotes around Republican; there isn’t a conservative position she hasn’t fought against. She is a social and fiscal liberal, ranking below some Democrats on key conservative ratings. She even caucused with the Democrats at various times during the legislative session!
- Meanwhile, Republican Mike Schofield defeated an incumbent Democrat in Houston. He campaigned as a conservative, and won. Similarly, Republican Lacey Hull defeated a Democrat to keep an open GOP-held seat that many observers had written off. She also campaigned as a conservative, and won.
- The lesson from Harris County is this: when Republicans act like Democrats, voters will eventually vote for the Democrats.
In Harris County, things went as expected county wide but there were many signs of hope. Tom Ramsey winning in Commissioner’s Court Precinct 3 was the most important election on our ballot. This gives Republicans a legitimate shot at returning the court to Republican control in 2022. If he had been unsuccessful, it would have years upon years before R’s had a chance to do that. The election for County Judge in 2022 starts TODAY!
Not quite as important but important nonetheless, Mike Schofield won in his rematch for State Rep 132 and Lacey Hull was able to defend State Rep 138. Justin Ray came within a hair of defeating the Democrat incumbent in 135, losing by only 317 votes out of 74,504 votes cast. Maybe he can flip that seat in 2022 with the governor’s race on the ballot.
Once again, the President was a drag on the ballot in Harris County but he did do better in both total votes and percentage than he did in 2016. He received 41.6% of the vote in 2016 and got 42.8% this time. That is roughly the same 4% less than the other R’s on the ballot in Harris County. The lack of straight party voting doesn’t appear to have had any material impact. The undervote percentage for District Attorney in 2016 with straight ticket voting was 3.7% and this year it was 5.4%. No election was close enough for that difference to have an impact.
In the Congressional races, Dan Crenshaw crushed his very well funded opponent in CD2, cementing his place as a star in the party. In CD7, Karl Rove’s handpicked candidate from central casting lost to the Nancy Pelosi supporting Democrat. I sure wish we could have seen what Cindy Siegel could have done in that race.
Now is the time for the Harris County Republican Party to regroup and start planning for the future. There are many votes to be had on the south and east sides. On the whole, Harris County turnout was 67.84%. In several of the state house districts on the east side, the turnout was under 55%.
Lastly, I have to say how disappointed I am in Rep. Briscoe Cain. He only got 68.4% of the vote. What’s up with that? Dude needs to do some extra blockwalking for that poor showing! C’mon Briscoe, man up! Get to 70% next time!
So what are your thoughts?