In a tremendous let-down to Texas Democrats, the two nominees everyone was watching — Beto O’Rourke and Lupe Valdez — have lost their seats to Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott.
(DEVELOPING) – On Election Night 2018, Texas Democrats were hopeful to unseat two of their most despised adversaries from the governorship — Greg Abbott — and the Texas Senate — Ted Cruz. While many were convinced that Beto O’Rourke would take the the Senate seat from Ted Cruz — less so believed Lupe Valdez could win the governorship as a Latina lesbian — it seemed as though he might early in the evening. However, as the 9 o’clock hour passed, Cruz was called the winner, garnering just over 200,000 (nearly 2%) more votes than O’Rourke at the time of this article. An hour earlier, Greg Abbott — the incumbent governor of Texas whose staunch positions on immigration/sanctuary cities, LGBTQ rights, women’s healthcare, and more have left him quite unpopular with Democrats — was announced as the returning governor. Valdez lost by a much greater margin than Cruz, with her numbers currently showing that she is nearly one million votes behind and nearly 13%.
Though Texas has been historically a red state over the years, there was a great wave of hope from Democrats that the midterms would be an excellent turning point for Texans following the result of the 2016 elections. O’Rourke, in particular, had gained national attention from countless celebrities, including Jake Gyllenhaal and Ellen Degeneres, who even had O’Rourke appear on her daytime talk show a few weeks prior to the election. That being said, voter turnout in Texas was higher by the end of early voting than at the time of the 2014 midterms. The Houston Chronicle reported that nearly 150,000 more voters turned out during early voting than in 2014, with 40% of eligible voters having voted before Election Day.
Had Valdez won the governorship, she would have been the first Latina, LGBTQ governor of Texas in recorded history. Valdez — who appeared this summer on About Magazine’s web series, Wineding Down with Anthony — served as the sheriff of the Dallas County Police Department from 2005 to 2017. She was the first openly gay sheriff of Dallas County, as well as the first Latina.
In news to warm the heart, however, Texas Democrats gained control of the House with a gain of 15 seats at 50% of the vote, while Republicans lost 17 seats, receiving only 48.4% of the vote. Additionally, Texas elected Sylvia Garcia as the first Latina woman to Congress.
This is a developing story.