AUSTIN — A lot has happened in recent days as votes were counted in hundreds of races across Texas. Here are some takeaways.
The statewide races were quickly announced Tuesday night, but Texas is still awaiting the final tally of the state’s two legislative seats as election week draws to a close.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, the races for House District 70 and Senate District 27 had yet to be called, with the Democratic nominee leading in both races. If the races held, Texas Republicans would have won a seat in both the Texas House and Senate after Tuesday’s election.
But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been big wins for the Democrats.
Texas Democrats elected the first two Muslim representatives to the Texas House: Salman Bhojani, elected at HD-92 in Tarrant County, and Dr. Suleman Lalani, elected at HD-76 in Fort Bend County.
Christian Manuel Hayes, HD-22 in Beaumont, and Venton Jones, HD-100 in Dallas, became the first two openly gay black men elected to the state legislature. They join state Rep. Jolanda Jones, D-Houston, the state’s first openly gay black woman who won a special election in May. She was also elected to a full term on Tuesday.
Other races of note include the State Board of Education. After the midterm elections, Republicans won an additional seat on the board.
The State Board of Education is made up of 15 elected members and is responsible for setting curriculum standards. The extra seat allows Republicans to push for more conservative education policies, particularly regarding how history is taught.
Texas lawmakers have pushed to end the supposed teaching of critical race theory in Texas K-12 public schools, even though it is an academic concept taught primarily at the college level. He theorizes that race is a social construct embedded in American legal and political systems. Critical race theory has also become one of the most controversial and central topics in national politics.
Congressional races in Texas have also been closely watched.
State and national Republicans funneled a ton of cash into three US House districts along the Texas-Mexico border. The push is part of a larger plan to swing Democratic strongholds into Republican hands.
In the end, the Conservatives were able to take one of three seats, giving Monica De La Cruz a win in District 15, the first time that district went red.
In Congressional District 34, the Democrats managed to regain power with Democrat Vicente Gonzalez. He ousted U.S. Representative Mayra Flores, who won a high-profile special election in June. Flores was the first congresswoman born in Mexico.
In the end, Texas closed the midterm elections with 25 of its 38 congressional seats for Republicans and 13 for Democrats. Texas won two congressional seats after the 2020 census. One representative from each party won, leaving the state’s distribution roughly the same.