2020 Travis County Results: Democrats Win In Every County Race
There was never a viable question as to whether Travis County would go Democratic this election cycle; it was a matter of how Democratic it would go.
It went overwhelmingly blue. So much so, that Democrats clinched every elected county office.
Democratic candidates for Travis County judge, sheriff and district attorney, among other down-ballot races, had landslide victories on Election Day, spurred by record-breaking early voting.
Undoubtedly the most competitive race was for Precinct 3 on the Travis County Commissioners Court – the seat long-held by retiring Commissioner Gerald Daugherty. Daugherty endorsed Republican Becky Bray to take over the seat, but Democrat Ann Howard defeated Bray by more than 26,000 votes. The precinct, which Daugherty has held for nearly 15 years, has long been a Republican holdout in Travis County. Howard told KUT she hopes to bridge the district's perceived political divides in her time on the court.
"I'm grateful I won, and I believe that my message, my experience – it resonated with the voters," she said. "And so I'm eager to serve them, and serve all of them, and that's an opportunity to grow, I think, some unity in the western part of the county."
Elsewhere in county races, the margins were not near as close.
Andy Brown coasted to victory to become the county's top elected official, Travis County Judge. He defeated Republican Michael Lovins by more than 220,000 votes, and he will succeed interim Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe when he's sworn in this year.
Brown told KUT he believes his victory speaks to voters' calls for criminal justice and health care reform – particularly as it relates to COVID-19. He said the state and federal leadership has been lacking and that he thinks Travis County can do better in addressing health care disparities going forward.
"We need to focus on that. We need to look at the communities and the parts of the county that were hardest hit by COVID," he said, "and we need to work on reversing that and investing in health care in those communities."
Elsewhere on the court, incumbent Commissioner Jeff Travillion easily defeated GOP challenger Solomon Arcoven to hold on to his Precinct 1 seat – winning by a 3-to-1 margin.
Democrats also easily won the historically Democrat-held offices of district and county attorneys.
Currently Austin City Council Member for District 2, Delia Garza unofficially won the job of county attorney in a July runoff, as Republicans fielded no candidate for office.
And on Election Night, attorney and activist José Garza readily defeated GOP contender Martin Harry to take over for outgoing District Attorney Margaret Moore. Garza ran on a progressive platform and stunned many when he easily defeated Moore in the July runoff for the Democratic nomination.
He won tonight's contest by nearly 224,000 votes.
Garza told KUT he's looking forward to enacting the reforms on which he ran – namely, his pledges to better investigate and prosecute cases involving sexual assault and police violence. He said he hopes that he can enact reform at the district attorney's office and respond to protests over the summer that demanded racial justice and more accountability from local law enforcement.
"Right now, what I feel is an intense sense of responsibility to our community who has shown up over and over and over again to demand a criminal justice system that works for people," he said, "to demand a criminal justice system that recognizes that Black lives matter, that recognizes that women should be believed."
Incumbent Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez also easily won reelection over GOP challenger Raul Vargas by a staggering margin of nearly 229,000 votes.
Additionally, Democrats recaptured their hold over judgeships in Travis County this election cycle with Selena Alvarenga's win in the race for the 460th District Criminal Court over Republican incumbent Judge Geoff Puryear. Puryear was appointed to that position by Gov. Greg Abbott last year, and he was the lone Republican judge at the Travis County level. Judge Kim Williams also fended off Libertarian challenger Christopher David to hold on to her position presiding over County Court at Law No. 9.
All uncontested candidates in Travis County ran as Democrats.
- Delia Garza, County Attorney
- Maria Cantú Hexsel, District Judge for the 53rd Civil District
- Rhonda Hurley*, District Judge for the 98th Civil District Court
- Aurora Martinez Jones, District Judge for the 126th Civil District Court
- Dayna Blazey, District Judge for the 167th Criminal District Court
- Jessica Mangrum, District Judge for the 200th Civil District Court
- Jan Soifer*, District Judge for the 345th Civil District Court
- Madeleine Connor, District Judge for the 353rd Civil District Court
- Julie Kocurek*, District Judge for the 390th Criminal District Court
- Tamara Needles*, District Judge for the 427th Criminal District Court
- Brad Urrutia*, District Judge for the 450th Criminal District Court
- Dimple Malhotra, County Court at Law Judge No. 4
- Carlos Barrera, County Court at Law Judge No. 8
- George Morales, County Constable Precinct 4
Correction: A previous version of this story said Andy Brown would be sworn in next year. He will be sworn in this year.