2018 Elections

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin voters picked their final three City Council members­ – for District 1, 3 and 8 ­– in runoff elections today.

Beto O'Rourke speaks at his Turn out for Texas campaign event at Auditorium Shores in Austin on Sept. 29, 2018.
Montinique Monroe / KUT

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, ultimately raised over $80 million in his unsuccessful bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas — and he left little in his campaign coffers when it was all done.

A voter at Austin Community College casts his ballot on the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections on Oct. 22, 2018
Julia Reihs / KUT

We're not done voting yet. There are several Austin City Council races, an Austin ISD board race and a runoff for the Austin Community College board. None of the candidates in those races got 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, so the top two finishers are in a runoff. 

Julia Reihs / KUT

By most measures, Republicans are still dominating in Texas.

In this past election, the party won every statewide office – just like it has in the past two decades. This time around, however, the margins were close. So close, in fact, some Texas Republicans say they are nervous ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Will Hurd and Gina Ortiz Jones
Bob Daemmrich: Hurd/Robin Jerstad: Ortiz Jones / The Texas Tribune

Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones conceded Monday in her challenge to U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, ensuring a third term for Hurd in his perennial battleground district.

Election after election, pundits predict that Latinos will be a powerful voting bloc. And Latino voters consistently underperform those expectations by failing to turn out at the polls in big numbers.

But this year's midterm results in Nevada, Arizona and other states suggest that Latino turnout is up dramatically — a development that could reshape the electoral landscape for 2020 and beyond.

Mikala Compton for The Texas Tribune

As the dust continues to settle after last week’s election, Hays County has been left to grapple with a bit of a political identity crisis: Is it red or blue?

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

As confusion continues over the outcome of multiple Florida elections, a hand recount has been ordered in that state's narrow Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial contest, Republican Ron DeSantis appears headed to victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum after a machine recount did not significantly narrow the margin in that race.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Senate race was very, very close – closer than any statewide election in recent history – and Latinos could be part of the reason why.

“Latinos are becoming a political force to be reckoned with in the state,” said Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez, the executive director of Jolt, which works to get young Latinos, in particular, politically engaged.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Most mornings, Dave Sullivan bikes from his house in Clarksville to the University of Texas. He then hops on an express bus to his job as a researcher at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

During the election season, his daily commute served as a sort of poll of voters – albeit, with a miniscule sample size.

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

It wasn’t Beto O’Rourke.

But in the sleepiest branch of government — the judiciary — Texas Democrats cleaned up on Election Day, flipping the four influential state appeals courts that serve Austin, Houston and Dallas. Democrats now hold majorities on seven of the state’s 14 appeals courts. Before Tuesday, they held seats on just three.

Gabriel C. Pérez (O'Rourke); Julia Reihs (Cruz) / KUT

This midterm, the U.S. Senate race in Texas captivated the entire country and was touted as a bellwether for Democrats' future in the deep-red state. On election night, KUT journalists Julia Reihs and Gabriel C. Pérez joined Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O'Rourke, respectively, as they watched the results come in.

Here's what they saw:

Are Texas Suburbs Slipping Away From Republicans?

Nov 7, 2018
Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

By the end of Election Day, the political maps of the state’s suburban and swing counties had a peculiar blue tint.

The blue washed over the Dallas-Fort Worth area and crept up on suburban counties in North Texas. It spread from Houston — in a county that was once a political battleground — and crested over some of its suburban communities. And it swept through the Interstate 35 corridor from Travis County to its neighbors to the north and south.

The US Capitol building
Misha Popovikj/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

One hundred and ninety-six years of experience is the amount of time nine outgoing members of Congress from Texas have compiled in the U.S. House of Representatives. The turnover comes thanks to six retirements, two upsets and one failed Senate bid. According to Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute, that’s an unusually high amount of institutional knowledge going out the door.

Gabriel C. Pérez (O'Rourke); Julia Reihs (Cruz) / KUT

KUT's Ashley Lopez discusses incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz's win over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke with Morning Edition's Noel King.

Evan Vucci / AP

In an extraordinarily combative news conference Wednesday after voters delivered him a rebuke by giving control of the House to Democrats, President Trump went after Republicans, Democrats and the media.

He mocked Republican candidates who distanced themselves from him, chided a reporter for asking a "racist question," and walked away from the lectern at one point, as an aide tried to wrest a microphone out of a reporter's hands.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin voters gave the OK to seven bond propositions that total more than $925 million this election, while two propositions fueled by citizen petitions – Propositions J and K – failed.

Emree Weaver for KUT

With less than a percentage point separating them, Natasha Harper-Madison and Mariana Salazar will advance to a December runoff election for East Austin’s District 1 seat.

As of 1:26 a.m., Salazar had 5,673 votes (or 26.01 percent). Harper-Madison was 204 votes behind at 5,469 (25.07 percent).

Tight District 8 Race Headed To Runoff To Fill Troxclair's Seat

Nov 7, 2018
Montinique Monroe for KUT

The District 8 City Council seat is headed for a Dec. 11 runoff between newcomers Paige Ellis and Frank Ward.

Ellis and Ward won the top two spots in a four-person race for the open Southwest Austin seat. Council Member Ellen Troxclair opted not to run for the seat she narrowly won in 2014. Candidates Bobby Levinski and Rich DePalma came in third and fourth, respectively, in the race that saw less than 10 percentage points separate the top and bottom vote-getters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/ KUT News

Council Member Pio Renteria finished way ahead of his multiple opponents in his bid for re-election in East Austin’s District 3, but is heading to a runoff against his sister, Susana Almanza. 

Renteria won roughly 48 percent of the vote. Almanza came in a distant second place, with about 22 percent.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Kathie Tovo will serve her third term on the Austin City Council after winning a relatively easy victory over three opponents Tuesday, finishing with almost 53 percent of the vote. Her closest challenger, Danielle Skidmore, garnered almost 32 percent of the vote, with two other candidates each winning less than 10 percent.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

There will be three new members of the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees after Tuesday’s election, including incumbent Ted Gordon's challenger.

LaTisha Anderson beat Gordon for the District 1 seat, which covers most of East Austin. She won with 61 percent of the vote.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Three seats on the Austin Community College Board of Trustees are up for grabs this election. Trustees oversee the 11 ACC campuses, as well as the taxing district in Central Texas. The six-year trustee positions aren’t paid.

There’s also a proposition on the ballot for Pflugerville residents.

Place 7 | Place 8 | Place 9 | Prop A

Julia Reihs / KUT

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has won re-election in Texas, fending off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

"Texas came together behind a common-sense agenda of low taxes, low regulation and lots and lots of jobs," Cruz told supporters at an election night watch party in Houston. "[It was about] securing the border and keeping our communities safe, defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."

PHOTOS | Scenes From The Cruz And O'Rourke Election Night Watch Parties

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — The press release went out Monday, the reporters showed up Tuesday morning, then the U.S. Border Patrol abruptly canceled its Election Day "crowd control exercise" without immediately stating a reason.

NPR reporters will be posting results and offering analysis through Tuesday night.

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Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It's Election Day — and before you head to the polls (if you haven't already during early voting), make sure you know your rights as a voter.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Turnout was strong across Texas during early voting, far surpassing participation in the 2014 midterms. That momentum continued on Election Day. Nearly 100,000 people in Travis County cast ballots today. 

KUT

Five seats on the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees are on the ballot. The role of the school board is to oversee the AISD superintendent and district administration. Members serve four-year terms.

District 1 | District 4 | District 6 | District 7 | District 9

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