After months of voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts by North Shore Democrats, the election is finally over. And now that most local and State votes have been counted, we can take a look at how it all came out.
Unfortunately, none of our State-wide candidates were able to overcome the built-in GOP advantages, plus millions of dollars in donations from wealthy donors and dark-money PACs, plus attack ads and other misinformation. GOP candidates from the Governor's race on down, won by about the same margin in each race. Even Rochelle Garza, who was pitted against possibly the most vulnerable GOP candidate, AG Ken Paxton, wasn't able to get very close (53 percent to 43 percent). Interestingly, in our hyper-gerrymandered US House District 10, Democrat Linda Nuno, who essentially ran no campaign, was able to collect 45% of the vote, compared to Michael McCaul's 52%. We seem to be seeing a lot of straight party-line voting -- people voted party over issues or candidate qualifications.
Our candidate for House District 19, Pam Baggett, was not able to overcome a gerrymandered district, and the name recognition and funding of her opponent, former Austin council member Ellen Troxclair. Troxclair won, even though her platform primarily consisted of hard-right GOP talking points about immigration, inflation, etc., that have little to do with how she will serve the interests of constituents in her district. Pam did get most of the votes in the five precincts that make up our NSD territory.
Vikki Goodwin, our former Representative, won her race in District 47 handily. We can also take some comfort that despite extreme partisan gerrymandering, some Democratic candidates across Texas did prevail in several tight races.
In Lago Vista elections, the three incumbent City Council members -- Kevin Sullivan, Chelaine Marion, and Paul Prince -- all won re-election. The Cap Metro Proposition A won by a 55-45% margin, meaning Cap Metro bus service will continue without interruption. Prop B saw a 67% NO vote, which if Prop A had failed, would have eventually reduced local sales taxes by 1%. So although Lago residents seem to have a preference for continued public transportation, they would have been strongly in favor of reducing sales taxes, rather than continuing to collect additional sales tax and using the money for parks, police, roads, etc.
The "other" Proposition A -- to continue funding Travis County Fire and EMS services, also passed by a 61 - 39% margin.
Overall Travis County turnout was 52.15% of registered voters. Our local precincts had pretty good turnout -- most of our precincts were at or above the average turnout, which I'm sure was due to our aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts:
Precinct 280: 58.79%
Precinct 281: 57.08%
Precinct 282: 56.52%
Precinct 395: 50.33%
Precinct 396: 53.42%
(Source: Travis County Elections website)
This post is getting long, so I'll stop here -- but if other interesting facts about the election turn up, I'll post again. We may not have gotten the results we had hoped for in every race, but let's be thankful that it was, for the most part, a free and fair election, unmarred by voter intimidation, threats, violence, or allegations of voting irregularities. And after a well-deserved break, let's resolve to work even harder to elect Democratic candidates, and preserve our democratic process, in the next election.