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Midterm Results Expected to Have Profound Impact on Texas CUs
Thursday, November 8, 2018 6:50 AM

Many credit union supporters were re-elected to the Texas House, Senate, and U.S. Congress, and Texas Credit Union Association actively supported numerous candidates in open-seat races who won last night. But there's no denying that the impact of the Nov. 6 midterm elections will have a profound effect on Texas credit unions.

Key Points of Impact

Three long-term supporters and champions of credit unions lost their reelection bids, as well as several newer lawmakers who had been supportive of key legislation for credit unions in 2017. It was in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston area where voters did not return these Republican incumbents and Democrats picked up several seats in the U.S. House, the Texas House, and Senate.

Defeated last night were U.S. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) and Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson (R-Houston), who are senior members of the Texas Congressional delegation, were cosponsors of HR 1264, voted for S. 2155 earlier this year, and were opponents of additional regulations and taxes on credit unions. 

In the Texas Legislature, Gary Elkins (R-Houston), chairman of the House Government Transparency and Operations Committee and a vocal proponent of legislation for credit unions, was defeated. He championed updating laws relating to credit and debit card data breaches, advocating for greater security requirements on merchants who fail to protect card data.

First-term senators Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) and Don Huffines (R-Dallas), who opposed efforts to increase regulations on credit unions in the 85th Legislature, also lost their reelection bids to Democrat challengers.

Many credit union supporters did prevail in yesterday's election, including Republican Sen. Ted Cruz who defeated El Paso Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke. Cruz strongly opposed increased regulations on credit unions and won his reelection bid in one of the highest profile and most expensive races this election cycle.

U.S. House Ways and Means Committee member Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-Coppell), who has been a credit union champion for 30 years, won reelection in a close race with 51 percent of the vote.

Congressman Will Hurd (R-Helotes) won again in a tight race by less than 700 votes out of the 209,519 cast.

The Turnout

Texas voters turned out in record numbers for the 2018 midterms. The number of registered voters increased by close to 1.8 million from the 2014 midterm election. Voter turnout was approximately 53 percent of registered voters in 2018 compared to 34 percent in 2014, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Eighty seven percent of candidates who received contributions from the Texas Cornerstone Credit Union League PAC in the general election were elected. Ninety-three percent of Texas Congressional candidates who received CULAC support won their elections.

“Texas credit unions understand the importance of supporting candidates that will support credit unions," said Caroline Willard, president/CEO of Cornerstone Credit Union League. "We appreciate their contributions to the PAC and their grassroots efforts to turn out the vote."

Texas' role in the U.S. House will change dramatically. In the current U.S. House, there are seven committee chairmen and eleven subcommittee chairmen from Texas. In the 2019 U.S. House, based on seniority, it looks like Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas, District 30) would be the one committee chair from Texas, along with four Democrat subcommittee chairs from Texas. Two returning Texas Democrats are on the Financial Services Committee and another is a Republican. It is anticipated that one more Texan from each party could be added to the committee.

The Final Tallies

Ted Cruz defeated Beto O’Rourke by a vote of 51 percent to 48 percent.

Also winning their races for reelection were Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

Congressional incumbents who were reelected are: Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock), Brian Babin (R-Woodville), Kevin Brady (R-Houston), Michael Burgess (R-Flower Mound), John Carter (R-Round Rock), Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), Michael Cloud (R-Victoria), Mike Conaway (R-Midland), Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), Bill Flores (R-Waco), Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth), Al Green (D-Houston), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas), Kenny Marchant (R-Coppell), Mike McCaul (R-Austin), Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land), John Ratcliffe (R-Heath), Mac Thornberry (R-Amarillo), Roger Williams (R-Weatherford), Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth), and Randy Weber (R-Pearland). Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) appears to have defeated Gina Ortiz Jones by a slim margin.

Incumbents losing their elections are John Culberson (R-Houston), defeated by Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-Houston), and Pete Sessions (R-Dallas), who lost to Colin Allred (D-Dallas).

In open Texas state seats, Democrat Veronica Escobar will represent District 16, replacing Beto O’Rourke, and current Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) won in the Houston area district held by retiring Democrat Gene Green. Current Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) won in District 3, replacing retiring Republican Sam Johnson. Republican Dan Crenshaw won in District 2, Republican Lance Gooden succeeds Jeb Hensarling in District 5, Republican Ron Wright succeeds Joe Barton in District 6, and Republican Chip Roy succeeds Lamar Smith in District 21.

The Texas Congressional delegation will have 23 Republicans and 13 Democrats, with the addition of two Democrats.

In the Texas Senate, 15 of the 31 seats were up for reelection. The partisan makeup of the Senate will now be 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats. The Senate has four new members. Angela Paxton won her bid to replace Sen. Van Taylor, who was newly elected to Congressional District 3, and current House member Pat Fallon will represent the Wichita Falls area. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) lost to Democrat Beverly Powell, and Don Huffines (R-Dallas) was defeated by Democrat Nathan Johnson.

Incumbent senators returning to the Texas Senate are Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), Bob Hall (R-Canton), Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), Kirk Watson (D-Austin), John Whitmire (D-Houston), and Royce West (D-Dallas).

The Texas House, with 28 freshman, will have 84 Republicans and 66 Democrats, an 18 percent turnover rate. The freshman lineup includes 11 new Democrats.

New members are:

  • Keith Bell (R-Forney) succeeds Lance Gooden (R-Terrell)
  • Cody Harris (R-Palestine) succeeds Byron Cook (R-Corsicana)
  • Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) succeeds Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands)
  • Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) succeeds Wayne Faircloth (R-Galveston)
  • Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville) succeeds René Oliveira (D-Brownsville)
  • Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) succeeds Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs)
  • Sheryl Cole (D-Austin) succeeds Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin)
  • Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) succeeds Paul Workman (R-Austin)
  • Brad Buckley (R-Killeen) succeeds Scott Cosper (R-Killeen)
  • Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) succeeds Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton)
  • Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson) succeeds Linda Koop (R-Dallas)
  • Candy Noble (D-Allen) succeeds Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker)
  • Jessica Gonzalez (D-Dallas) succeeds Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas)
  • Terry Meza (D-Irving) succeeds Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie)
  • Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) succeeds Pat Fallon (R-Frisco)
  • Carl Sherman (D-DeSoto) succeeds Helen Giddings (D-DeSoto)
  • Rhetta Bowers (D-Rowlett) succeeds Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale)
  • John Turner (D-Dallas) succeeds Jason Villalba (R-Dallas)
  • Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) succeeds Diana Arevalo (D-San Antonio)
  • Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio) succeeds Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio)
  • Stephen Allison (R-San Antonio) succeeds Joe Strauss (R-San Antonio)
  • Sam Harless (R-Spring) succeeds Kevin Roberts (R-Houston)
  • Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) succeeds Gary Elkins (R-Houston)
  • John Bucy (D-Austin) succeeds Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park)
  • Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) succeeds Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving)
  • Gina Calanni (D-Katy) succeeds Mike Schofield (R-Katy)
  • Reggie Smith (R-Sherman) succeeds Larry Phillips (R-Sherman). Smith also won the special election to fill Phillips unexpired term, which runs through December 2018.
  • James Talarico (D-Round Rock) succeeds Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock). Talarico also won the special election to fill Gonzales’ unexpired term, which runs through 2018.
  • Ben Lehman (R-Brenham) succeeds Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell) and is already filling Schubert’s unexpired term.

Full election results can be found on the Texas Secretary of State’s website

Contact Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop for more information.