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Texas Election Results
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 6:50 AM

The remarkable 2016 election season is over and many states set records for voter registration and turnout. According to the Texas Secretary of State's office, Texas gained almost 1.5 million new voters since the primary elections in March. Nearly 9 million people out of over 15 million registered voters in Texas turned out to vote in the general election.

The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States has shocked the political class and media pundits. Voters re-elected Republican majorities to both the US House and Senate, though the majorities will be more narrow than this current Congress. This provides opportunities and challenges for credit unions in the next Congress. Regulatory relief and tax reform are expected to be major topics for consideration that could impact credit unions in the next Congress.

One of the most closely watched Congressional races in the country was the consistently competitive district that runs from San Antonio to El Paso. Incumbent Will Hurd (R) defeated Pete Gallego (D) by under 2 percent in their rematch with over 226,000 votes cast.  Newcomers are Jodey Arrington (R) in a west Texas district that runs from Lubbock to Abilene and Vicente Gonzalez (D) in the district that runs from east of San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley. All other incumbents easily won reelection. The Texas Congressional delegation will remain 26 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Congress returns to DC for the lame duck session Nov. 14 and is expected to continue in session until mid-December.

In the Texas Senate, 16 of 31 seats were up for reelection. Twelve of them had no major party opposition, and all won their races. The other four races were in districts that were expected to remain in their current party's hands.

Carlos Uresti (D) of San Antonio, Juan 'Chuy' Hinojosa (D) of south Texas, and Brian Birdwell (R) in central Texas easily won reelection. Newcomer Dawn Buckingham (R) won the district formerly represented by Troy Fraser in the central Texas district that runs from Austin to Abilene west of I-35.

Though the Senate will see new faces, the partisan makeup remains the same, with Republicans having 20 of 31 seats, Democrats holding the remaining 11 seats.

There are currently 99 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and one Independent in the Texas House of Representatives. As a result of this election, the next session will change to 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats. 

In the Texas House, incumbent Republicans Rodney Anderson (R), Kenneth Sheets (R), Linda Koop (R), Matt Rinaldi (R), and Cindy Burkett (R) in the DFW area had tough races in districts that have become increasingly diverse in recent years. All were reelected, except Sheets, who lost to Democrat Terry Meza.

The San Antonio area had two Republicans trying to hold on to seats in hotly contested races. Incumbent Rick Galindo (R) and Philip Cortez (D) had a rematch of their 2014 bout, and this time Cortez won. John Lujan (R) won a special election in a heavily Democratic district but lost to Tomas Uresti, brother to State Sen. Carlos Uresti (D) from San Antonio.

Mary Ann Perez (D) beat Gilbert Peña (R), winning back the Pasadena area seat he took from her in 2014. Wayne Faircloth (R) fended off a challenge from former representative Lloyd Criss (D) in Galveston.

Texas' 85th Legislature will be sworn in on Jan. 10, 2017.

For more information, please contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488, jhuffman@txcua.coop or Charlotte Spencer at 512-853-8511, cspencer@txcua.coop.