Democrats kept the edge in Dallas County they first established in 2006 as they led or won all contested countywide races. But Republicans reclaimed a number of statehouse seats that GOP candidates had lost over the last two elections.
“This shows we’ve solidified ourselves in the county,” said Dallas Democratic Chair Darlene Ewing at a loud and well-attended watch party at Jack Daniel’s Old No 7, a bar at the downtown American Airlines Center.
The statehouse races saw GOP strength nationwide sweeping into several Texas House districts and pushing several freshman and sophomore Democrats from office.
“The national Republicans spent an awful lot of money here,” Ewing said. “They’re interested in this next redistricting and I’m sure they want to make sure they tighten up the lines. We lost some districts that we held that were drawn for Republicans. Next time they’ll draw them a little tighter.”
In House District 107 in northeast Dallas, Republican Kenneth Sheets was beating two-term Democrat Allen Vaught.
In Mesquite’s House District 101, Republican Cindy Burkett held a lead over incumbent Robert Miklos, a freshman Democrat.
In District 102, Republican Stafani Carter held a comfortable lead over incumbent freshman Democrat Carol Kent.
And in District 106, Republican challenger Rodney Anderson was beating Democrat Kirk England of Grand Prairie, who was first elected in 2006,
District Attorney Craig Watkins, the Democratic incumbent, held a slight lead over Republican challenger Danny Clancy, who late in the evening had not conceded. Judgeships, the county judge post and other courthouse seats all went to Democrats.
There is apparently nothing like a thoroughly safe seat to keep one dry when voters are in a stormy mood.
Despite a scandal in which she was caught giving scholarships to family members from a Congressional Black Caucus fund, Eddie Bernice Johnson, the longtime Democratic incumbent in the 30th congressional district, was pasting Republican Stephen Broden, winning three of every four votes.
Scandal also had no power to unseat Republican Joe Driver in District 113 or Linda Harper-Brown, also of the GOP, in District 105. Both were leading comfortably in safe suburban districts. Driver admitted he double-billed the state for $17,000 in expenses and Harper-Brown was found driving a Mercedes-Benz owned by a state highway contractor.