By 59 votes, Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) has won the four-way SD6 special election outright. She will serve the remaining two years of former Sen. and now U.S. Rep.-elect Sylvia Garcia’s (D-Houston) term.
Alvarado received 50.4% of the vote. Rep. Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) finished second with 24% of the vote, followed closely by Republican Martha Fierro (23%). The final candidate, Democrat Mia Mundy, received 2% of the vote. Hernandez conceded to Alvarado around 10 p.m., shortly after the final results were released by the Harris Co. Clerk’s office.
Alvarado’s victory forces a special election to fill her unexpired term, to which she was elected in November.
Alvarado won 62% of the vote in her current House district, defeating Hernandez by 1,455 votes. Fierro actually finished second there, edging out Hernandez by 5 votes. Hernandez won a 45% plurality in her current House district, finishing just 146 votes ahead of Alvarado. In the rest of SD6, Alvarado received 49% of the vote, compared to 21% for Hernandez and 27% for Fierro.
The 15,084 total votes were the fewest cast in a special election for a state Senate seat in at least 24 years and likely much longer, breaking the district’s own record set in January 2013. Mail ballots accounted for 44% of all votes cast in the SD6 special election, but another 5,478 mail ballots were not returned. Had they been returned to the county clerk’s office, mail ballots would have accounted for 59% of all votes cast. In the end, just 53% of all ballots mailed to SD6 voters were returned even though this was the only race on them.
Austin: Council member Pio Renteria defeated his sister Susana Almanza, 64%-36%, in the D3 runoff. In open D1, Natasha Harper-Madison defeated Mariana Salazar, 72%-28%. In open D8, Paige Ellis defeated Frank Ward, 56%-44%, to claim the district narrowly won by conservative Ellen Troxclair in a runoff four years ago. She did not seek re-election and endorsed Ward.
College Station: Dennis Maloney wins the open P6 council runoff, 59%-41%, over Elizabeth Cunha.
Copperas Cove: Mayor Frank Seffrood was re-elected by 73 votes, 53%-47%.
Dallas: Former council member Carolyn King Arnold won a special runoff election over Keyaira Saunders, 59%-41%, to claim the unexpired term of former council member Dwaine Caraway.
San Marcos: Mark Rockeymoore won the P4 runoff over former council member Shane Scott, 63%-37%, and Joca Marquez won the P5 runoff over Rick Henderson, 63%-37%.
SEN: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) endorsed U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R).
Abilene: P5 council member Steve Savage announced he would not seek re-election.
SuperPACs: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N. Car.) introduced legislation that would repeal the federal limit on individual contributions to candidates, which would effectively end the need for SuperPACs. Current law caps an individual’s ability to contribute to a candidate at $2,700 per election, which in Texas is $5,400 per election cycle. The bill would also require cadidiates to disclose donations of more than $200 within 24 hours. They introduced similar legislation in late 2016, and Cruz first introduced a similar bill in 2014.
Outside groups, including SuperPACs, spent more than $15M in this year’s U.S. Senate race between Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso).
©2018 Texas Election Source LLC