Number of counties where at lead one countywide office on the ballot in 2016 is being contested by a Republican and a Democratic candidate. In 37 of those counties, it is the sheriff’s office that is being contested by both parties.
Many of these counties are in South Texas, indicative of the growing strength of the Republican Party in traditionally Democratic-friendly territory, or are among the state’s most populous counties, where Democrats remain competitive. In formerly Democratic East Texas, many counties as a whole are noncompetitive and Republican, but Democrats — particularly incumbent county commissioners, justices of the peace and constables — remain competitive in their precincts.
In a few scattered counties, one or more county offices is held by the non-dominant party who run unopposed for re-election.
Only one party fielded candidates for county offices in 135 of the state’s 254 counties. Not a single Democrat ran for county office in 123 counties, and no Republicans sought county office in 12 counties.