Runoffs: Early voting in person is ongoing in some jurisdictions holding runoff elections on Saturday (or other dates) and has ended in others. Runoffs were required for some city, school district and other local district offices for which no candidate received a majority vote in the general election, including:

  • In Harris Co., just over 2,900 have cast ballots for the Houston ISD Trustee D7 race, and fewer than 200 have cast ballots in the Baytown council D3 race. Early voting in person has ended there.
  • In Travis Co., around 9K have cast ballots for the Austin council D10 runoff, where incumbent Sheri Gallo faces Alison Alter, and a pair of Austin Community College board runoffs. Early voting continues through Friday.
  • In Nueces Co., early voting has just begun to settle a heated runoff for the Robstown Utilities Board. The city has challenged the leading candidate’s eligibility over his lack of property ownership in the city. Early voting continues through next Friday for the December 20 runoff.
  • In Bell Co., a pair of Copperas Cove council seats will be decided by voters on December 13.
  • In Hays Co., early voting runs through Friday for the San Marcos mayoral runoff and a pair of city council runoffs and a Buda city council runoff. The runoff elections will be held on December 13.
  • In Bandera Co., voters will settle an 89-89 tie for a city council seat on December 20.
  • In Wilson Co., voters must wait until January 3 to settle an open-seat runoff for the Floresville City Council. Both candidates wanted an earlier date, because holiday closings will limit the number of days that polls are open for early voting.

Dallas Co.: Gov. Greg Abbott appointed former state district judge Faith Johnson to fill the unexpired term of former Dallas Co. District Attorney Susan Hawk. Johnson spent 17 years as a district judge following her appointment to the 363rd District Court by former Gov. Bill Clements in 1989. She was re-elected four times before being defeated by current District Judge Terry Holmes in 2006.

Hawk resigned in September after less than two years in office, during which she was admitted to three long-term hospitalizations to treat depression. Hawk’s resignation occurred just after a statutory deadline that would have triggered a special election this November, which a Democrat almost certainly would have won. Buttressed by a 135K-vote advantage in straight-ticket voting, Democrats swept all countywide offices on the ballot.

Johnson intends to seek a full term in 2018. Her appointment requires Senate confirmation. She becomes the first African-American woman to be Dallas Co. district attorney.

In 2009, she was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Perry to the committee overseeing the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, and he later appointed her to serve on the Texas Public Safety Commission.

Johnson was a Dallas Co. prosecutor prior to her appointment to the bench. She was admonished (pdf) by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2005 for failing “to maintain order and decorum in the courtroom … when she celebrated” the apprehension of a man convicted of aggravated assault with balloons, cake, ice cream and a banner that read, “Welcome Home.” The convicted man fled the jurisdiction after being released on bond pending sentencing. Johnson apologized if her celebration of a fugitive’s return offended anyone.