Texas Primaries become wake up call for some, make history for others

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The polls are closed but the race to public office is far from over for Texas candidates. The 2018 Texas Primaries wrapped up Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, Alana Rocha with the Texas Tribune joined the BVTM crew to break down the results, beginning with the race for U.S. Senate, a contest that has gotten national attention.

Beto Vs. Cruz
El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, is challenging former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, the Republican incumbent. O’Rourke has been credited with helping fire up the Democratic base in Texas, but results show O’Rourke only earned 62 % of the Democratic vote. In Contrast, Cruz earned 85% of the Republican vote. Rocha says these results confirm that O’Rouke has “an uphill battle in taking out an incumbent in a red state that hasn’t elected a democrat state-wide since the ‘90s.”

Texas Latinas Make History
In the House of Representatives, a record eight U.S. Congressmen will not return after the general election. Many of those races are heading to runoffs in May. But two seats are all but won by Latinas. “That’s significant because it’s possibly the first and second Latina congresswomen that Texas is sending to Washington,” Rocha said. They are former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar and state Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston. Both women are Democrats who avoided runoffs and don’t have competitive Republicans running against them in November. Texas hasn’t sent a new congresswoman of any ethnicity to Washington in 22 years.

Abbott Wins and Loses
Governor Abbott won the Republican nomination, which isn’t a huge surprise, but he lost two of the races down the ballot that he invested heavily in. Governor Abbott spent time and money trying to unseat three incumbents from his own party that he wasn’t pleased with. Only one of the three won’t be back. The two other republicans, Rep. Sarah Davis and Rep. Lyle Larson will return, despite the Governor’s efforts. But according to Rocha, “as far as what it means politically, really no sweat off his back. The Governor enjoys extreme popularity. The bigger question is how their working relationship will be, should those members actually get past the November election and back in the House.”