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Ten candidates signed up to run for Edmund Kuempel's seat in the Texas House, a group that includes seven Republicans, two Democrats and a Libertarian.
It appears state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, will keep her seat in the Texas House. After overseas ballots were counted Monday, the final vote tally gave Howard a 16-vote victory over Republican challenger Dan Neil.
Republican Dan Neil, who lost to Democratic Rep. Donna Howard in Tuesday's HD-48 election by a mere 15 votes, released a statement tonight saying he's going to wait for every legal vote to be "received and counted" before he decides his next course of action — namely, whether to ask for a recount.
"I can swim against the stream and have done so repeatedly, but I can't swim against a tidal wave," he says.
House Speaker Joe Straus says he's now got 130 votes for re-election as speaker — and that the only thing new is that 99 Republicans instead of 76 will make the House a much more conservative body. But State Rep. Warren Chisum says he will continue the challenge to Straus that he announced three weeks ago.
A fire in August that destroyed thousands of electronic voting machines in Houston prolonged the release of Harris County voting totals. Despite the delay, election officials expect to decide close races early Wednesday morning. But the outcome of one hotly contested race is known: Bill White defeated Rick Perry in his home county by a margin of less than 2 percent.
While Democrats across the state have been falling all night, District Attorney Craig Watkins survived a re-election battle against Republican Danny Clancy in Dallas County.
House Speaker Joe Straus says he's got 122 votes for another term as speaker — in spite of the fact that at least a dozen of his past supporters were defeated in Tuesday's election.
There weren't any surprises in the races for the highest courts: All Republican incumbents won.
With 672 of 737 precincts in Dallas County reporting, the race for district attorney remains close. Incumbent District Attorney Craig Watkins, a Democrat, is leading challenger Danny Clancy, a Republican defense lawyer, by less than 1 percentage point, 50.45 percent to 49.55 percent.
“To those who supported me, please recognize that every governor of our state deserves respect," Bill White told the ballroom crowd at the Hilton Americas in Houston.
State Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, a Democratic leader and a difficult target for Republicans, was handily defeated by political novice Marva Beck of Centerville.
Rick Perry and the other statewide Republicans are on their way to easy wins over their challengers and opponents. Republican judicial candidates for statewide positions are winning easily.
Four Democrats in the Texas congressional delegation are either behind or have been defeated: Chet Edwards (who conceded earlier this evening to Bill Flores), Ciro Rodriguez, Solomon Ortiz, and Lloyd Doggett.
In incomplete returns, there are 22 Democratic incumbents running behind in Texas House races: Stephen Frost, Mark Homer, Jim McReynolds, Solomon Ortiz Jr., Abel Herrero, Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, Patrick Rose, Donna Howard, Diana Maldonado, Jim Dunnam, Joe Moody, Joe Heflin, Paula Pierson, Chris Turner, Robert Miklos, Carol Kent, Kirk England, Allen Vaught, David McQuade Leibowitz, Kristi Thibaut, Ellen Cohen, and Hubert Vo.
The GOP's high-water mark (post-Reconstruction) was 88 members in the Texas House. The GOP would have to pick up 12 seats tonight to match that. They've already got one — David Farabee, D-Wichita Falls, didn't seek reelection and former Mayor Lanham Lyne is running away with that race.
And maybe this tells you more about the night than anything else: No incumbent Republicans in state office are currently running behind.