As expected, Texas voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported using oil and gas tax revenue to fund new road projects.
With almost four-fifths of precincts reporting statewide, the proposed constitutional amendment was winning with about 80 percent of the vote.
It’s the second year in a row that voters have backed constitutional amendments to use dollars that otherwise would go to the state’s Rainy Day Fund to support infrastructure. Last year, voters created a new revolving fund to finance water projects throughout the state.
Further down the ballot, a trio of highly contentious district attorney races led a roster of high-profile local contests:
• In Dallas County, a tight contest for district attorney remained close throughout the evening. With 90 percent of the precincts counted, GOP challenger Susan Hawk was leading Democratic incumbent Craig Watkins by about 4,400 votes out of more than 370,000 cast.
In another closely watched county-level race, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was cruising to victory over GOP challenger Ron Natinsky, leading by 11 points.
• In Harris County, incumbent District Attorney Devon Anderson defeated Democratic challenger Kim Ogg. Anderson had a 6-point advantage with close to 99 percent of precincts reporting.
• In Bexar County, Nico LaHood, the Democrat challenging incumbent District Attorney Susan Reed, had a nearly 9,000-vote lead with about 3 percent of the precincts still to report.
• In Austin, a bond proposition to fund a light-rail project was defeated. With less than 10 percent of precincts left to be counted, nearly 58 percent had voted against the proposal.
And in the first election under a new district-based city council, Steve Adler and City Councilman Mike Martinez were heading to a runoff to become Austin’s next mayor.
• In Hidalgo County, a proposition to create a hospital district narrowly lost, with about 52 percent opposing the measure.
Disclosure: Steve Adler is a major donor and former board chairman of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.