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Voting Officials Delivered Despite Losing Machines

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.

DA Craig Watkins Narrowly Prevails in Dallas

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.

Watkins Holds Narrow Lead in Dallas County DA Race

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.

Emmett, Ferchill, Skurka Leading in County Races

In the race for Harris County judge, Republican Ed Emmett is leading Democrat Gordon Quan by 26 points with 9 percent of precincts reporting.
In the race for Nueces County district attorney, Democrat Mark Skurka is leading Republican Anna Jimenez by 7 points. Gov. Rick Perry appointed Jimenez, then a prosecutor in the DA’s child victims unit, as district attorney in March to replace Carlos Valdez. Skurka, who spent 10 years as chief prosecutor and another 10 years as first assistant district attorney, is vying for the final two years of Valdez’s unexpired term.
In the race for Tarrant County Probate Court No. 2, Republican Judge Pat Ferchill is leading with 85 percent of the vote, with 11.8 percent of precincts reporting. Ferchill, who has come under fire for holding secret hearings to take child-guardianship rights away from families, is up against Libertarian Bob Shelton. Ferchill recently recused himself from a case in which a disabled girl’s parents had their guardianship rights taken away because they opposed a group home’s reliance on psychiatric medication. The judge who received the motion to re-hear the case postponed a scheduled October hearing last week, citing Ferchill’s upcoming election.

Republicans Overwhelming Texas Democrats

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.

Republicans Lead in State Board of Education Races

Republicans are well ahead in the results for six of seven races for the State Board of Education. The contests are closely watched due to the board's controversial efforts to amend the content allowed in school textbooks earlier this year.

In one of the most-watched races, in the Austin area, Republican Marsha Farney leads her Democratic opponent, Judy Jennings, by 59 percent to 28 percent with 30 percent of the vote counted. In a second closely watched race, in the San Antonio area, the Republican incumbent Ken Mercer leads Democratic challenger Rebecca Bell-Metereau 61 percent to 35 percent with 27 percent of the vote counted. In District 1, the Democratic incumbent Rene Nuñez trails Republican challenger Carlos Garza by 42 percent to 58 percent, with 33 percent of the vote counted.

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