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Election Day '08: The Executive Summary

Need a quick summary of yesterday's national and state Election Day results? You've come to the right place.

Federal Results

Nationally, Democrats picked up about 20 seats in the House and at least five in the Senate, putting the Democratic total at 57 counting the two independents. Four Senate seats remain too close to call as of this morning.

And just in case you spent yesterday under a rock: President Barack Obama. 'Nuff said.

Congressman Nick Lampson lost a close race for re-election. All other federal-level incumbents in Texas were re-elected, though Rick Noriega in the Senate race, Michael Skelly in CD 7 and Larry Joe Doherty in CD 10 both pulled over 40% of the vote — as did two races not as high on most people's radar: Tom Love challenging Republican Kenny Marchant in CD 24, and Eric Roberson challenging Pete Sessions in CD 32.

Statewide Results

The big news statewide is that we have a shot at a tie in the state House. After yesterday's election, which saw some big flips combined with heartbreaking losses for Reps. Juan Garcia (HD 32) and Dan Barrett (HD 97), we are left with a 74-76 split in the House. Rep. Linda Harper Brown (R-HD 105) may also lose her seat: final tallies had her up by a mere 25 votes over challenger Bob Romano out of 40,000 votes cast, meaning we won't really know how that seat's going to go until after a recount.

We also picked up a state Senate seat yesterday, as incumbent Kim Brimer from SD 10 lost to challenger Wendy Davis. Chris Bell pulled over 38% of the vote in the six-way SD 17 race, and heads off into a runoff as the frontrunner against Republican Joan Huffman. Three other Democratic state Senate candidates — Melvin Willms in SD 9, Joe Jaworski in SD 11, and Rain Minns in SD 12 — broke 40%; keep an eye out on those Senate districts next time around.

Mark Thompson put a bit of a scare on Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, who won reelection 51.6%-45.3%. We also ran around 45% on all the contested statewide judgeships, but didn't pick any up. The district courts were a different matter, as 11 of the 14 district judgeships listed by the Texas Secretary of State went to Democrats, including 8 (!) defeats of incumbent Republicans.

County Results

After Democrats swept Dallas County elections in '06, everyone was looking at Harris County to be next — including Republicans, apparently, who didn't want to see the last of Texas' large urban areas go Democratic. Republicans successfully prevented a sweep, but there's no way that losing 30 out of 35 countywide races can be labeled anything but a resounding victory for the Harris County Democratic Party. District judgeships were, again, a near-sweep, and the county sheriff election also went Democratic with Adrian Garcia defeating incumbent Tommy Thomas 56%-44%. Loren Jackson picked up the district clerk election for the Democrats; Republican Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt and County Judge Ed Emmett were both reelected, as was District Attorney Pat Lykos in a squeaker over Democratic challenger Brad Bradford, 50.22%-49.78%.

Have some interesting news from your county? Let us know in the comments.

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