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2020 Texas State Senate election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2020 Texas State Senate election

← 2018 November 3, 2020 2022 →

16 of the 31 seats in the Texas State Senate
16 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
 
Rep
Dem
Leader Joan Huffman TBD
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat 17th district TBD
Last election 19 seats, 50.66% 12 seats, 47.82%
Seats before 19 12
Seats won 18 13
Seat change Decrease1 Increase1
Popular vote 2,660,120 2,226,640
Percentage 53.28% 44.59%
Swing Increase 2.62% Decrease 3.23%

TexSenSeatsUp2020.svg
Seats Up with Party Affiliation
     Republican Party
     Democratic Party
     No election

President Pro Tempore before election

Joan Huffman
Republican

Elected President Pro Tempore

TBD
Republican

The 2020 Texas State Senate elections took place as part of the biennial United States elections. Texas voters elected state senators in 16 of the 31 state senate districts. State senators serve four-year terms in the Texas State Senate. Those elected in 2020 will only be elected for two years, however, as part of the 2-4-4 term system. A statewide map of Texas's state Senate districts can be obtained from the Texas Legislative Council here, and individual district maps can be obtained from the U.S. Census here.

Following the 2016 state senate elections, Republicans maintained effective control of the Senate with 19 members.

To claim control of the chamber from Republicans, the Democrats would have needed to net four Senate seats. The Democratic Party gained one seat (District 19), leaving the Republicans with a 18 to 13 majority in the chamber.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/1
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  • Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6

Transcription

Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about what is, if you ask the general public, the most important part of politics: elections. If you ask me, it's hair styles. Look at Martin Van Buren's sideburns, how could he not be elected? Americans are kind of obsessed with elections, I mean when this was being recorded in early 2015, television, news and the internet were already talking about who would be Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016. And many of the candidates have unofficially been campaigning for years. I've been campaigning; your grandma's been campaigning. Presidential elections are exciting and you can gamble on them. Is that legal, can you gamble on them, Stan? Anyway, why we're so obsessed with them is a topic for another day. Right now I'm gonna tell you that the fixation on the presidential elections is wrong, but not because the president doesn't matter. No, today we're gonna look at the elections of the people that are supposed to matter the most, Congress. Constitutionally at least, Congress is the most important branch of government because it is the one that is supposed to be the most responsive to the people. One of the main reasons it's so responsive, at least in theory, is the frequency of elections. If a politician has to run for office often, he or she, because unlike the president we have women serving in Congress, kind of has to pay attention to what the constituents want, a little bit, maybe. By now, I'm sure that most of you have memorized the Constitution, so you recognize that despite their importance in the way we discuss politics, elections aren't really a big feature of the Constitution. Except of course for the ridiculously complex electoral college system for choosing the president, which we don't even want to think about for a few episodes. In fact, here's what the Constitution says about Congressional Elections in Article 1 Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the Constitution does establish that the whole of the house is up for election every 2 years, and 1/3 of the senate is too, but mainly it leaves the scheduling and rules of elections up to the states. The actual rules of elections, like when the polls are open and where they actually are, as well as the registration requirements, are pretty much up to the states, subject to some federal election law. If you really want to know the rules in your state, I'm sure that someone at the Board of Elections, will be happy to explain them to you. Really, you should give them a call; they're very, very lonely. In general though, here's what we can say about American elections. First stating the super obvious, in order to serve in congress, you need to win an election. In the House of Representatives, each election district chooses a single representative, which is why we call them single-member districts. The number of districts is determined by the Census, which happens every 10 years, and which means that elections ending in zeros are super important, for reasons that I'll explain in greater detail in a future episode. It's because of gerrymandering. The Senate is much easier to figure out because both of the state Senators are elected by the entire state. It's as if the state itself were a single district, which is true for states like Wyoming, which are so unpopulated as to have only 1 representative. Sometimes these elections are called at large elections. Before the election ever happens, you need candidates. How candidates are chosen differs from state to state, but usually it has something to do with political parties, although it doesn't have to. Why are things so complicated?! What we can say is that candidates, or at least good candidates, usually have certain characteristics. Sorry America. First off, if you are gonna run for office, you should have an unblemished record, free of, oh I don't know, felony convictions or sex scandals, except maybe in Louisiana or New York. This might lead to some pretty bland candidates or people who are so calculating that they have no skeletons in their closet, but we Americans are a moral people and like our candidates to reflect our ideals rather than our reality. The second characteristic that a candidate must possess is the ability to raise money. Now some candidates are billionaires and can finance their own campaigns. But most billionaires have better things to do: buying yachts, making even more money, building money forts, buying more yachts, so they don't have time to run for office. But most candidates get their money for their campaigns by asking for it. The ability to raise money is key, especially now, because running for office is expensive. Can I get a how expensive is it? "How expensive is it?!" Well, so expensive that the prices of elections continually rises and in 2012 winners of House races spent nearly 2 million each. Senate winners spent more than 10 million. By the time this episode airs, I'm sure the numbers will be much higher like a gajillion billion million. Money is important in winning an election, but even more important, statistically, is already being in Congress. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The person holding an office who runs for that office again is called the incumbent and has a big advantage over any challenger. This is according to political scientists who, being almost as bad at naming things as historians, refer to this as incumbency advantage. There are a number of reasons why incumbents tend to hold onto their seats in congress, if they want to. The first is that a sitting congressman has a record to run on, which we hope includes some legislative accomplishments, although for the past few Congresses, these don't seem to matter. The record might include case work, which is providing direct services to constituents. This is usually done by congressional staffers and includes things like answering questions about how to get certain government benefits or writing recommendation letters to West Point. Congressmen can also provide jobs to constituents, which is usually a good way to get them to vote for you. These are either government jobs, kind of rare these days, called patronage or indirect employment through government contracts for programs within a Congressman's district. These programs are called earmarks or pork barrel programs, and they are much less common now because Congress has decided not to use them any more, sort of. The second advantage that incumbents have is that they have a record of winning elections, which if you think about it, is pretty obvious. Being a proven winner makes it easier for a congressmen to raise money, which helps them win, and long term incumbents tend to be more powerful in Congress which makes it even easier for them to raise money and win. The Constitution give incumbents one structural advantage too. Each elected congressman is allowed $100,000 and free postage to send out election materials. This is called the franking privilege. It's not so clear how great an advantage this is in the age of the internet, but at least according to the book The Victory Lab, direct mail from candidates can be surprisingly effective. How real is this incumbency advantage? Well if you look at the numbers, it seems pretty darn real. Over the past 60 years, almost 90% of members of The House of Representatives got re-elected. The Senate has been even more volatile, but even at the low point in 1980 more than 50% of sitting senators got to keep their jobs. Thanks, Thought Bubble. You're so great. So those are some of the features of congressional elections. Now, if you'll permit me to get a little politically sciencey, I'd like to try to explain why elections are so important to the way that Congressmen and Senators do their jobs. In 1974, political scientist David Mayhew published a book in which he described something he called "The Electoral Connection." This was the idea that Congressmen were primarily motivated by the desire to get re-elected, which intuitively makes a lot of sense, even though I'm not sure what evidence he had for this conclusion. Used to be able to get away with that kind of thing I guess, clearly David may-not-hew to the rules of evidence, pun [rim shot], high five, no. Anyway Mayhew's research methodology isn't as important as his idea itself because The Electoral Connection provides a frame work for understanding congressman's activities. Mayhew divided representatives' behaviors and activities into three categories. The first is advertising; congressmen work to develop their personal brand so that they are recognizable to voters. Al D'Amato used to be know in New York as Senator Pothole, because he was able to bring home so much pork that he could actually fix New York's streets. Not by filling them with pork, money, its money, remember pork barrel spending? The second activity is credit claiming; Congressmen get things done so that they can say they got them done. A lot of case work and especially pork barrel spending are done in the name of credit claiming. Related to credit claiming, but slightly different, is position taking. This means making a public judgmental statement on something likely to be of interest to voters. Senators can do this through filibusters. Representatives can't filibuster, but they can hold hearings, publicly supporting a hearing is a way of associating yourself with an idea without having to actually try to pass legislation. And of course they can go on the TV, especially on Sunday talk shows. What's a TV, who even watches TV? Now the idea of The Electoral Connection doesn't explain every action a member of Congress takes; sometimes they actually make laws to benefit the public good or maybe solve problems, huh, what an idea! But Mayhew's idea gives us a way of thinking about Congressional activity, an analytical lens that connects what Congressmen actually do with how most of us understand Congressmen, through elections. So the next time you see a Congressmen call for a hearing on a supposed horrible scandal or read about a Senator threatening to filibuster a policy that may have significant popular support, ask yourself, "Is this Representative claiming credit or taking a position, and how will this build their brand?" In other words: what's the electoral connection and how will whatever they're doing help them get elected? This might feel a little cynical, but the reality is Mayhew's thesis often seems to fit with today's politics. Thanks for watching, see you next week. Vote for me; I'm on the TV. I'm not -- I'm on the YouTube. Crash Course: Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Voqal.org. Crash Course is made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. That guy isn't nice.

Retirements

One incumbent did not run for re-election in 2020:

Democrats

  1. District 29: José R. Rodríguez: Retiring

Incumbents defeated

In the general election

Republicans

  1. District 19: Pete Flores lost to Roland Gutierrez.

Predictions

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[1] Likely R October 21, 2020

Results summary

Summary of the November 3, 2020 Texas Senate election results
87th Texas Senate.svg
Party Candidates Votes Seats
No. % Before Up Won After +/–
Republican 14 2,660,120 53.28 19 9 8 18 Decrease1
Democratic 15 2,226,640 44.59 12 7 8 13 Increase1
Libertarian 4 57,147 1.14 0 0 0 0 Steady
Green 1 49,202 0.99 0 0 0 0 Steady
Total 4,993,109 100.00 31 16 16 31 Steady
Source: Texas Elections Results
Popular vote
Republican
53.28%
Democratic
44.59%
Other
2.13%
Senate seats
Republican
50.00%
Democratic
50.00%

Close races

District Winner Margin
District 19 Democratic (flip) 3.29%
District 20 Democratic 16.92%

Summary of results by State Senate District

State Senate District[2] Incumbent Party Elected Senator Party
1st Bryan Hughes Rep Bryan Hughes Rep
4th Brandon Creighton Rep Brandon Creighton Rep
6th Carol Alvarado Dem Carol Alvarado Dem
11th Larry Taylor Rep Larry Taylor Rep
12th Jane Nelson Rep Jane Nelson Rep
13th Borris Miles Dem Borris Miles Dem
18th Lois Kolkhorst Rep Lois Kolkhorst Rep
19th Pete Flores Rep Roland Gutierrez Dem
20th Juan Hinojosa Dem Juan Hinojosa Dem
21st Judith Zaffirini Dem Judith Zaffirini Dem
22nd Brian Birdwell Rep Brian Birdwell Rep
24th Dawn Buckingham Rep Dawn Buckingham Rep
26th Jose Menendez Dem Jose Menendez Dem
27th Eddie Lucio Jr. Dem Eddie Lucio Jr. Dem
28th Charles Perry Rep Charles Perry Rep
29th José R. Rodríguez Dem Cesar Blanco Dem

Detailed results by State Senate District

District 1District 4District 6District 11District 12District 13District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 24District 26District 27District 28District 29

District 1

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bryan Hughes (incumbent) 99,356 100.0%
Total votes 99,356 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Audrey Spanko 29,162 100.0%
Total votes 29,162 100.0%

General election

Texas's 1st State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bryan Hughes (incumbent) 266,561 75.31%
Democratic Audrey Spanko 87,399 24.69%
Total votes 353,960 100.00
Republican hold

District 4

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brandon Creighton (incumbent) 76,775 100.0%
Total votes 76,775 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jay Stittleburg 37,848 100.0%
Total votes 37,848 100.0%

General election

Texas's 4th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brandon Creighton (incumbent) 285,795 67.48%
Democratic Jay Stittleburg 127,325 30.06%
Libertarian Cameron Brock 10,419 2.46%
Total votes 423,539 100.00%
Republican hold

District 6

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carol Alvarado (incumbent) 31,938 100.0%
Total votes 31,938 100.0%

General election

Texas's 6th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carol Alvarado (incumbent) 137,070 84.04%
Libertarian Timothy Duffield 26,027 15.96%
Total votes 163,097 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 11

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Larry Taylor (incumbent) 63,378 100.0%
Total votes 63,378 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Susan Criss 26,155 53.0%
Democratic Margarita Ruiz Johnson 23,188 47.0%
Total votes 49,343 100.0%

General election

Texas's 11th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Larry Taylor (incumbent) 229,774 59.47%
Democratic Susan Criss 147,122 38.08%
Libertarian Jared Wissel 9,483 2.45%
Total votes 386,379 100.00%
Republican hold

District 12

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jane Nelson (incumbent) 63,061 100.0%
Total votes 63,061 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shadi Zitoon 32,831 57.5%
Democratic Randy Daniels 24,291 42.5%
Total votes 57,122 100.0%

General election

Texas's 12th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jane Nelson (incumbent) 291,646 62.32%
Democratic Shadi Zitoon 176,353 37.68%
Total votes 467,999 100.00%
Republican hold

District 13

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Borris Miles (incumbent) 36,514 55.4%
Democratic Melissa Morris 22,840 34.7%
Democratic Richard Andrews 6,525 9.9%
Total votes 65,879 100.0%

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Milinda Morris 5,363 65.0%
Republican William Booher 2,884 35.0%
Total votes 8,247 100.0%

General election

Texas's 13th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Borris Miles (incumbent) 199,639 80.51%
Republican Milinda Morris 48,329 19.49%
Total votes 247,968 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 18

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Lois Kolkhorst (incumbent) 98,215 100.0%
Total votes 98,215 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael Antalan 41,182 100.0%
Total votes 41,182 100.0%

General election

Texas's 18th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Lois Kolkhorst (incumbent) 277,050 65.8%
Democratic Michael Antalan 144,009 34.2%
Total votes 421,059 100.00%
Republican hold

District 19

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Pete Flores (incumbent) 35,526 100.0%
Total votes 35,526 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Xochil Pena Rodriguez 30,821 43.9%
Democratic Roland Gutierrez 26,550 37.8%
Democratic Freddy Ramirez 12,808 18.3%
Total votes 70,179 100.0%

Democratic primary runoff

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Roland Gutierrez 16,640 52.7%
Democratic Xochil Pena Rodriguez 14,940 47.3%
Total votes 31,580 100.0%

General election

Texas's 19th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Roland Gutierrez 156,741 49.86%
Republican Pete Flores (incumbent) 146,395 46.57%
Libertarian Jo-Anne Valvdivia 11,218 3.57%
Total votes 314,354 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican

District 20

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Juan Hinojosa (incumbent) 55,410 100.0%
Total votes 55,410 100.0%

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Judith Cutright 21,246 100.0%
Total votes 21,246 100.0%

General election

Texas's 20th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Juan Hinojosa (incumbent) 153,539 58.46%
Republican Judith Cutright 109,085 41.54%
Total votes 262,624 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 21

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Judith Zaffirini (incumbent) 70,443 100.0%
Total votes 70,443 100.0%

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank Pomeroy 29,774 100.0%
Total votes 29,774 100.0%

General election

Texas's 21st State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Judith Zaffirini (incumbent) 166,919 60.1%
Republican Frank Pomeroy 110,825 39.9%
Total votes 277,744 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 22

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brian Birdwell (incumbent) 89,609 100.0%
Total votes 89,609 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Robert Vick 36,751 100.0%
Total votes 36,751 100.0%

General election

Texas's 22nd State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brian Birdwell (incumbent) 256,504 68.52%
Democratic Robert Vick 117,868 31.48%
Total votes 374,372 100.00%
Republican hold

District 24

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dawn Buckingham (incumbent) 90,605 100.0%
Total votes 90,605 100.0%

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Clayton Tucker 39,280 100.0%
Total votes 39,280 100.0%

General election

Texas's 24th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dawn Buckingham (incumbent) 263,156 69.64%
Democratic Clayton Tucker 114,737 30.36%
Total votes 377,893 100.00%
Republican hold

District 26

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jose Menendez (incumbent) 67,062 100.0%
Total votes 67,062 100.0%

General election

Texas's 26th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jose Menendez (incumbent) 197,116 80.03%
Green Julian Villarreal 49,202 19.97%
Total votes 246,318 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 27

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eddie Lucio Jr. (incumbent) 31,046 49.8%
Democratic Sara Stapleton-Barrera 22,221 35.6%
Democratic Ruben Cortez Jr. 9,122 14.6%
Total votes 62,389 100.0%

Democratic primary runoff

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eddie Lucio Jr. (incumbent) 16,883 53.6%
Democratic Sara Stapleton-Barrera 14,625 46.4%
Total votes 31,508 100.0%

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vanessa Tijerina 11,343 100.0%
Total votes 11,343 100.0%

General election

Texas's 27th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eddie Lucio Jr. (incumbent) 133,398 64.82%
Republican Vanessa Tijerina 72,403 35.18%
Total votes 205,801 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 28

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles Perry (incumbent) 90,762 100.0%
Total votes 90,762 100.0%

General election

Texas's 28th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles Perry (incumbent) 247,160 100.00%
Total votes 247,160 100.00%
Republican hold

District 29

Democratic primary

Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cesar Blanco 59,620 100.0%
Total votes 59,620 100.0%

Republican primary

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bethany Hatch 15,817 100.0%
Total votes 15,817 100.00%

General election

Texas's 29th State Senate District General Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cesar Blanco 167,405 67.00%
Republican Bethany Hatch 82,437 33.00%
Total votes 249,842 100.00%
Democratic hold

Special elections

District 14

The seat for District 14 became vacant on April 30, 2020, after the resignation of Kirk Watson.[3] A special election has been called for July 14, 2020.

Texas's 14th State Senate District Special Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sarah Eckhardt 59,267 49.7%
Democratic Eddie Rodriguez 40,384 33.8%
Republican Donald Zimmerman 15,565 13.0%
Republican Waller Thomas Burns II 1,442 1.2%
Independent Jeff Ridgeway 1,386 1.2%
Libertarian Pat Dixon 1,306 1.1%
Total votes 119,350 100.0%
Democratic hold

District 30

A special election for Texas State Senate District 30 has been called for September 29, 2020. The candidate filing deadline was August 28, 2020. The seat became vacant after the resignation of Pat Fallon on August 23, 2020.

Texas's 30th State Senate District Special Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Shelley Luther 22,135 32.2%
Republican Drew Springer Jr. 21,971 31.9%
Democratic Jacob Minter 14,572 21.2%
Republican Christopher Watts 4,284 6.2%
Republican Craig Carter 3,413 5.0%
Republican Andy Hopper 2,432 3.5%
Total votes 68,807 100.0%

Runoff

Texas's 30th State Senate District Special Election, 2020 runoff
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Shelley Luther
Republican Drew Springer Jr.
Total votes 100.0%
Republican hold

See also

References

  1. ^ "October Overview: Handicapping the 2020 State Legislature Races". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Texas State Senate elections, 2020". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  3. ^ "State Sen. Kirk Watson to retire from Texas Senate". Texas Tribune. February 18, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 November 2020, at 04:05
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