Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 9, 2022, to show results after 100% of voting sites reported their numbers.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott securely kept Tarrant County in the Republican Party’s win column on Election Night.
Abbott won the county by 4 percentage points against Democrat Beto O’Rourke with 51% of the vote, according to unofficial election results. O’Rourke’s defeat comes four years after he narrowly won Tarrant County in a U.S. Senate race.
Abbott’s win also represents another trend on Election Night in Tarrant County: Down-ballot incumbents won their races, with no surprise upsets.
Tarrant County has consistently voted Republican countywide for the past 40 years, said Thomas Marshall, a political science professor at University of Texas at Arlington.
Democrats scored two narrow victories in 2018 and 2020. O’Rourke won with 50% of the vote during his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2018. Two years later, President Joe Biden narrowly won the county by just over 1,800 votes.
While there’s been a fair number of new voters registered in Tarrant County, Marshall said this year is not a particularly good year for Democrats because of voters’ pessimistic view of the economy and an unpopular Democrat in the White House.
“There is virtually no Democrat ticket below the level of governor and it’s not a particularly high turnout year, which would normally help Democrats if it were,” Marshall said.
This is the first midterm election where voters do not have straight ticket voting. Marshall said it remains to be seen how many people quit voting past the top of the ticket at the polling place.
Usually, two thirds of Texans have voted by Election Day, he said. But voter turnout is lower this year, with 5.49 million people casting a ballot during early voting.
“It will almost surely signal a comfortable win at the state level, and it will be helpful to Republicans down ballot like Tim O’Hare or Andy Nguyen and to various state representatives,” Marshall said.
Tarrant County congressional seats
Two longtime politicians representing the Fort Worth area in the U.S. Congress cruised to re-election.
In Tarrant County, Veasey won with 73% of the votes against Republican challenger Patrick Gillespie. Veasey has held the seat since 2013, representing parts of Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas.
In Tarrant County, Granger won with 59% of votes against Democrat challenger Trey Hunt. Granger has represented parts of Tarrant and Wise counties, as well as all of Parker County, since 1997. Granger, 79, is the ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations.
In a tweet, Hunt alluded that he would run again: “Here’s looking to 2024!”
Marshall previously told the Fort Worth Report that the seats were designed through redistricting to be noncompetitive in order to increase the chance that Texas representatives will accumulate seniority and get better committee seats.
Texas Senate seats
Incumbent Republican Kelly Hancock soared to a big early voting lead, 60-40, over Democrat Gwenn Burud for the state Senate District 9 seat. The big early lead held, and the final result was 60-40%.
Republican Phil King ran unopposed for Senate District 10 seat and won.
Texas House seats
Bhojani jumped out to a 57-43% lead after early voting, and sped to the win, 58-42%.
In House District 93, Republican Nate Schatzline won his seat against Democrat KC Chowdhury. The final total was 60-40%.
With its newly redrawn lines, House District 92 now includes parts of Bedford, Euless, Hurst, Arlington and Grand Prairie. House District 93 includes all of Blue Mound, some northern parts of Fort Worth and Saginaw and goes up to Haslet.
State Board of Education
Meanwhile, there was a party-line split in the two Tarrant County seats for State Board of Education.
In the race for District 11, Republican incumbent Pat Hardy sped to a victory over Luis Miguel Sifuentes. Hardy jumped out to a 58-42% lead after early voting results and kept it. The final Tarrant County result was 59-41%.
Aicha Davis, a Democrat and the incumbent in District 13, established a commanding lead among early voters (68-32%). The final Tarrant County result was 67-33%.
Both races included parts of other counties, though those results weren’t expected to change the overall results.
Other Tarrant County offices
Republican Mary Louise Nicholson beat Democratic challenger Linsey Fagan for Tarrant County Clerk, 54-46%, winning a fourth term.
Republican Tom Wilder won re-election as Tarrant County District Clerk, beating Democrat Ruby Faye Woolridge 54-46%.
Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.