Mixed bag for Democrats and GOP in Texas primary

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Sarah Davis has won her primary in a bid to return to the Texas House in 2019. She'll move on to the general election in November. (KTRK)

It's hard to take too much away from a single primary. But we did learn a couple of things from Tuesday's first in the nation 2018 election: among them, that endorsements and money don't always equal victory.

That was especially true for congressional candidate Kathaleen Wall.

Despite the governor's endorsement and a lot of cash, she finished third and out of a two-person runoff.

"She spent $6 million of her own money to win a little more than 12,000 votes," said Baker Institute Political Scientist Mark Jones. "That comes out to about $475 per vote."

Governor Abbott also endorsed challenger Susanna Dockupil against incumbent Texas House member Sarah Davis.

Davis won, as did one of two other incumbents the governor opposed in the primary. The governor talked about it during a live webcast on Facebook Tuesday night.

"We wanted to get involved and get behind candidates who work so very hard," he said. "Many of them won, some didn't win, but the important thing is getting involved and giving primary voters a choice to choose the candidate they support."

WATCH: Sarah Davis wins GOP primary versus Abbott-backed challenger
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Early in the night, it was a wait and see situation for Sarah Davis' campaign.


Does it signal a lack of support for the governor? Likely not. He won his primary with 90 percent of the vote and is favored to win reelection. And he did send a message, regardless of the outcome.

"If you're the governor, you look at it as a disappointment," said Jones, "but at the same time, he did make his point to any legislators who voted against him in the past."
Democrats, on the other hand, are celebrating wins and losses in a primary that saw them vote in historic numbers in the traditionally red state.

"You doubled your turnout and you crossed that magical one million barrier but at the same time, Republicans were about 500,000 more than you," said Jones. "Glass half full, glass half empty approach. A lot of people have talked about this blue wave that's sweeping the country When it hits Texas, it's not going to be much of a wave."

Senator Garcia expected to take Congressman Gene Green's seat
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"TONIGHT, WOMEN SPOKE": State Senator Sylvia Garcia is claiming victory after beating a field of seven candidates without a runoff.


Two Democrats who likely disagree are Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia. They won their primary races in solidly Democratic districts and will likely, in November, become the first Latinas elected to represent Texas in Congress. Garcia won a crowded race to succeed long time Houston Representative Gene Green.

"The historical nature, what it really means to our area and to our Latino community here in the Houston region, is beginning to finally sink in," Garcia told Eyewitness News in a post-election interview in her north Houston home. "I've got to win in November. And though this is a very safe Democratic seat, I'm still going to work it. I'm not going to take anything for granted."

She believes it was a good night for Democrats in general and believes November will see a shift in governance.

"I think there was kind of a blue wave. Was it a huge wave? We can debate that or not in terms of the rest of the country. But I'm very optimistic for Harris County turning blue."

Valdez, White headed for runoff in Democratic race for Texas governor
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The race for the Democratic nomination for Texas governor is now down to two candidates: Andrew White and Lupe Valdez.

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