Greg Abbott won a third term as Texas governor, defeating former State Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who was trying to become the first Democratic governor in Texas in more than 25 years.
Decision Desk HQ called the race at 9:23 CST, with 58% of the votes in and Abbott holding a 54% to 44% lead over O’Rourke.
Abbott was in McAllen with about 400 supporters to wait for the results of one of the most expensive midterm races of 2022. Abbott raised over $100 million during this cycle and spent $135 million with the help of previous funds in his coffers.
O’Rourke raised $73 million and spent nearly all of it. O’Rourke did perform better than the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, Charlie Crist, who received less than 40% of the vote.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has nearly 60% of the vote, with 97% of precincts reporting.
In the end, polls that consistently showed Abbott with a lead of around ten percentage points turned out to be correct.
In the race for lieutenant governor, incumbent Dan Patrick looks likely to hold off Democratic challenger Mike Collier to win a third term. The final margin also appears to be wider than when the two faced off four years ago, and Patrick defeated Collier by 5%.
With 56% of the votes reported, Patrick had a 56% to 42% lead over Collier.
Ken Paxton will win his third term as attorney general after overcoming a brutal primary campaign where he drew three Republican challengers and needed a runoff to defeat former Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
Paxton has a 55% to 42% lead over Democrat Rochelle Garza with 56% of the votes reported, a former American Civil Liberties Union and defense attorney.
Garza attempted to hit Paxton on an FBI investigation into alleged abuse of office and a criminal indictment on securities fraud charges. Pundits expected the race for AG to be the closest of the statewide races, but it was not that close in the end.
Republicans appear very likely to sweep the remaining statewide offices with around 57%-58% of the votes in their favor with over half of the ballots counted.
Incumbent Sid Miller is defeating Democrat Susan Hays in the race for agriculture commissioner, incumbent Comptroller Glenn Hegar is comfortably ahead of Democrat Janet Dudding, and State Sen. Dawn Buckingham looks set to become the state’s new Land Commissioner by besting Democrat Jay Kleberg.
In the race for railroad commissioner, incumbent Republican Wayne Christian won reelection over Democrat Luke Warford for the office that carries a six-year term.
U.S. Congressional races
A couple of races for U.S. House seats in South Texas were expected to be close.
In the redrawn 15th District, Republican and Donald Trump-endorsed Monica De La Cruz will likely defeat Democrat Michelle Vallejo. With 77% of the votes reported, De La Cruz has 54.5% of the votes to Vallejo’s 43.7%.
In McAllen, Gov. Abbott celebrated De La Cruz’s win.
“We planted our flag in South Texas and we showed America that South Texas is now electing Republicans,” said Abbott. “This area will now be represented by a Hispanic woman for the first time… and the first thing she’ll do is fire Nancy Pelosi.”
In the 28th District, which includes Laredo, nine-term incumbent and the lone anti-abortion Democrat in the House Henry Cuellar is very likely to hold off a challenge from Republican Cassy Garcia. With 72% of the votes counted, Cuellar had a 55.7%-44.3% lead over Garcia.
Democrat Rep. Vicente Gonzalez chose to run in the 34th District rather than his current 15th District and is currently ahead of Republican Rep. Mayra Flores, who won the special election for the seat in June. With 67% of the votes counted, Gonzalez has a 53.7% to 43.5% lead.