AUSTIN — The dust has settled from Tuesday night’s local runoff and special elections, and Central Texas voters have chosen new candidates to compete for important state and federal positions.
Only a handful of races were on the ballot for Central Texans, among which were Republican runoffs for state representative, Congress, and a special election for state senator.
The July 14 runoffs occurred because candidates did not gain outright majorities in the March primary races, leading to a rematch between the top two, and the Senate special election was triggered after the current senator left his position for a university job.
In the contest for the Senate District 14, a geographical area that includes much of Austin and all of Bastrop County, voters did not pick a clear winner out of the six candidates, thus setting up a runoff between the top two. Democrat former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt earned 49.66 percent of the votes, just shy of winning outright, and she will face the second-place finisher, current Democrat State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, who scored almost 34 percent of the votes. Gov. Greg Abbott has yet to announce a date for this election.
Meanwhile, in the race for U.S. Representative in District 17, which spans from Waco to College Station, former longtime Rep. Pete Sessions continued his comeback to Congress by winning 54 percent of the vote, edging Waco businesswoman Renee Swann.
Back in the Austin area, voters chose their Republican candidates for two state representative runoff contests.
In House District 45, a stretch of Hays and Blanco counties, Carrie Isaac won with almost 65 percent of votes, soundly defeating Kent “Bud” Wymore. Isaac is the wife of former State Rep. Jason Isaac.
In Austin’s House District 47, Austin police officer Justin Berry defeated attorney and conservative activist Jennifer Fleck, 54-45.
All of the Republican runoff winners will face Democrats in the November general election.