(The Center Square) – Multiple Election Day races are heading to runoff elections, according to unofficial results.
In House District 2, two Republicans are heading to a runoff election: Brent Money, a former Greenville city councilman, and Jill Dutton, a former Van ISD school board member.
Money received 31.75% of the vote; Dutton received 25.26% in a six-candidate race, according to unofficial results published on the Secretary of State’s website.
The seat became open in May after state Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, was unanimously expelled by the Texas House of Representatives after having a sexual relationship with his 19-year-old intern.
The runoff election date has not yet been scheduled.
Multiple races are heading to a runoff in Houston, the largest city in Texas, according to unofficial results posted on the Harris County Clerk’s website.
Notably, for the first time in several elections, voting irregularities didn’t appear to occur in the county on Tuesday. Results from 99% of all voting centers were posted online within less than 12 hours as of mid-day Wednesday. The noticeable change occurred after the legislature passed election reform bills signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott that went into effect Sept. 1. One forced Harris County to revert its election oversight to the County Clerk’s Office.
Previously, the county commissioner’s court split the office’s function and created a new election’s administration office, which led to multiple voting irregularities occurring in the 2020 and 2022 elections. Numerous lawsuits were filed in response, alleging voter fraud and illegitimate or unknowable results. Some officials are still calling for some of the November 2022 races to be redone; a recent Secretary of State audit found county officials violated election law in the November 2022 election.
In multiple races in Houston, no candidate received 50% of the vote, resulting in a runoff election scheduled for Dec. 9.
Candidates squaring off to replace outgoing Houston Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner are state Sen. John Whitmire and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. They received 43% and 34.8% of the vote, respectively, in an 18-candidate race.
Three out of four city council at-large races (1, 2 and 4) are heading to a runoff election, as is the city comptroller race, and city council member races for districts D, G, and H.
In the three-candidate City Council-District G race, incumbent Mary Nan Huffman received 49.4% of the vote; well-known trial lawyer Tony Buzbee received 41.31%.
In the four-candidate city comptroller race, Democrat Chris Hollins received 44.81% of the vote; former Harris County treasurer and Republican Orlando Sanchez received 27.28%.
Hollins, the former Harris County Clerk who was sued for implementing drive-through voting and an alleged ballot harvesting scheme in 2020, resigned four months after he took the job.
Changes he implemented prompted a Secretary of State forensic audit and the legislature passing laws to prevent widespread voter irregularities that allegedly occurred in the 2020 and 2022 elections in Harris County from occurring in other large counties.
County efforts to stop the law from going into effect this September were halted by the Texas Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, voters also passed all but one of 14 constitutional amendments and approved or rejected billions of dollars’ worth of bonds and property tax increases depending on the city, county or school district in which they live.
This includes overwhelmingly approving the largest bond of $2.5 billion in Texas (principal only) to expand the Harris County hospital system located in the Houston Medical Center and surrounding areas.