Johnson County stays red; annexation passes
In no surprise, Johnson County remained a Republican stronghold in Tuesday’s general election but Democrats made major inroads in other races around Texas.
The major race of the night and possibly in the nation, between Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O’Rourke was tight for United States Senator with Cruz pulling out a slim victory by just over 1 percent. But in Johnson County, Cruz walloped O’Rourke getting 75 percent of the vote (39,541 votes) to O’Rourke’s 23 percent (12,395).
“I am disappointed,” said Linda Brown, Johnson County Democratic Party Chairperson. “We’re going to have to work harder. And we worked really hard up here in Johnson County.”
Republican Roger Williams defeated Democratic contender Julie Williams 55.6 percent to 44.7 percent in the race to represent District 25 in the United States House of Representatives. Williams garnered 76 percent of the vote to retain his seat.
“It is an honor to be entrusted by the people of Texas’ 25th Congressional District to do what is right for this nation,” Williams said in a press release. “And I pledge to never give up the fight for our Texas values for lower taxes, less government, defending the borders, strengthening our military and taking care of our veterans.”
In a race with some local flavor to it, Democrat Beverly Powell, the mother of Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter, topped Republican incumbent Konni Burton in the Texas Senate District 10 race. Powell garnered 51.7 percent of the vote to Burton’s 48.2 percent.
Burton had been serving the district as its representative since 2014. The district has been historically shifting between the two major political parties.
“We had a great result, we had a really great campaign and at the end of the day, we had a strong victory, so, our campaign team is feeling pretty proud,” Powell said. “And I’m excited about where we’re headed here.”
Powell said her mission is to equitably reform the public education system, uplift local control and preserve local authority.
“Both our county officials and our municipal officials, we want to be sure that we keep control of our counties and cities,” Powell said. “The places closest to the voter.”
Voters reject “involuntary” annexation
Johnson County voters let their voice be heard on the property rights issue of annexation of unincorporated land by city governments.
Proposition A, which changes the county’s Tier 1 status to a Tier 2 status, passed with a large majority on Eection Day, Tuesday.
Texas law allows city governments to annex unincorporated land “involuntarily”, without the consent of the property owners.
Last December, local residents Peggie and Paul Jones started a petition drive to bring the proposition before voting. They started a general political action committee, Stop Forced Annexation in Johnson County, and were able to get the required 10 percent of registered voters’ signatures.
The proposition made it to the November elections. The proposal passed easily with 34,597 voting for and 10,049 voting against.
“I’m feeling excited, relieved, and you want to cry at the end of the day,” said Peggie Jones. “Because you’ve accomplished something that people are going to benefit from. We worked hard and spent a year of our life.”
Jones said the passing of the proposition gives residents the freedom to live their life as they chose.
“You live to live out in the county for a reason, and right now the city could annex your property and you don’t get a vote,” Jones said. “Now, what this does is, it gives a vote, gives people a voice in the future.”