The results of the Nov. 6 general election long ago sank in, Harris County solidly blue now, Texas a bit more purplish than bright red.
The lingering headlines for West U-Bellaire:
•A new congressional representative, as moderate Democrat Lizzie Fletcher, boosted by straight-party voting that favored Democrats and by incumbent U.S. Rep. John Culberson’s allegiance to President Trump, won convincingly.
•The survival of Republican State Rep. Sarah Davis in District 134. She fended off a challenge from the governor in her own party primary, and was barely dampened by the blue wave. Now she not only holds on to her seat but is positioned to become an even more powerful influence in Austin.
•The loss of County Judge Ed Emmett, a Bellaire HS and Rice University alumnus and West U resident who had been viewed as iconic after helping Harris County hunker down through hurricanes and floods.
•West University and Bellaire had five out of the top precincts in Harris County in terms of voter turnout — and this was in a midterm election with record turnout. The highest of the 1,012 precincts in Harris County was Precinct 896 in the Museum District, with 77.18 percent turnout, but these performed admirably: Number 2 was West U Precinct 15, with 76.7 percent, Number 8 was West U Precinct 133 at 75.18 percent; Bellaire Precinct 215 in the 13th place with 74.23 percent, Number 22 was West U Precinct 87, with 73.6 percent turnout, and Number 29 was West U Precinct 183, with 73.03 percent casting ballots.
•A footnote: After the election, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that will eliminate the option of voting a straight party ticket, starting in 2020.
•And a reminder: Republicans were just as enamored with straight-ticket voting as Democrats, as evidenced by this invitation. After remaining quiet on the issue during the recent legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law following the election that will eliminate the straight-ticket voting option starting in 2020.
Essentials voting data from West U and Bellaire
West U and Bellaire voters showed their independence by re-electing their Republican state legislators and opting for the GOP at the top of the state ticket, retaining their loyalty to Ed Emmett, but choosing Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher for Congress. And if they’d had their druthers, Beto O’Rourke would be representing them in the U.S. Senate. Here’s a breakdown of some key races.
Straight ticket voting West U Bellaire
GOP 33.91% 32.98%
Democrat 25.48% 28.40%
For County Judge West U Bellaire
Ed Emmett 66.47% 61.73%
Lina Hidalgo 29.24% 33.49%
For State Rep. 134
Sarah Davis 64.54% 58.99%
Allison Lami Sawyer 33.21% 38.47%
For Congressional 7
Lizzie Pannill Fletcher 52.66% 54.22%
John Culberson 46.63% 44.89%
For U.S. Senate
Ted Cruz 43.46% 45.05%
Beto O’Rourke 55.21% 53.54%
Featured in Essentials Magazine, December 2018