Follow Austin and Central Texas election results live

On Election Night, five Austin City Council seats are up for grabs, and the fate of a $720 million transportation bond to address the city’s traffic problems will be determined. Across the Austin area, votes are also coming in for races in Travis, Hays, Bastrop and Williamson counties. Follow along as the American-Statesman blogs results and big stories from around Central Texas.

Polls in Travis County close at 7 p.m. If you’re still looking for information on where to vote, click here. In the meantime, we’ll bring you updates that we see throughout the day.

ALSO LIVE ON ELECTION NIGHT: National elections | Texas elections | Follow on Twitter | Follow on Facebook | Complete Election 2016 coverage

(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)
(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

12:30 a.m. update: It’s official. Delia Garza, Greg Casar and Leslie Pool have been re-elected to the Austin City Council. Sheri Gallo of District 10 will head into a runoff and Council Member Don Zimmerman of District 6 has been ousted by his challenger Jimmy Flannigan.

Gallo narrowly missed re-election. She won 48 percent of the vote but failed to gain a majority. She will face challenger Alison Alter who garnered 36 percent of the vote.

“Facing three challengers and tens of thousands of dollars in negative attacks for the past three months, tonight I am honored to be the clear leader in the race for District 10. We have a strong and commanding position in this field, and tomorrow we begin working twice as hard to win this runoff election on December 13,” Gallo said in a statement early Wednesday morning. “I have won a runoff before and I am totally confident I will win this runoff too.”

Austin voters approved a $720 million transportation bond by a margin of 59 percent to 41 percent.

Garza, who made history when she became the first Latina elected to the council in 2014, has again made history by becoming the first Latina re-elected to the council in the city.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty eeked out a win in his race for Precinct 3 against challenger David Holmes. Daugherty, the sole conservative on the commissioner’s court, got 52 percent of the vote compared to 48 percent of the vote for Holmes, a Democrat.

Jeff Travillion easily won his election for Precinct 1 in the Travis County Commissioners Court, garnering 68 percent of the vote. Travillion will replace longtime commissioner Ron Davis.

Democrat Margaret Moore won the Travis County District Attorney race by a margin of almost 2-to-1 against Republican challenger Maura Phelan. She becomes the 20th consecutive Democratic district attorney in the county, going back to 1873.

Democrat Sally Hernandez also won the Travis County Sheriff election by a margin of 2-to-1 against Republican candidate Joe Martinez.

Correction: Sheri Gallo did not win re-election in Tuesday’s elections. She is headed into a run-off election against Alison Alter. 

12:06 a.m. update: The Travis County Clerk’s office will have final results for local elections within the next half hour, said Michael Winn, elections administrator for the office.

Winn said the delay in announcing the returns and the final results came because people voted until late Tuesday night. About 87,000 people voted in Travis County on Election Day. Including early voting, about 459,000 people voted in this year’s election.

-Reporting by Elizabeth Findell

midnight update: The presidential election may still be too close to call, but District 4 Councilman Greg Casar said Tuesday night that if a President Donald Trump came to visit Austin, he would not shake his hand. 

When asked, he simply responded: “No,” before recounting a story of a devastating phone call a constituent got at his election night party, earlier this evening. 

“I was at my [Election Night] party and I had a constituent get a phone call from his daughter crying… because she was watching the results, saying ‘are they going to take you away,” he said. “To me, I view being elected official as being supportive of movement work — labor movement work, civil rights movement work. Elected officials come and go and it’s clear to me, based on what’s happening tonight, the best thing I can do is to keep on supporting those movements.”

– Reporting by Nolan Hicks 

10:41 p.m. update: Jimmy Flannigan, who leads incumbent Donald Zimmerman in the race to represent District 6 in the Austin City Council, made an apparent nod to Hillary Clinton’s sinking chances to win the presidency in his victory speech.

“In Austin, we know how to get rid of The Donald,” he said, referring to his opponent, Zimmerman, but also making a reference to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who holds a surprising lead in the election Tuesday night.

Flannigan made the comments at the Travis County Democrats’ election party, where the mood had grown tense with Clinton’s plummet in the polls and Trump’s seeming path toward the presidency.

10 p.m. update: Margaret Moore and Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidates for Travis County District Attorney and Sheriff, gave joint victory speeches, according to KUT reporter Syeda Hasan.

The two Democrats held commanding leads in the latest returns with Moore leading with 67 percent of the vote and Hernandez leading with 62 percent of the vote.

“I think it’s a pretty good night to be a female candidate in Travis County,” Moore said, according to Hasan.

8:55 p.m. update: Mayor Steve Adler declared victory for his $720 million transportation bond measure Tuesday night, telling the hundred-or-so supporters in a crowded back room of a downtown bar that the work has just begun.

“This is a magical place, but we’re only going to be able to maintain that if we actually do what needs to be done to deal with the challenges that we have and they are mobility and they are affordability and they’re linked,” Adler said. “Now, the work begins.”

He said the city would likely get to work first on the “safe routes” to schools and sidewalks, saying they were among the most “shovel-ready” projects.

8:45 p.m. update: The campaign of Don Zimmerman, the District 6 City Councilman, told the American-Statesman it sees “no way of overcoming the early voting” which showed Zimmerman trailing his challenger Jimmy Flannigan by 42 to 58 percent.

Zimmerman told KUT Austin he would “probably” make a concession speech.

Joe Martinez, the Republican candidate for Travis County sheriff, also seemed to give up on his race. After early returns showed him down by more than 30 percentage points, he told Community Impact Newspapers: “Looks like Mrs. Hernandez just won. It is what it is. The people have spoken, and I respect their honesty and their ability come out and vote.”

He told the American-Statesman he was not conceding but said he respected the voters’ choice.

8:30 p.m. update: It’s a tight race in the Travis County Precint 3 Commissioner’s election between incumbent Gerald Daugherty and challenger David Holmes.

Daugherty, the sole conservative in the commissioner’s court, leads with 50.16 percent of the vote with 121,449 votes counted. During his time on the court, Daugherty has focused on keeping spending tight, insisting on keeping the county’s tax rate near the effective tax rate and taking lower salaries than those adopted by the Commissioner’s Court.

8:20 p.m. update: We’ve still only seen early voting results in Travis County elections, but state senator and former Austin mayor Kirk Watson feels confident enough. He tweeted out a congratulatory note to Margaret Moore, the Democratic candidate in the Travis County District Attorney’s race.

Moore led her Republican opponent Maura Phalen by more than 30 percentage points in early voting returns.

8 p.m. update: Democrat Margaret Moore holds a commanding lead after early voting returns in the race to replace Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Moore had garnered 64 percent of the early vote compared to Republican candidate Maura Phelan’s 33 percent. The last 20 Travis County District Attorneys have been Democrats. A Republican hasn’t won the office since 1873.

7:45 p.m update: Hillary Clinton had a commanding lead in Travis County early voting results, garnering 68 percent of the more than 360,000 early ballots that were cast. Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, won 27 percent of the early votes in the county.

7:40 p.m. update: Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidate for Travis County Sheriff, has a big lead in early voting returns. She leads her nearest competitor, Republican Joe Martinez, by a margin of nearly 30 percentage points, according to the Travis County Clerk’s office.

Hernandez has 62 percent of the early vote. Martinez has 31 percent. The two are vying to be the first new sheriff in the county in 12 years after current sheriff Greg Hamilton steps down at the end of his term.

The sheriff’s office cooperation with federal immigration authorities has been a central issue in the race. Hernandez first promised to do away with all cooperation with immigration authorities, but adjusted her stance after winning the Democratic primary. Martinez, who had said he would consider doing away with the current policy of cooperation with ICE, later reversed his stance and said he’d more aggressively cooperate with immigration authorities.

7:20 p.m. update: Austin’s proposed $720 million transportation bond saw strong support in early voting returns Tuesday night. Nearly 60 percent of the approximately 247,000 counted ballots had voted in favor of the proposition.

Most of the Austin City Council incumbents also held steady leads. In District 2, incumbent Delia Garza had won 66 percent of the vote with about 11,000 votes counted. Her opponents Casey Ramos and Wesley Faulkner had garnered 18 and 15 percent of the vote respectively.

In District 4, incumbent Greg Casar led his race by 64 percent of the vote with more than 9,000 votes counted. Incumbent Leslie Pool of District 7 had a large lead over her challenger Natalie Gauldin with 73 percent of the vote in early returns. Sheri Gallo, the incumbent in District 10, had a more competitive race with three challengers but was still leading the charge with 47 percent of the vote from early returns.

The only incumbent trailing in his race was District 6 City Council member Don Zimmerman, who was trailing challenger Jimmy Flannigan 58 to 42 percent in early voting returns.

6:45 p.m. update: With high voter turnout this election day, many people may see long lines as they show up to vote as the 7 p.m. deadline nears. The current wait time at Travis County election sites, according to the county clerk’s office, is about 18 minutes, which would be after the deadline.

With that in mind, the #StayInLine hashtag has started trending on Twitter to inform would-be voters that they have a right to exercise their vote if they are in line by 7 p.m. Potential voters who feel they have been denied their vote can make complaints with their state or local officials and can also file a complaint with the Department of Justice.

5:30 p.m. update: With polls still open for another hour and a half, officials have announced that the combined voter turnout for Travis and Williamson County has surpassed 100,000.

One of those voters was Monica Irvin of Cedar Park, who said she had to pray over her who she would vote for in the presidential election. She had her reservations about Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, but ultimately decided to vote for her. Here’s her conversation with Statesman reporter Sean Collins Walsh.

Follow Texas state election results live

The eyes of Texas are on races statewide during Election Night, including contests on the ballot for Texas House and Senate seats. Follow along as the American-Statesman blogs results and big stories from around the state.

ALSO LIVE ON ELECTION NIGHT: National elections | Local elections | Follow on Twitter | Follow on Facebook | Complete Election 2016 coverage

(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)
(Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)


11:26 p.m. update:

Meantime, the 2017 legislative session is a few weeks away:

11:22 p.m. update:

11:17 p.m. update:

More Texas reaction:

11:13 p.m. update:

11:07 p.m. update:

In the Austin area…

10:55 p.m. update:

Your evident Texas winners, based on incomplete returns, include:

Republican Donald Trump for president

Republican U.S. House members with Austin-area members in bold: Louie Gohmert (75%); Ted Poe (61%); Sam Johnson (62%); John Ratcliffe (88 %) ; Jeb Hensarling (79 %); Joe Barton (58 %); John Culberson (57 %); Michael McCaul (58 %): Mike Conaway (90 %); Kay Granger (70 %); Mac Thornberry (90 %); Randy Weber (62 %); Bill Flores (62 %); Jodey Arrington (88 %); Joaquin Castro (80 %); Lamar Smith (58 %); Pete Olson (60 %); Will Hurd (50 %); Kenny Marchant (57 %); Roger Williams (58 %); Michael Burgess (67 %); Blake Farenthold (71 %); John Carter (58 %); Pete Sessions (71 %); Brian Babin (89 %)

Democratic U.S. House winners with Austin-area member in bold: Al Green (81 %); Vicente Gonzalez (58 %); Beto O’Rourke (86 %); Sheila Jackson Lee (73 %); Henry Cuellar (62 %); Gene Green (73 %); Eddie Berniece Johnson (78 %); Marc Veasey (74 %); Filemon Vela (62 %); Lloyd Doggett (63 %)

Republican Wayne Christian, Texas Railroad Commission (53 %)

These percentages don’t reflect final vote tallies. Check here for the latest figures.

10:30 p.m. update:

An adviser to Dawn Buckingham fired at us about her historic status. Travis Richmond said by email that she’s poised to become the first Republican woman from Travis County in the Texas Senate in history; the previous 19 state senators from Travis County were Democrats. She’ll also be the first woman to represent the 24th Senate District — after 33 men, Richmond said.

10:25 p.m. update:

10:21 p.m. update:

Democratic Harris County?


10:12 p.m. update:

Buckingham hails from Lakeway in Travis County — hence the claim in her statement just issued to be the first Republican woman elected to the Texas Senate “from” the county.

Still, the county already had a female Republican state senator representing area residents. That would be state Sen. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels. See the contours of Campbell’s district here. Look at the district likely carried by Buckingham here.

9:59 p.m. update:

Dawn Buckingham, the Republican poised to succeed state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, just issued this victory statement:

“Today starts a new chapter in Texas history. Our conservative message of lower taxes, immigration reform, better health care and expanded educational opportunities resonated with voters throughout our district. As a result, I am humbled to be the first woman elected to represent Senate District 24, and the first Republican elected to the Texas Senate from Travis County in our state’s history. We started this run for the Texas Senate to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of Texans. We thank the Lord our God for His guidance, for our friends who believed in us, and for our family and staff who sacrificed with us along the way.”

At this moment, Buckingham, with 73 percent, leads her Democratic opponent by a wide margin.

9:55 p.m. update:

In this Facebook Live, Dallas Morning News reporter Todd Gillman reports from Hillary Clinton’s New York election watch.

9:50 p.m. update:

Mild noodling: If Trump’s Texas margin on Clinton holds–it’s 53 percent to 44 percent with 35 percent of precincts reporting–the Democrat will have done a few percentage points better than President Barack Obama did against Mitt Romney in 2012.

Romney won that race in the state with 57 percent to Obama’s 41 percent.

In 2008, Sen. John McCain won Texas with 55.5 percent to Obama’s 44 percent.

9:28 p.m. update:

Not unexpectedly, a judge who changed his party from R to D is losing his re-election bid — meaning the Democratic Party will again no longer have a statewide elected official, Chuck Lindell writes.

9:23 p.m. update:

Most precincts have yet to report. But a scroll through state election returns shows a few Democratic Texas House challengers running ahead of incumbents–with Victoria Neave neck and neck with Rep. Kenneth Sheets, R-Dallas.

Democratic challengers leading incumbents:

–Philip Cortez of San Antonio, 51 percent, versus Republican Rep. Rick Galindo, 49 percent

–Tomas Uresti of San Antonio, 55 percent, over Republican Rep. John Lujan, 45 percent

–Barbara Gervin-Hawkins of San Antonio, 78 percent, over Independent Rep. Laura Thompson, 22 percent

–Mary Ann Perez, 58 percent, ahead of Rep. Gilbert Peña of Pasadena

Republicans currently hold 99 of the House’s 150 seats. If I’m doing my math right, if the results above hold, they’ll be down to 96 seats. Democrats will hold 54 seats. YES: That’s two ifs.

What did I miss?

9:03 p.m. update:

Meantime in Austin:


8:50 p.m. update:

Sean Collins Walsh with more on Texas House incumbents imperiled:

Former Democratic state Rep. Philip Cortez is leading narrowly in his Bexar County rematch with GOP state Rep. Rick Galindo.

Cortez had just under 51 percent of the early vote.

Meanwhile, Democrats appear poised to take back two seats they lost in special elections in Bexar County.

Democrat Tomas Uresti, the brother of state Sen. Carlos Uresti, was well ahead of GOP state Rep. John Lujan of San Antonio.

And Democrat Barbara Gervin-Hawkins had 78 percent of the early vote over independent Laura Thompson.

8:45 p.m. update:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has spent much of the early evening tweeting congratulations to Republican Senate seat winners:

Meantime, possible 2018 Cruz challenger Michael McCaul, whose U.S. House district  runs from Austin east into Houston, thanked some volunteers a few hours ago:


8:43 p.m. update:

Our Jeremy Schwartz reported out early returns suggesting victories for U.S. Reps. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and Bill Flores, R-Bryan.

8:30 p.m. update:

At least one Texas House incumbent may be on the ropes, per early vote tallies. Sean Collins Walsh noted as much here.

Collins noted that former Democratic state Rep. Mary Ann Perez drew 58 percent of the early vote versus Republican state Rep. Gilbert Peña of Pasadena.

8:10 p.m. update

One of the only Washington, D.C. correspondents still beaming to Texas has a fix on the Will Hurd-Pete Gallego race. Hurd’s ahead, she writes here, but Gallego’s campaign remains hopeful. A jot later, Gallego edged ahead by about 2,000 votes with 21 of 1,119 precincts reporting.

8:03 p.m.

The Associated Press has called Texas for Donald Trump. Jonathan Tilove, our chief political write, is updating all night here.

8:01 p.m.

For the Green Party to automatically land on future statewide election ballots, one of its hopefuls in a statewide race today must draw at least 5 percent of the vote.

At this moment, the party’s nominee for the Railroad Commission, Martina Salinas, is giving the party its best shot. Salinas has garnered nearly 3 percent of the vote in the race led by Republican Wayne Christian. In the same race, Libertarian Mark Miller has nearly 5 percent of the vote.

The Green Party presidential nominee, Jill Stein, has compiled less than 1 percent of the Texas vote.

7:55 p.m. update:

The American-Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove has seen reports that Hillary Clinton has piled up more votes than Donald Trump in Texas; he’s now being told by state officials that those reports aren’t based on actual vote tallies. Watch for more.

7:40 p.m update:

In very early returns, presumably folding in early voting tallies, nearly every U.S. House incumbent is running ahead, according to the Texas Secretary of State.

Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes has 54 percent of the vote to challenger/former incumbent Democrat Pete Gallego’s 41 percent (though, again, these are very limited returns).

Otherwise, Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, trails Republican challenger Rey Gonzalez, 65 percent to 36 percent, with less than 1 percent of the vote tallied.

7:24 p.m. update:

Dawnna Dukes, who’s said she’ll retire from the Texas House in January, is nevertheless running way ahead of her challengers in early vote results–leading with 72 percent of the vote.

7:15 p.m. update:

Bud Kennedy, monitoring a vote about building a new Texas Rangers stadium, says the Rangers will be happy with the results:

7:13 p.m. update:

In extremely early returns, Donald Trump way ahead in Texas — and the Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, has landed 10 votes.


7:08 p.m. update:

The American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh reports:

As polls closed in Central Texas, state Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, jumped out to an early lead over Democratic challenger Paul Gordon. The race is likely to be the most competitive legislative contest in the Austin area.

In early voting returns, Dale had about 54 percent of the vote. That’s similar to the share of the vote he took while winning reelection in 2014.

6:59 p.m. update:

Top Texas conservative:

6:50 p.m. update:

Perspicacious Aman Batheja catches a forecast–Trump winning Texas by about six percentage points:

6:37 p.m. update:

Spot the anti-Trump anti-Clinton Austin resident running for president on your Texas ballot (below)


Same fellow here.

6:15 p.m. update:

A good part of this evening will be devoted to shout-outs like this one from a Texas Republican in the Texas House to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

6 p.m. update:

I don’t think this is right:

5:20 p.m. update:

Three minutes after I posted the update below, a Democratic cheerleader, Ed Sills of the Texas AFL-CIO, blasted out an email encouraging lollygaggers to vote.

Sills went on:

If you are looking for hopeful national signs, here are some tea leaves to read:

1)      Donald Trump’s campaign sued to impound votes in Las Vegas that were cast amid incredibly long early vote lines in minority precincts. The judge kicked their rear ends out of court:

2)      Pennsylvania, a key state (yea, the Keystone State) has no early voting but expects a turnout that exceeds 80 percent. Win or lose, high turnouts are great. They also tend to coincide with labor wins.

3)      Trump may be the first presidential candidate we have ever seen get booed before voting.

5 p.m. update: 

Congratulations Texas. Most of you have survived another long ballot including state races I’ll be watching after the polls close at 7 p.m.

Among the state’s 36 U.S. House members, a couple could be excused for turning in early: Reps. Rubén Hinojosa of McAllen and Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock didn’t seek re-election.

Put another way, voters are trading in a combined 34 years of House experience (20 for Hinojosa, 14 for Neugebauer).

Barring surprises, most other U.S. House incumbents likely stroll to victory though, of course, election nights are all about surprises. So stand by. (The American-Statesman’s Madlin Meklenburg spelled out the state’s general U.S. House non-competitiveness in October.)

In the Austin area, I’ve noted, sole Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett faces several challengers including Republican Susan Narvaiz and a perennial candidate, Libertarian Rhett Rosenquest Smith, who’s concerned Doggett doesn’t understand the Alamo.

Statewide, the only U.S. House race widely expected to be tight is the Will Hurd-Pete Gallego rematch to represent the sprawlingest district you can imagine–Congressional District 23, which runs from San Antonio south and west to El Paso. Hurd, the Republican incumbent, bested Gallego, the previous Democratic incumbent, two Novembers past. Gallego, a former longtime Texas House member, outran a different Republican in 2012 and that R beat the incumbent D in 2010.

Shameless plug: In my day job with the American-Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas fact-checking project, I’ve helped finish up several checks connected to their race. You can follow PolitiFact Texas on Twitter too.

Elsewhere on your state ballot (surely you remember):

  • A single statewide election for one of the three slots on the Comisionado de Ferrocarriles/Texas Railroad Commission, in charge of locomotives, cabooses and railyard smoke trails (NOT AT ALL: the commission regulates oil, gas and mining operations). Republicans nominated Wayne Christian, a former Texas House member making his second bid for the body. In October, the American-Statesman’s Asher Price found no signs of Libertarian Mark Miller or Democrat Grady Yarbrough prevailing in the race. That story also noted that Christian, who boasts he was once nominated for a Grammy, wasn’t making himself available for candidate debates.
  • Many Texas Senate and Texas House contests. Then again, close observers were forecasting only a few tight battles, all in the House, according to the American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh, who wrote, with mention of Donald Trump, in September: “The GOP’s enormous majorities in the Legislature aren’t in question – Republicans hold 99 of 150 seats in the Texas House and 20 of 31 in the state Senate – but Democrats are hoping that disdain for Trump among minority voters will make the difference for them in as many as nine GOP-held House seats.Walsh specified: “The targeted races include three in the Dallas area,  two in San Antonio,  two near Houston and one in Galveston. Almost all have large Hispanic populations. None are in the Austin area.

Still with me? Then enjoy this glimpse of the Grammy-nominated Mercy River Boys, featuring Wayne Christian on the right–with one of their songs right below.

What are you noticing out there?