News

Texans cast record number of votes in 2020 election

This has been a Texas election season for the record books! Texans shattered the early vote numbers with 9.7 million casting their ballots before October 30, surpassing the 9 million total votes cast in the 2016 elections. By the end of election night, more than 11 million Texans had cast their ballots. In Bexar County, voter turnout was 64 percent, with 596,961 of the 760,931 coming in during early voting.

The sprawling SD-19 will now be represented by Rep. Roland Gutierrez, (D) of San Antonio who defeated incumbent Sen. Pete Flores, (R) of Pleasanton. Flores was first elected in a special election in September 2018. SD-19 spans from southern Bexar County to the South Texas border and west to Big Bend and includes the communities of Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Alpine.

The Democrats only needed nine seats to take control of the Texas House. Both parties have been intensely engaged with thirty-four battleground districts in play and spent a record combined $40 million including in-kind donations. Although a few votes are still being counted, the Texas House looks to remain the same. The only changes were two seats in Harris County where an incumbent Republican and Democrat each lost their seats.

Although this cycle produced few changes in the ratio of Republicans and Democrats in the Texas House, the closeness of the election results may lay the groundwork for increased bipartisan cooperation to solve the state’s budgetary challenges. With Republicans in control of both Chambers the chances of completing passage of employer COVID liability shield legislation is high. Bexar County has seasoned, well-respected members. With the re-election of Steve Allison and new member Rep. Elect Liz Campos who is supported by business groups as well, San Antonio should be positioned for success in the House. Rep. Roland Gutierrez will be in his first term in the Senate and reduces the Lt. Governor’s margin for passage of bills.

Regarding the race for Speaker of the House, current members who filed include Reps. Chris Paddie of Marshall, Dade Phelan of Beaumont, Geanie Morrison of Victoria, and Trent Ashby of Lufkin. However, Rep. Dade Phelan announced earlier this week that he has secured a super majority of Republican caucus members and a broad coalition of support from Democratic members.

Additionally, San Antonians voted YES to all three citywide ballot propositions which would allocate sales tax revenue to fund a workforce training, expand mass transit, and continue Pre-K 4 SA. The Chamber’s Board of Directors supported all three ballot propositions by adopting position statements earlier this fall. Proposition A will continue the funding for Pre-K 4 SA with the renewal of a 1/8 cent sales tax to fund eight more years of the program. For Proposition B, the 1/8 cent tax for workforce development will fund a workforce training and education program, and for Proposition C, the 1/8 cent tax for SA: Ready to Work will be diverted to transportation after its funding expires at the end of 2025.

The $1.3 billion SAISD Bond was also approved by voters. Divided into two propositions (Prop A $1.21 billion; Prop B $90 million), the bond will address significant renovation and technology needs in District schools. Prop A will impact 36 campuses renovations and support safety and security upgrades in all District schools. Prop B will fund technology upgrades in every classroom including improvements to high-speed connectivity, individual devices, support tools, interactive smart boards and audio systems.

For more information on election results, contact Stephanie Reyes, VP of Public Policy at sreyes@sachamber.org or by phone at 210-229-2162.

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