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Women Make History in 2018 Midterm Election

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Check out the results of key Texas and Austin-area elections.

By Chantal Rice

Election Day in Texas was nothing if not engrossing. With lots of local venues hosting election-results viewing parties featuring food-and-drink specials, campaign staffers working late to help get out the vote and Central Texans flocking to the polls in impressive numbers, the midterm election was definitely top of mind for many in the community.

While Democrats won the House of Representatives, creating a first-ever check of this kind on the Trump administration, and the election marked some significant firsts throughout the country (Colorado elected the first openly gay governor in democrat Jared Polis, Minnesota elected the first Muslim women to Congress, New Mexico and Kansas elected the first Native American women to Congress and Texas elected the state’s first two Hispanic women to Congress.), many are also touting the overall increase in women participating at all levels of democracy.

According to CNN, the 2018 midterm election saw a “record high number of women running,” and as of the morning after Election Day, the media organization projected 96 women would win House races, with 31 of those women being newly elected.

In Central Texas, several female candidates, particularly those who had not previously run (MJ Hegar, Julie Oliver), garnered much support in their well-publicized campaigns against white male incumbents.

Based on results of the election, it’s clear the country remains firmly divided on the issues and the candidates. But perhaps the most telling aspect of this midterm election pointing to change comes in the form of more women simply getting involved.

Austinite Patti Kelly, who had never worked on a political campaign before, joined the campaign of democrat Joseph Kopser, who was running as a United States representative for Texas’ 21st District, because she felt called to try to personally make a difference and effect some change.

“I joined this campaign because I’m tired of leaders in Washington who have ceded authority to fear, racism, falsehoods and schoolyard name-calling to advance extreme agendas unparalleled in modern American politics,” Kelly says. “Our country, sadly, feels more divided than ever before due to the current political climate. There is a glimmer of hope, though: the women’s movement that has been gaining momentum in recent years. The Women’s March down Congress Avenue in Austin earlier this year is a great example. Women are joining hands and coming together stronger than ever, and change is happening because women are speaking out.”

Those sentiments are shared by many other Austin-area women, and Kelly says she noticed an increase in women getting involved with a variety of campaigns and voting in record numbers this election.

“While we may not all agree on every issue, I believe there is a universal desire among women to be treated equally, to have access to good health care and the opportunity for jobs that help us support our families, and for our children to be safe from gun violence,” she says. “Women are voting for people over party because we are ready for elected officials who listen to us and fight for us.”

Despite some narrow wins and some devastating loses on both side of the political spectrum, the 2018 midterm election made one thing clear: When it comes to politics, women are here to stay.

Key 2018 Midterm Election Results

  • S. Senate: republican Ted Cruz
  • Texas governor: republican Greg Abbott
  • Texas lieutenant governor: republican Dan Patrick
  • Texas attorney general: republican Ken Paxton
  • Texas comptroller: republican Glenn Hegar
  • Texas agriculture commissioner: republican Sid Miller
  • Texas land commissioner: republican George P. Bush
  • Railroad commissioner: republican Christi Craddick
  • S. House District 7: democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher
  • S. House District 22: republican Pete Olson
  • S. House District 23: republican Will Hurd
  • S. House District 32: democrat Colin Allred
  • Austin mayor: Steve Adler
  • Austin City Council District 1: runoff election scheduled for Mariana Salazar and Natasha Harper-Madison
  • Austin City Council District 3: runoff election scheduled for Sabino “Pio” Renteria and Susana Almana
  • Austin City Council District 5: Ann Kitchen
  • Austin City Council District 8: runoff election scheduled for Paige Ellis and Frank Ward
  • Austin City Council District 9: Kathie Tovo
  • Proposition A: passed
  • Proposition B: passed
  • Proposition C: passed
  • Proposition D: passed
  • Proposition E: passed
  • Proposition F: passed
  • Proposition G: passed
  • Proposition H: passed
  • Proposition I: passed
  • Proposition J: failed
  • Proposition K: failed
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