News 8 Election Day blog

Rick Perry

Credit: AP

The Associated Press has declared GOP incumbent Rick Perry the winner of the Texas governor's race.

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WFAA

Posted on November 2, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 3 at 9:33 AM

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WFAA-TV's team of reporters across Texas brings you the latest Election Day news.

10:04 p.m. Well, folks. Texas has spoken. And we’re on the right track by exercising one of the most precious rights. Citizens of our state have sent a very clear message with their votes that they are optimistic about the future of our country and they believe Texas is headed in the right direction. Today’s results affirm what we all know about Texas votes and they don’t take their decisions lightly. And they are far more likely to base their decision on real-life issues like good jobs, safe neighborhoods, accountable schools for their kids. They know that the answer to the challenges of their daily lives won’t be solved by bigger government and all of that entails. And Texans aren’t alone in that regard. All across the country, in precinct after precinct, the way that this dissatisfaction has been building for two years, it crested tonight in the form of conservatives winning offices and champions of big government are cleaning out their offices right now. Governor Perry speaking to supporters.

9:35 p.m. Texas Democrats were bracing for a bloodbath in the Texas House, where Republicans could pick up 20 or more seats. The Republican sweep threatened incumbents who weren't even considered vulnerable before Tuesday night. Even the leader of the House Democrats, Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, was trailing in a race that was too close to call as the hours wore on. Democratic consultant Jeff Crosby said it was "shaping up to be an awful night." Returns were still coming in, and results could change, but more than 25 Democratic incumbents were trailing Tuesday night. Heading into Tuesday, the 150-member chamber was split in favor of Republicans 75-73 with two vacancies. Associated Press

9:26 p.m. Right here at the GOP party in Buda, which is south of Austin at this wild game reserve, everyone is happy here. They have reason to be. All the state-wide candidates have won down the ballot. We are waiting for Perry to come out at 10 p.m. for what will undoubtedly be a rousing acceptance speech. Brad Watson in Buda, south of Austin

9:12 p.m. Bill White conceded to Gov. Perry. He told about 500 supporters in Houston that he wishes Perry well and congratulated him on winning his third consecutive term. White said he plans to "return to the private sector and continue to contribute." White was flanked on stage by his wife Andrea, daughter Elena, and two sons for his 11-minute speech. Jason Whitely in Houston To watch the clip, click here.

9:01 p.m. No words can express the gratitude we feel for tens of thousands of Texans who have given their treasure, their talent and their time because they had a vision of Texas for the future. We appreciate your efforts. We hope this campaign has been worthy. And we will never forget what you have done. Your work may have fallen short of a majority we needed to have a new vision of leadership for this state, in a very difficult election year, but you have created a new coalition of Texans young and old, of all backgrounds, remarkably by partisan who want our state to move forward. I want to tell you, this will be an enduring legacy. I hope you keep this work alive because it is something powerful and its time will come in our state. And to our campaign staff, a remarkable group of people, the most remarkable group of people I’ve ever met, we love you. And the confidence you had in us, well, there’s no words that can express the honor my family has felt by all your hard work and effort. Bill White to supporters in Houston. To watch the clip, click here.

8:48 p.m. Here's a look at winners of major statewide races and congressional races in Texas on Tuesday:

GOVERNOR -- Rick Perry, Republican incumbent.

ATTORNEY GENERAL -- Greg Abbott, Republican incumbent.

COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS -- Susan Combs, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 1 -- Louie Gohmert, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 2 -- Ted Poe, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 3 -- Sam Johnson, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 4 -- Ralph Hall, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 5 -- Jeb Hensarling, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 6 -- Joe Barton, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 7 -- John Culberson, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 8 -- Kevin Brady, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 9 -- Al Green, Democratic incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 11 -- Mike Conaway, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 12 -- Kay Granger, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 13 -- Mac Thornberry, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 14 -- Ron Paul, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 17 -- Bill Flores, Republican challenger.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 18 -- Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 19 -- Randy Neugebauer, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 21 -- Lamar Smith, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 22 -- Pete Olson, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 24 -- Kenny Marchant, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 26 -- Michael Burgess, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 30 -- Eddie Bernice Johnson, Democratic incumbent.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 31 -- John Carter, Republican incumbent.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 32 -- Pete Sessions, Republican incumbent. Associated Press

 8:41 p.m. Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards was ousted Tuesday night after 20 years in Congress. Republican Bill Flores, an oil and gas executive who had never run for public office, defeated the longtime congressman by capitalizing on anti-government sentiment sweeping the nation. Many voters had grown impatient with what they say is a slow-moving economic recovery. But Edwards had distanced himself from President Barack Obama's policies and said he had an independent voting record. Edwards was no stranger to tough races, as the central Texas district was one of the most conservative in the nation represented by a Democrat. His closest race was in 2004, when he was the only Texas Democrat in a competitive race to keep his seat after the GOP-led redrawing of the state's congressional districts. Associated Press

8:40 p.m. Greg Abbott, GOP, elected Attorney General, Texas. Associated Press

8:37 p.m. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dem, elected U.S. House, District 30, Texas. Associated Press

8:35 p.m. Campaign now saying Bill White due downstairs to talk to supporters about 8:45 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. Uncertain what White will say. Family is supposed to be at his side. White trails Perry in the Texas Gubernatorial election. ABC, CNN have already declared Gov. Perry won re-election. Jason Whitely in Houston

8:30 p.m. U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards defeated after 20 years in office by GOP challenger Bill Flores. Associated Press

8:25 p.m. Republican Gov. Rick Perry has defeated Democrat Bill White to win a third four-year term as Texas governor. Perry hammered hard all year on the theme that the Texas economy is better than many states and that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created during his decade in office. He also repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama and national Democrats and tried to link White to them. White is the former Houston mayor. He kept his distance from the president and cast himself as an independent Democrat. He had claimed Perry had been governor too long and that he was using his office to reward his friends and campaign donors. Associated Press

8:23 p.m. Bill White about to address supporters at his election party in Houston. Hundreds in the crowd and they remain upbeat as returns come in from across Texas showing White trailing Gov. Perry. Jason Whitely in Houston

8:06 p.m. Here's a look at winners of major statewide races and congressional races in Texas on Tuesday:

COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS -- Susan Combs, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 1 -- Louie Gohmert, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 2 -- Ted Poe, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 3 -- Sam Johnson, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 4 -- Ralph Hall, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 5 -- Jeb Hensarling, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 7 -- John Culberson, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 8 -- Kevin Brady, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 9 -- Al Green, Democratic incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 11 -- Mike Conaway, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 12 -- Kay Granger, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 13 -- Mac Thornberry, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 14 -- Ron Paul, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 18 -- Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 19 -- Randy Neugebauer, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 22 -- Pete Olson, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 24 -- Kenny Marchant, Republican incumbent.

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 26 -- Michael Burgess, Republican incumbent.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 31 -- John Carter, Republican incumbent.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 32 -- Pete Sessions, Republican incumbent.

Associated Press

 

7:46 p.m. Ron Paul, GOP, elected U.S. House, District 14, Texas. Associated Press

7:44 p.m. Republican candidates for the Texas House were poised to wipe out recent Democratic gains and tighten their grip on the chamber. Republicans have a majority in the House now -- but barely. The 150-member chamber is split 75-73 with two vacancies. The GOP had been expected to strengthen their majority during Tuesday's elections. That expectation appeared to be heading toward fulfillment in early vote returns. Several incumbents, most of them Democrats, had been considered vulnerable in their districts as hostility over Wall Street bailouts, the national debt and government spending influenced many voters' decisions. Changes in the Texas House could have a big effect on the upcoming legislative session. A Republican sweep could determine whether moderate Republican Speaker Joe Straus wins another term against a more conservative challenger. Associated Press

7:36 p.m. WACO -- Several Republican congressmen in Texas have been re-elected, while two longtime Democrats were in tight races. U.S. Reps. Mac Thornberry, Pete Sessions, Ralph Hall, Randy Neugebauer, Louie Gohmert, Sam Johnson, Jeb Hensarling and Michael Burgess have won re-election. Meanwhile, Democratic Reps. Chet Edwards of Waco and Ciro Rodriguez of San Antonio were struggling to stay in office amid anti-incumbency fervor. Edwards, who has represented a conservative central Texas district for two decades, and his GOP opponent, Bill Flores, were neck-in-neck after early voting. Rodriguez, who has been in office 11 years, was slightly trailing his opponent, Francisco Canseco, in early voting numbers. Associated Press

7:34 p.m. Republican Gov. Rick Perry is leading Democratic challenger Bill White in early election returns. Perry had 57 percent of the vote compared with White's 41 percent as early votes were counted Tuesday. The long-serving Perry is attempting to win a third full term. White, the former mayor of Houston, was considered the Democrats' best hope in years to win the Texas' top office. Associated Press

7:29 p.m. Here's a look at the results of major statewide races and congressional races that were on Tuesday's election ballots: ----COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS -- Susan Combs, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 1 -- Louie Gohmert, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 3 -- Sam Johnson, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 4 -- Ralph Hall, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 5 -- Jeb Hensarling, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 7 -- John Culberson, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 8 -- Kevin Brady, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 13 -- Mac Thornberry, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 18 -- Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 19 -- Randy Neugebauer, Republican incumbent. ------

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 26 -- Michael Burgess, Republican incumbent. ------

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 32 -- Pete Sessions, Republican incumbent. Associated Press

7:29 p.m. Supporters have yet to arrive at Bill White's campaign party in a downtown Houston hotel. It's uncertain if the candidate is here, his campaign would not say. Early voting results for Harris County (Houston) show Gov. Perry leading with 52 percent of the vote compared to White's 46%. Jason Whitely in Houston

7:27 p.m. Cheryl Johnson, GOP, elected Criminal Appeals Court, Place 5, Texas. Associated Press

7:26 p.m. Republican incumbents Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott led their Democratic challengers in returns from early voting. Dewhurst led Linda Chavez-Thompson while Abbott was ahead of Barbara Ann Radnofsky when the early returns were announced Tuesday. Both Dewhurst and Abbott are seeking third terms in offices. Chavez-Thompson is a labor leader and vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Radnofsky is a Houston attorney who ran unsuccessfully for Kay Bailey Hutchison's U.S. Senate seat in 2006. Other Republican incumbents, including Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, also led their Democratic opponents in early returns. State Comptroller Susan Combs, who didn't face a Democratic challenger, won her bid for re-election. Associated Press

7:26 p.m. Jim Jackson, GOP, elected State House, District 115, Texas. Associated Press

7:25 p.m. Sheila Jackson Lee, Dem, elected U.S. House, District 18, Texas. Associated Press

7:22 p.m. John Culberson, GOP, elected U.S. House, District 7, Texas. Associated Press

7:20 p.m. Pete Sessions, GOP, elected U.S. House, District 32, Texas. Associated Press

7:09 p.m. The tea party is sending two of its favorite sons to the Senate with decisive victories for Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. The victories for Paul in Kentucky and Rubio in Florida gave tea party activists two voices in Congress' upper chamber and two Cinderella stories for the 2010 campaign. Both were long shots when they declared their candidacies, but won over voters with anti-Washington, anti-tax campaigns. Associated Press

7:03 p.m. Christine O'Donnell has been defeated in her  Senate bid from Delaware. But another tea party hopeful, Marco Rubio, is the winner in Florida.  Associated Press

6:59 p.m.: Bill White's campaign staff decided not to let photographers shoot his arrival at his election party inside the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston. The campaign said it would shoot still photographs of White watching the returns and make them available to the media. He is expected to watch returns from a hotel room above his party. Supporters have yet to arrive in the ballroom. Jason Whitely in Houston

6:07 p.m. Danny Clancy said he would feel comfortable with any lead coming out of the early voting numbers but would feel more comfortable if he was up 6 or 7 points. It is an upbeat and positive Clancy who will take in today’s results with close friends and family at the Hotel Palomar, hoping to ride the wave of energized and motivated Republican voters across the country. Clancy has promised to change the tone of the District Attorney’s office, including patching up a rocky relationship the office has had with county commissioners. But one thing he has no plans on changing is the conviction integrity unit, something his opponent Craig Watkins has received high praise for. Craig Civale in Dallas

6:05 p.m. We are live at the Jack Daniel’s club inside the American Airlines Center. This is where District Attorney Craig Watkins will hold what he hopes will be a victory party. The party was supposed to be outside on the plaza, but with this rainy weather, they've moved it inside. This is probably the hottest, highest profile race in Dallas County. Republican challenger Danny Clancy and Democratic incumbent Craig Watkins have traded insults and charges of racism. We don’t have video of Watkins today. His campaign said his schedule was too hectic, and that his schedule was constantly changing because of the weather and traffic. They could never tell us where he was. Democrats are counting on Watkins to energize their base and turn out voters, hoping his popularity will translate into votes for judges and other races down ballot. Watson has gained national attention for his efforts to free the wrongly convicted but his opponent has tried to make that into a negative by claiming spends too much time getting publicity and not enough time prosecuting cases. Gary Reaves in Dallas

5:25 p.m. Casey Norton shows how WFAA-TV will be gathering election results. Click here to watch the video.

5:16 p.m. . In Tarrant County, there are some big interest referendums on the ballot. I just talked to the Tarrant County elections administrator and he is a happy man. He said they have had no problems today. It has been smooth sailing for voters. He said the turnout has been healthy in the precincts he has been in touch with so far. Thirty five of 58 races on the general ballot have only one candidate. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and DA Joe Shannon are unopposed. Incumbents, facing opposition, include Representative Lon Burnam. His opponent, Larry Keilberg, has lost to him in three previous elections. Chris Hawes in Tarrant County

5:14 p.m. Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Bill White is at his Houston home relaxing and exercising, a spokeswoman told News 8. White, Houston's former mayor, along with his wife, son and daughter, plan to arrive at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston just before 7:00 p.m. where his election party is planned. The White's will watch statewide election returns privately from a hotel room.   Jason Whitely in Houston

5:07 p.m. It has been smooth going most of the afternoon here in Collin County. But that wasn't the case this morning, when several polling places had problems. Elections administrator, Sharon Rowe, told us voting machines were set up wrong at three voting sites, causing delays for voters. "We did have three locations where the election official inadvertently opened up the encoder machines and set them to election, which means it became a voting machine. They had no unit to encode a voter's card and prepare for access into the voting booth. We sent a technician out at 6:30 a.m. this morning and at three locations, we were able to remedy that very quickly."Steve Stoler in Collin County

5:05 p.m.: WFAA political analyst Colleen McCain Nelson of The Dallas Morning News editorial board said Republicans urged Texas voters Tuesday to cast a straight party ticket. "I think local Republicans have definitely been energized by the tea party movement and they're hoping this national frustration with the Obama administration will kind of carryover and help them net some wins locally."

But the first exit polls nationally showed the president might not be the only target of voter frustration. "People are blaming Wall Street — although I don't know how that translates into votes — but some people are also blaming Bush, and down the list is Obama," McCain Nelson said. "We'll see how that translates into votes." Casey Norton in Dallas

3:42 p.m.: The Texas Republican Party plans to hold its election night party at a pavilion at an exotic game ranch south in Austin. (See photo). Brad Watson in Austin

2:40 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Fort Worth forecasts an 80 percent chance of rain this afternoon – just in time for the lunchtime voting crowd. By the time voting booths close at 7 p.m., the chance of showers could rise to 90 percent, with a thunderstorm possible. The dreary weather, limited mainly to North and Northeast Texas, will also include temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s. Dallas Morning News

12:20 p.m.: The Texas Secretary of State's Office says so many people got on its website today looking for polling places -- the site briefly became overwhelmed. Associated Press

Noon: A strong Election Day turnout was reported across North Texas. But at least one Dallas citizen was concerned that his vote wouldn't count. Theodore Smith said when he cast a paper ballot at the Park Central Baptist Church polling place Tuesday morning, he was given a "Sharpie" marker to fill in the ovals next to his preferred candidates. But Smith was dismayed when he flipped over the two-sided ballot and saw the marks from page one bleeding through to the other side. Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet said there is no cause for alarm because the marking areas on each side of the ballot are specially offset so as not to interfere with the other side. So even if marks from one side bleed through, the scanner will not "see" them. Sherbet said Dallas County has been successfully using the same paper ballot scheme for a dozen years, and he is confident in the system's accuracy. Cynthia Vega in Dallas

11:40 a.m.: The three Americans orbiting the planet on Election Day have cast their ballots. Space station astronaut Scott Kelly voted Sunday via a secure e-mail system. Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker also voted recently 200-plus-miles up. Kelly said Tuesday it was an "honor and a privilege" to vote from the International Space Station. As for the six shuttle astronauts headed soon to the space station, they voted back home in Houston before heading to NASA's Florida launch site last week. Discovery is scheduled to lift off Wednesday. Texas legislators passed a bill in 1997 allowing astronauts to vote from orbit. Space station residents have taken advantage of that many times since. Associated Press

9:50 a.m.: Texas voters are deciding whether GOP Gov. Rick Perry should get a third four-year term as he is challenged by Democrat Bill White. Secretary of State's Office spokesman Randall Dillard says the agency's website had heavy usage Tuesday morning for people trying to find polling places. The state has more than 8,400 precincts. The agency had a brief interruption for counties trying to assess a statewide voter registration list. Dillard says hopefully any glitch Tuesday morning had been corrected and "we think it is." The governor's race tops the ballot. Offices are up for grabs along with all 32 of the state's congressional seats, half of the Texas Senate, the entire Texas House, one-third of the Texas Supreme Court and portions of the state civil and criminal appeals courts and board of education. Associated Press

 

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