Tuesday’s election represented a win for incumbency, especially in the races most relevant to local residents.
The area’s representatives in Congress and the Texas Legislature held on to their seats, as did the previously elected officials on a countywide level, according to unofficial election results released Wednesday morning by the Harris County Clerk’s Office. About 1.65 million county residents voted in all, good for 67 percent turnout among registered voters.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat, coasted to a 14th term in District 18, which includes parts of the Heights, Garden Oaks and Oak Forest areas. She had received 73.3 percent of the 245,602 votes cast, while Republican Wendell Champion received 23.5 percent of the vote and Libertarian Luke Spencer and independent Vince Duncan garnered less than 2 percent apiece.
Despite the lopsided loss overall, Champion received more votes than Jackson Lee in some Garden Oaks and Oak Forest-area precincts.
In District 2, which includes the western part of Oak Forest as well as the Timbergrove Manor and Lazybrook areas, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw won a second term. The Republican held off Democratic challenger Sima Ladjevardian, who conceded the race after receiving 42.3 percent of the 351,609 votes cast in that race.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, beat Democrat MJ Hegar and two other challengers to continue representing Texas in the U.S. Senate, even though Hegar received more votes in Harris County. President Donald Trump also lost Harris County but won Texas, according to the Associated Press, although his national race against Democratic challenger Joe Biden had not yet been decided as of press time Wednesday.
State Rep. Jarvis Johnson, a Democrat, was convincingly re-elected in District 139, which includes parts of Garden Oaks and Oak Forest as well as Acres Homes. He received 85.9 percent of the vote compared to 14.1 percent for Libertarian R. Grizzle Trojacek.
Democrat Penny Morales Shaw won the right to represent District 148 in Austin, receiving 63.7 percent of the vote to nearly double up Republican Luis La Rotta. Shaw will replace Heights Democrat Anna Eastman, who beat Shaw and La Rotta in a special election to succeed the retiring Jessica Farrar but then lost to Shaw in the Democratic primary in July.
In two Harris County races that also did not involve incumbents, Democrats prevailed. Teneshia Hudspeth beat former Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, a Republican, for the right to serve in that role beginning in January. Democrat Chris Hollins has been serving as interim county clerk since Diane Trautman’s resignation in the spring.
Democrat Christian Dashaun Menefee, who beat incumbent Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan in the Democratic primary, beat Republican John Nation in Tuesday’s race, receiving 54.6 percent of the vote.
Heights native Ed Gonzalez won a second term as Harris County Sheriff, with the incumbent Democrat beating Republican Joe Danna with 57.4 percent of the vote. Danna also has ties to the area, having grown up in Lindale Park and later lived in Forest Pines and Mangum Manor.
Democrat Kim Ogg was re-elected as Harris County District Attorney, receiving 53.8 percent of the vote against Republican Mary Nan Huffman.
Another Democrat, Ann Harris Bennett, was re-elected as Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector. She received 53 percent of the vote to lead Republican Chris Daniel (43.7 percent) and Libertarian Billy Pierce (3.3 percent).
Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen, both Democrats, were unopposed and declared re-elected.
Results are unofficial until canvassed.