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Nation goes red, but Bexar County goes blue

Bexar County chooses Democrats in 44 of 51 races

SAN ANTONIO – The White House may have turned red Tuesday, joining both houses of Congress, but last night Bexar County ballots were blue - and overwhelmingly so.

Out of 51 races, Bexar County voters went for Democrats in 44, from the presidential election through each judicial district. The heads of the major parties cited voter turnout and straight-ticket voters as primary reasons for the Democrat blowout.

"We won all 16 countywide elections," said Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina. "We picked up three state rep seats. We even have a new sheriff in town."

With a record number of voters, 598,081 as of early Wednesday morning, turning out for the election in Bexar County, 195,215 -- nearly a third of them -- cast straight party ballots for the Democrats.

"When we have a lot of people going to the polls, we win," Medina said. "When people stay home, we lose."

Republican state Rep. John Lujan, District 118, lost his seat to Democratic challenger Tomas Uresti after beating him in a special runoff election in January. As results came in Tuesday night, Lujan had an idea why it wasn't looking so great.

"You know, this is a tough district,” he said. "I'm the first Republican to ever win this seat. So it's never been held by a Republican. And then with the Trump wave going on around here, it was going to be difficult. I knew it was going to be difficult."

Bexar County Republican Party Chairman Robert Stovall thinks it was more of a pro-Clinton wave that cost the down-ballot races.

"Many of the down-ballot candidates literally got swept in, and a lot of those people didn't even know those down-ballot candidates were there," he said.

Voters in Bexar County only favored a handful of Republicans, though that included congressmen Lamar Smith and Will Hurd. Two of the seven Republicans who won, though, ran unopposed.

On the other hand, there wasn't even a Republican candidate in 16 races, including Joaquin Castro's congressional seat, six state Senate seats, six state representative seats, six judgeships and a justice of the peace.

Stovall says it's a matter of strategy and knowing what fights you can win.

"If there are races we can't be competitive, then we definitely - we're not discouraging anyone to run, we just want them to know it's going to take a lot of money, time and resource to put in there," he said.

That money, time and resources will all go now toward the next election.

Bexar County might have gone blue this year, but Texas is still red. Republicans hold majorities in both in the Texas House of Representatives and Senate, not to mention the governor's office.

Still, Democrats are aiming high. Medina said a blue Texas is the next goal, and yesterday was the first step toward it.


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