Get more election news and key dates on KSAT’s Vote 2022 page
With early voting getting underway in the 2022 Texas midterm elections, many voters are looking for more information to arm themselves with at the polls.
Several consequential local, state and congressional offices are up for grabs, including Bexar County Judge and District Attorney.
- Early voting began Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 8. Find all the information you need to vote here.
- See the full Bexar County ballot here.
Keep reading for a breakdown of the statewide, Bexar County, state legislative and congressional races to watch in the region.
- Democratic candidate: Beto O’Rourke
- Republican candidate: Gov. Greg Abbott
The top of the Texas ballot will be a nationally-watched showdown between former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and current Governor Greg Abbott.
The pair squared off in a single debate in September, though O’Rourke pressed for more.
Both candidates sailed through their primaries and have raised record-setting amounts of campaign donations over the last year.
Abbott and O’Rourke have been spending that money — as you’ve likely seen — on TV, radio and digital campaign advertisements.
O’Rourke has traversed the state on a seemingly never-ending town hall tour of small towns and big cities with hundreds of stops, hoping to pull voters from rural and suburban areas that have historically voted Republican.
O’Rourke’s bid to shore up centrist and right-leaning voters may be hamstrung by stances he took when running in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary — including banning AR-15s.
Abbott, on the other hand, has run a much more low-key campaign — as is increasingly common for incumbent candidates favored in their race.
But Abbott’s enormous campaign bank account means he can paint any opponent negatively across the state without making a public appearance.
As the Republican incumbent, Abbott came into the race a heavy favorite and is still leading in the polls.
After all, no Democrat has won a statewide election since 1992. That’s more than 200 consecutive elections lost for Texas Dems.
But O’Rourke’s campaign sees an opening.
Abbott has faced backlash after the coronavirus restrictions he implemented, the deadly failure of the power grid and the misinformation he provided in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre when he uttered the now-infamous phrase “It could have been worse.”
Even with those potential vulnerabilities, it will be a monumental task to take down one of the most high-profile Republicans in the country — who has his eyes on the White House in 2024 — in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat in three decades.
- Democratic candidate: Mike Collier
- Republican candidate: Lt Gov. Dan Patrick
- Libertarian candidate: Shanna Steele
The lieutenant governor, the second-highest executive in the state, presides over the Texas Senate.
Incumbent Republican Dan Patrick is seeking his third term in office.
Patrick was first elected to the lieutenant governor’s office in November 2014, replacing Republican David Dewhurst. Previously, Patrick served in the Texas Senate and before that was a conservative shock jock radio host in Houston.
He was re-elected as lieutenant governor in November 2018.
Patrick captured the Republican nomination in the 2022 March Primary, handily defeating five opponents with 77% of the vote.
Collier, a CPA, has tried to unseat Patrick before, having lost to him by five percentage points in 2018.
He is a former Republican who also lost a bid for another statewide office, comptroller, in 2014.
This time, though, Collier has the public backing of several current and formerly elected Republicans, including San Antonio state Rep. Lyle Larson, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Amarillo state Sen. Kel Seliger, former Dallas Mayor Steven Bartlett, former state Reps. Byron Cook and Bennett Ratliff.
Collier faced two candidates in the 2022 March Primary but was forced into a runoff with state Rep. Michelle Beckley, who he defeated by percentage points.
He founded a Texas oil company and worked as its chief financial officer, as well as getting his start as a landman at Exxon.
Steele’s career experience includes working as a security consultant.
- Democratic candidate: Rochelle Garza
- Republican candidate: Attorney General Ken Paxton
- Libertarian candidate: Mark Ash
The attorney general is the top lawyer in Texas, representing the state in mostly civil litigation.
Incumbent Republican Ken Paxton is seeking a third term in office. He was first elected in November of 2014, when he replaced now-Gov. Greg Abbott. Paxton was re-elected in 2018.
Paxton’s tenure has been clouded by legal troubles. He was indicted for securities fraud charges — which remain pending as court battles have delayed them for years — and the FBI launched an investigation into claims of misconduct while in office.
Paxton advanced to the November general election by capturing the Republican nomination earlier this year. He won the most votes in the 2022 March Primary, but not enough to avoid a runoff. Paxton easily defeated Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush by 34 percentage points in the May runoff.
Paxton’s challengers in the November general election are Democrat Rochelle Garza and Libertarian Mark Ash.
Garza is a civil rights attorney from Brownsville and the daughter of public school teachers.
Garza captured the Democratic nomination after she defeated Joe Jaworski in the 2022 May primary runoff by 25 percentage points. She won the most votes in the 2022 March Primary among a field of five candidates.
Ash practices criminal law in Houston.
Bexar County Judge
- Democratic candidate: Peter Sakai
- Republican candidate: Trish DeBerry
For the first time in more than 20 years, Bexar County will have a new county judge.
Nelson Wolff was appointed to the office in 2001, replacing Republican Cyndi Taylor Krier. Since then, Wolff remained in office, winning five consecutive terms. He announced his retirement in October 2021.
Wolff’s departure leaves some big shoes to fill.
The two candidates hoping to succeed him both have experience in local politics.
Democrat Peter Sakai spent 26 years as a judge, overseeing the court system’s budget and presiding over cases involving drugs, domestic violence and family issues.
Sakai began his career in the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and then opened his own law practice.
In 1995, Sakai was appointed judge of the Bexar County Children’s Court, where he touts that adoptions of foster children in Bexar County increased by 1,000%.
Sakai was elected to the 225th State District Court in 2014. He left that office last October after Wolff announced his decision to leave office.
He captured the Democratic nomination for county judge by defeating state Rep. Ina Minjarez in the May runoff by 16 percentage points. Sakai was also the top vote-getter in the March primary among a field of four candidates with 41% of the total vote.
Republican Trish DeBerry is a former television journalist who then founded a multimillion-dollar marketing company before turning to politics.
DeBerry managed Ed Garza’s mayoral campaign in 2001 and ran for the city’s top office in 2009, losing to Julián Castro.
She was elected to Bexar County Pct. 3 commissioner — her first political office — in 2020, but she stepped down just one year later when he announced her bid for the top county position.
In her 11 months in office, DeBerry has scrutinized the operations at the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, often clashing with Sheriff Javier Salazar on his department’s purchasing requests and policies.
DeBerry advanced to the November general election after she easily defeated Nathan Buchanan in the March primary by 26% of the vote.
Watch a debate between the two candidates below.
Bexar County District Attorney
- Democratic candidate: Joe Gonzales
- Republican candidate: Marc LaHood
A district attorney has an important role in not only prosecuting criminals but representing and protecting crime victims.
The district attorney represents the state in prosecuting felony criminal cases and works with law enforcement in investigations.
It’s the job of the DA’s office to present cases to a grand jury that will decide whether there is enough evidence to indict a suspected criminal.
The DA’s office also represents victims of violence in protective orders and represents the state in removing children from abusive households.
The current Bexar County District Attorney, Democrat Joe Gonzales, was elected in 2019 after defeating the incumbent Nico LaHood.
Gonzales, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary, now faces off with Nico’s brother — Republican Marc LaHood in the Nov. 8 general election.
LaHood is an attorney and a partner of the family-run firm LaHood Law, which specializes in criminal defense, personal injury law, probate issues and family law.
LaHood won the Republican nomination by cruising to victory in the March primary over Meredith Chacon by 26% of the vote.
Bexar County District Clerk
- Democratic candidate: Gloria Martinez
- Republican candidate: Misty Spears
Bexar County will have a new district clerk after the incumbent, Mary Angie Garcia, was defeated in the March Democratic primary.
Democrat Gloria Martinez defeated Christine Castillo in the May runoff by 4% of the vote to capture the party nomination.
Martinez has worked at the Bexar County Courthouse for more than three decades. She is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Martinez will face Republican Misty Spears, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary in March.
Spears has worked in the legal profession for more than 20 years and is the lead paralegal at the Martinez de Vara Law Firm.
Texas Senate District 24
- Democratic candidate: Kathy Jones-Hospod
- Republican candidate: Pete Flores
State Senate District 24 will be getting a new Senator.
Republican Dawn Buckingham, who has represented the district since 2017, opted not to seek re-election so she could run for Commissioner of the General Land Office.
Former state Sen. and Republican Pete Flores is the GOP candidate Buckingham herself has endorsed to take the reins in the recently re-drawn district 24.
Flores, a retired game warden from Pleasanton, served in the Senate after winning a special election in 2018. He lost his seat to Roland Gutierrez in 2020.
Flores’ opponent in this election is Democrat Kathy Jones-Hospod from Cedar Park.
A software engineer for 40 years, Kathy Jones-Hospod defeated her opponent Jeremy Kohwles in the primary by a 4-to-1 margin.
State Senate District 24 includes all of Bandera, Bell, Blanco, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Comanche, Coryell, Gillespie, Hamilton, Kerr, Lampasas, Llano, Mills, San Saba counties and portions of Taylor and Travis counties.
Texas House District 122
- Democratic candidate: Angi Aramburu
- Republican candidate: Mark Dorazio
- Libertarian candidate: Stephanie Berlin
Three candidates are vying for outgoing State Representative Lyle Larson’s District 122 seat.
Larson, long on the record as someone who believes in term limits for lawmakers, is leaving office after six terms in Austin.
Business Owner Mark Dorazio has served as a Republican precinct chair for three decades and served as Bexar County Republican chair from 2017-2018, according to his campaign website. He defeated former city council member Elisa Chan in a GOP Primary runoff in May.
Democrat Angi Aramburu is a small business owner who says she and her husband moved to San Antonio (her husband’s hometown) to raise their children. On her campaign website, she lists her work with the San Antonio Park Department and the Mayor’s council on fitness among her public service locally. She was unopposed in her primary.
Unlike her opponents, Libertarian Stephanie Berlin has been on Texas ballots before. She ran for the state board of education, District 5 in 2020, finishing a distant third. Berlin was nominated at the Libertarian convention. Berlin does not have a campaign website or social media.
Congressional District 15
- Democratic candidate: Michelle Vallejo
- Republican candidate: Monica De La Cruz
The current representative for District 15, Vicente González, will not be seeking another term in the recently re-drawn district, which includes parts of Guadalupe, Hidalgo, and Wilson counties. The redrawing of the maps by the Texas Legislature last year left González’s home outside of the district, so he is seeking re-election in District 34.
That leaves the highly coveted district wide open. And Republicans see this as the best chance the party has had in a while to flip it.
The candidate they are hoping can do it is Republican Monica De La Cruz. De La Cruz is a small business owner in Edinburg. She previously sought the District 15 seat in 2020, losing to Gonzalez by less than 3 percentage points. She easily won the nomination in the March primary, defeating a half dozen other candidates.
Democrat Michelle Vallejo narrowly won her primary runoff against Ruben Ramirez in May.
The Democrat “is a small business owner, community leader, and advocate for women’s economic empowerment,” according to her website. She has been politically active in South Texas, co-founding groups to support progressive community leaders and women business owners. This is her first seeking office.
Like De La Cruz, Libertarian Ross Lynn Leone, Jr. has sought the District 15 seat before. Several times. Leone was on the ballot in 2016 and 2020 for District 15, and would have been in 2014, but did not get the party nomination.
In 2012, he made a run for District 35. He does not have a campaign website or social media.
Congressional District 28
- Democratic candidate: Congressman Henry Cuellar
- Republican candidate: Cassy Garcia
Democratic U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar has held his seat in District 28 for almost 20 years.
He’s been representing the people of South Texas in Washington, D.C., since 2005. Before that, he served in the Texas House and as Secretary of State.
In the last two elections, his biggest challenge so far has come from his own party. Jessica Cisneros took Cuellar to Primary Runoffs in 2020 and 2022, winning the more recent race by less than 300 votes.
Add that to the perception of impropriety with an FBI raid on his home (his lawyer later said Cuellar was not the target of any investigation), and Republicans see this as an opportunity to turn the historically blue district red.
Republican Cassy Garcia is the latest GOP challenger. Garcia, a long-time political operative and former staffer for Senator Ted Cruz, has endorsed Garcia in this race.
Cuellar has not had a lot of trouble defeating Republican candidates when they bothered to challenge him at all (he didn’t have a Republican opponent in 2014 or 2018).
The belief largely being that, as a moderate, it is harder to paint Cuellar as a left-wing radical than other Democratic candidates in other races.
But having a Republican in District 28 is the party’s desired outcome. And political dollars are being spent to highlight any perceived weakness in Cuellar, and push Garcia over the top.
Congressional District 35
- Democratic candidate: Greg Casar
- Republican candidate: Dan McQueen
Congressman Lloyd Doggett is in the same boat as Vicente González. Doggett was drawn out of his district when the new congressional maps were drawn by the Texas Legislature. So, he will not be the Representative for 35 come January. Instead, he will try for re-election for the new, much smaller District 37.
That leaves District 35 open to brand-new representation.
Republicans want the traditionally blue district, which includes portions of Bexar County, thin strips of Comal and Hays counties, a portion of Caldwell County, and portions of southern and eastern Austin in Travis County. And Democrats want to hold on to what has been a stronghold for them for many years.
Navy Veteran and Republican Dan McQueen has held many jobs in his life. According to his campaign website, from dishwasher to lead engineer on Air Force One. In the political arena, McQueen was the Mayor of Corpus Christie briefly (elected in 2016). He resigned after 37 days.
Since then, he’s filed to run in races to run for U.S. Representative for District 20 (he withdrew) and U.S. Senator in Missouri (he withdrew to run for the District 35 seat here in Texas).
Former Austin city council member and Democrat Greg Casar is McQueen’s competition. He served on the city council from 2015 to 2022. Among his accomplishments listed on his website are the paid sick-days laws and raising the minimum pay of workers from $7.25 to $15 an hour.
Both candidates faced multiple opponents in the March primary.
Casar, who had fewer opponents, won his contest outright. McQueen was the top vote-getter among 10 GOP candidates. He defeated Michael Rodriguez in the runoff in May.