Corpus Christi voters sent a message Tuesday night as several Democratic candidates bucked a strong Republican trend across the state to win their local elections.
Beto O’Rourke polled 50 percent of the voting to beat Ted Cruz locally, but he couldn’t carry that momentum over to the rest of the state. It was the closest margin for a Texas U.S. Senate Democratic contender since Lloyd Bentsen claimed the U.S. Senate seat in 1988 over Beau Bolter.
Democratic candidates Justin Nelson claimed the attorney general race locally by a margin of 382 votes. But incumbent Ken Paxton claimed the SH election across the state over Nelson, whose parents were from Corpus Christi.
Democratic candidate Barbara Canales earned an upset victory over Republican candidate Mike Pusley for the Nueces County Judge race. Canales led throughout, running strong among Republicans to finish with an edge of 52.4-47.6 percent in an election where Pusley never conceded.
The victory will provide Democrats with a majority on the Nueces County Commissioners Court for the first time in recent memory.
Mayor Joe McComb narrowly missed claiming a majority, picking up 49.73 percent of the vote.
He will be matched against political novice Michael Hall in the Dec. 18 runoff. Hall collected 19.64 percent to finish second in the five-person race.
Other races that will be set for runoffs will include City Council Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5.
All six city bonds were approved with at least 60 percent of the vote. And the bond for a new Carroll High School, the most expensive in the history of the Corpus Christi Independent School District, was approved by about 2,200 votes. The final margin was 52-48 percent in favor of the new school proposal.
Voter turnout in Nueces County was 46 percent, a significant jump over the 32 percent that voted in the 2014 midterms.