November 6, 2018
State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, an Irving Republican, has been unseated by Democrat Julie Johnson, the first of what could be a slate of pickups for the state’s minority party in North Texas. If the trend continues, the lower chamber’s 95-55 split between the GOP and Democrats could narrow.
Most of the tightest races are in Dallas County, where shifting demographics, along with Democratic enthusiasm for the top of their party’s ticket, have placed some GOP incumbents up and down the ballot this year on the defense — particularly those representing districts that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Other GOP incumbents in the area, Rodney Anderson of Grand Prairie and Linda Koop of Dallas, are also trailing their Democratic challengers, the latest election returns show. State Reps. Angie Chen Button of Richardson and Morgan Meyer of Dallas have narrow leads over their Democratic challengers.
In another nearby contest, state Rep. Victoria Neave, a Dallas Democrat running for a second term, is leading Republican Deanna Metzger by roughly 14 percentage points. Republican-aligned groups have heavily targeted Neave this cycle; it’s one of a handful of House districts that the GOP believes could flip back in its favor.
Meanwhile, both parties are fighting for open House seats in races that are close or showing signs of a potential flip from the GOP to Democrats:
In the race to replace state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, Democrat John Turner has a roughly 8 percentage point lead over Republican Lisa Luby Ryan, who ousted Villalba in the March primaries.
Democrat Rhetta Bowers leads Republican Jonathan Boos, 54 percent to 46 percent, in the race for the seat being vacated by outgoing state Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale.
In the race to succeed former state Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, who resigned earlier this year, Democrat James Talarico is leading Republican Cynthia Flores, 52 percent to 48 percent.
Democrats also lead in two Central Texas state House races that are also among the most competitive: John Bucy III leads state Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, 55 percent to 43 percent, while state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, is trailing his Democratic opponent, Vikki Goodwin, by nearly 8 percentage points.
“Texas House midterm races: Matt Rinaldi unseated by Democratic challenger” was first published at by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.