Despite a lackluster night for Texas Democrats across the state, two Austin area Democratic incumbents secured reelection for their second state House terms.
Reps. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) and Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin), both of whom flipped their respective seats in 2018, held off two Republican challengers by small margins on Tuesday night.
Zwiener said in a statement early Wednesday morning, “I want to give a deep, heartfelt, thank you to every Texan that voted today, to the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to get out our message, to the people of Hays and Blanco Counties who put their trust in me once again.”
“Now it’s time to get ready for the 87th Legislative Session, so that we safely rebuild the Texas economy and continue to fight for public education, affordable health care, and this beautiful slice of Texas we call home.”
Zwiener squeaked out a 1,200-vote victory, less than half of her 2018 margin.
Goodwin, meanwhile, saw her margin of victory drop from 5,000 to 1,300.
“I am proud and humbled to have been re-elected to continue serving House District 47 in western and far South Travis County,” said Goodwin in a statement. “I plan to continue my focus on the needs of the people of the district and the state. Our schools need our support, our citizens need access to health care regardless of income level, and we must start to reverse climate change and mitigate the damage to our air, soil and water. I will continue to be accessible to the people here in the district. We all need to come together to solve the tough issues we face.”
Their Republican challengers — Carrie Isaac and Justin Berry, respectively — emerged empty-handed but did not make the ride to victory smooth for the incumbents.
Both GOP candidates substantially outraised their Democratic opponents down the stretch, but still came up short.
Isaac said in concession, “Despite a strong campaign and an incredible avalanche of support from you, our friends and neighbors, our campaign was not successful.”
“I’m disappointed in the results, but not beaten down. Over the last year, we’ve knocked on thousands of doors, made thousands more phone calls, attended more community events than I can count, and made so many new friends,” she added.
Berry’s campaign did not return a request for comment at the time of publishing.
The two districts were poster-children for the shifting of suburban Texas and, while they remained in Democrats’ hands, that’ll be no easy feat going forward.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.