AUSTIN (KXAN) – During the 2022 midterm elections, Texans voted on a number of key statewide races.

Here’s what has changed across the state and in the Austin area over the past four years.

Big cities swung left in Texas’ governor’s race, while smaller cities, rural areas moved right

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott easily won reelection to a third term in the Nov. 8 election, defeating Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by double digits.

Abbott received almost 55% of the statewide vote, to O’Rourke’s roughly 44%.

Statewide, 205 counties moved toward the Republicans, while 49 counties swung to the left.

The shifts reflect trends seen in recent election cycles, with major cities continuing to move to the left while South Texas marches to the right.

How did your neighborhood vote in Austin’s mayoral election?

More than 300,000 Austinites cast their ballots in the city’s mayoral election, with State Rep. Celia Israel and State Sen. Kirk Watson advancing to a runoff.

The map of results shows a clear east-west divide, with Israel winning the majority of precincts east of MoPac Expressway, while Watson and Virden won precincts further west. Watson also won precincts covering downtown Austin.

KXAN analyzed the results in all 255 precincts in which the mayoral race appeared on the ballot. Of those, at least one vote was cast in 243 precincts.

The runoff election between Israel and Watson is scheduled for Dec. 13.

How a 19-year-old with no experience beat an incumbent for political office

Beverly Crumley has 30 years of experience in the Hays County District Clerk’s Office. In 2010, after working under several other district clerks, she decided to run for the position. She won that year and has held the position ever since.

This year, Crumley ran for reelection and lost by just over two percentage points or around 2,500 votes. The candidate who Hays County voters elected to be their next district clerk spent $0 on his campaign, has no experience in a political office and only just recently graduated high school. His name is Avery Anderson.

Avery Anderson graduated from Dripping Springs High School in 2021. (Photo provided by Avery Anderson)
Avery Anderson graduated from Dripping Springs High School in 2021. (Photo provided by Avery Anderson)

When asked about his campaign strategy, Anderson said he spent some time talking to potential voters outside the courthouse in San Marcos but posted no signs.

“A lot of people, generally speaking, just click a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ when they’re in the voting booth,” Anderson said.

Crumley ran as a Republican, and Anderson as a Democrat. 

“I feel like a lot [of voters] did not research the local races to gain knowledge on the qualifications of the candidates,” Crumley said. “I think it is uninformed voters just making decisions based on political affiliation is what it is.”

First Muslims & openly gay Black men voted into Texas House

The makeup of the Texas House of Representatives will become more diverse after a series of electoral victories during Tuesday’s election, resulting in the number of openly gay Black lawmakers tripling and sending the first two Muslim legislators to serve at the State Capitol.

State Rep. Jolanda Jones won reelection Tuesday to represent the Houston area in Texas House District 147, a seat she first won during a special election earlier this year. That initial victory made her the first openly LGBTQ Black lawmaker in the state’s history, and now Democrats Venton Jones and Christian “Manuel” Hayes will expand those ranks. Jones is set to represent Dallas in Texas House District 100, while Hayes will succeed his former boss Rep. Joe Deshotel in Texas House District 22.

Additionally, voters elected two Democratic candidates who will become the first Muslim lawmakers in Texas history. Dr. Suleman Lalani won the seat to represent Texas House District 76 in Fort Bend County, while Salman Bhojani advanced from his election to represent Texas House District 92 in Tarrant County.