Results: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott defeats Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in Texas

Abbott O'Rourke 2x1
LM Otero/AP Photo; Insider
  • Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has been reelected to a third term as governor of Texas.

  • Abbott faced former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat.

  • In 2018, Abbott beat Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lupe Valdez by 7 percentage points.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has defeated former US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, and was reelected to a third term.

Polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. local time. Given the state has multiple timezones, the first polls closed at 8 p.m. EST and the last polls closed at 9 p.m. EST.


Texas gubernatorial candidates

Abbott, a conservative first elected in 2014, has been in the political arena since running for a district court judge post in 1992 and was later appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by former Republican governor-turned-President George W. Bush.

Abbott is no stranger to controversy, having presided over the Lone Star state during a raft of mass shootings, crippling energy crises, the COVID-19 pandemic, and partisan clashes over immigration at the Southern border. Abbott reportedly spent more than $12 million of taxpayer funds busing asylum-seekers from ruby-red Texas to liberal bastions such as Washington, DC, New York City, and Chicago in order to torment Democratic leaders.

O'Rourke was running his second statewide campaign since serving three terms in the US House. He tried unsuccessfully to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, losing by 2 points. O'Rourke also briefly ran for president in 2019, dropping out after seven months on the campaign trail when his campaign failed to gain traction in early primary states.

O'Rourke made combating gun violence and preserving abortion rights cornerstones of his bid to replace Abbott.

Texas' voting history   

Texas trends Republican in federal races. The state went to President Donald Trump by 5 points during the 2020 presidential election. More recently, Republican Rep. Mayra Flores won by 7 points in the June 2022 special election to replace Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned midway through his term.

The congressional delegation is predominantly Republican, retaining control of both US Senate seats since 1993 and holding two-thirds of the delegation's current US House seats.

The Texas governor's race involved a lot of the culture war issues both parties have used the bash the other side around the country, including abortion.

Abbott got out ahead of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade this summer, signing into law last fall a statewide ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy coupled with a $10,000 bounty on anyone who "aids and abets" in any such procedure after the month-and-half window. The Roe reversal activated a corresponding state trigger law that makes performing abortions in Texas a felony punishable by life in prison.

The money race

According to Transparency USA, Abbott had raised $94.3 million, spent $120.5 million, and had $16.4 million of cash on hand, as of September 30. His opponent, O'Rourke, had raised $65.7 million, spent $45.8 million, and had $16.5 million of cash still left to spend, as of September 30.

The Texas Tribune reported that O'Rourke set a new campaign fundraising record this year, hauling in $27.6 million in less than five months.

What the experts say

Texas' gubernatorial race was rated as "Likely Republican" by The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and "Solid Republican" by Inside Elections.

Read the original article on Business Insider