Texas: Democrat Lina Hidalgo re-elected as Harris County Judge

"What my opponents don't know is that a Hispanic woman is not going to be intimidated," Hidalgo said after learning the results.

Democrat Lina Hidalgo was re-elected as Harris County Judge, in Texas, with 50.9% support and a lead of almost 16,000 votes over Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer (49.1%). According to The Texas Tribune, more than one million people participated in this election.

Lina Hidalgo is controversial. She has been defined as "a progressive political newcomer who won office in 2018 at just 27 years old. Stanford graduate, no political experience and limited professional experience." Prior to her election, the judge's office dealt with infrastructure, public safety and natural disasters in the county. However, the Democrat, reaffirming her ideology, has created nearly a dozen new departments to expand the role of county government, according to an article written by Charles Blain from City Journal.

Close campaign

The Republican acknowledged defeat in a statement on social media and sent a message of gratitude to her voters: "I am extremely grateful to our supporters":

While we did not achieve our goal of changing the leadership in Harris County, we were successful in raising the profile on critical issues such as the need for adequate resources for our law enforcement and criminal justice system, as well as the desire to eliminate corruption and increase transparency in local affairs. This campaign was always about good governance and I am hopeful that we have played a role in encouraging that progress.

A couple of hours later, Hidalgo made a statement via her Twitter account, saying that Harris County citizens preferred "optimism over fear" and "people over politics." She thanked her voters and used her status as a Hispanic to gain an advantage over her opponents: "What my opponents don't know is that a hispanic woman is not going to be intimidated," Hidalgo said after a few short words and affirmed that her work is just getting started.

More than 2,000 unaccepted ballots

About 2,600 provisional ballots were not counted because they were cast after 7:00 pm. The election office is awaiting for the Supreme Court of Texas to make a decision before adding them to the final tally. However, the director of the Department of Elections affirmed that they would not change the results due to the wide difference in votes between the Democrats and the Republicans.

The importance of Harris County

Charles Blain
pointed out the importance of this vote several weeks ago, which was on many voters' minds throughout the state.

The gubernatorial race may get more press, but the battle for Harris County judge may be a better indicator of the Lone Star State's political trajectory.

Harris County is the third largest county in the nation. It is often considered to be a target of Republican state legislators. Being judge is like being the "de facto mayor of the largest county in Texas" and so far the race for this office "has been a tug-of-war between national and local issues."