Two big Texas cities had runoffs for their mayoral positions this weekend.
First, in Dallas, voters elected State Rep. Eric Johnson as the city’s new mayor to replace incumbent Mike Rawlings. Johnson defeated City Councilman Scott Griggs with 56 percent of the vote. Johnson was backed by several members of the city’s political establishment, also carrying an endorsement from Rawlings into the runoff. Meanwhile, Griggs was backed by public safety unions in his campaign.
In San Antonio, the results were much closer as City Councilman Greg Brockhouse looked to knock off incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Nirenberg led by a slim margin all night and was able to hold back the challenge from Brockhouse, earning a second term with 51 percent of the vote.
San Antonio’s contest was a bitter one, with Nirenberg and Brockhouse emerging from a packed May 4 race that also incumbent candidates like Matt Pina, the 2018 Libertarian nominee for Texas Land Commissioner. Nirenberg and Brockhouse intensely sparred throughout the campaign on issues ranging from religious liberty concerns to criminal allegations.
The results in both races present good news for Democrats, with the state party releasing a statement after the races were called, congratulating both Nirenberg and Johnson.
“This election shows what happens when Texas Democrats and progressives mobilize our Democratic base,” party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement. “Texans want leaders who fight for strong neighborhood schools, a living wage for working families, quality healthcare, and an economy that works for everyone.”
Johnson’s victory will also kick off another election, as Governor Greg Abbott will not be called upon to order a special election to fill Johnson’s seat in the Texas House of Representatives. It is unclear at this time when an election might be held or who may run to succeed Johnson in the heavily Democratic-favored district.