Midterm Elections Guide

Nov. 6 is Election Day for the 2018 midterm elections. Early voting opened Monday and will run through Nov. 2.

Midterm elections are held every four years — the midpoint of a president’s four year term.

The 2018 midterms have been closely watched across the United States to see if Democrats will regain the majority in Congress.

In Texas, the Senate race between incumbent Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke has gained national attention, but there are several other seats open for election this year.

Texans will vote on the U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative (congressional district varies), Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Land Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, Railroad Commissioner, Texas Supreme Court Places 2, 4 and 6, as well as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Places 1, 7 and 8.

For local elections, candidates depend on the county in which they are running. The Texas secretary of state’s office has a list of county websites to check to see who is on the ballot.

To view a sample ballot for Jefferson County, visit http://www.jeffersonelections.com.

For more information on what to bring to the polls to vote, visit votetexas.gov.

To view a complete list of early voting and Election Day locations and operation hours, visit www.jeffersonelections.com.

Candidates up for election

 — U.S. Senate —

Ted Cruz (R)

Sen. Cruz has served as the junior U.S. Senator from Texas since 2013.

• supports states’ rights • pro-life • against same-sex marriage • critic of the Affordable Care Act • opposes net neutrality • opposes gun control • opposes the legalization of marijuana • supports the death penalty • pro-free trade • disagrees with scientific opinion on climate change • supports border wall • in favor of decreasing government size

Beto O’Rourke (D)

Rep. O’Rourke has served as the U.S. Representative for Texas’ 16th congressional district since 2013.

• supports universal health care • wants to strengthen public schools • civil rights advocate • supports criminal justice reform • agrees with scientific opinion on climate change • supports decriminalization of marijuana • advocate for veterans’ issues • supports gun control reform • supports immigration reform

— Governor —

Greg Abbott (R)

Abbott has served as Texas’ 48th governor since 2015.

• pro-life • supports campus and open carry • opposes comprehensive gun control reform • supports the border wall • opposes “sanctuary cities” • worked to deregulate climate change policies • revived the “bathroom bill,” which stated that transgender students must use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate

Lupe Valdez (D)

Valdez served as the Sheriff of Dallas County from 2005 to 2017.

• advocate for veterans’ issues • against gerrymandering • supports LGBT rights • against wage gaps • supports immigrant communities • supports universal health care • supports gun control reform • wants to strengthen public schools • supports decriminalization of marijuana • wants to end mass incarceration

— Lt. Governor —

Dan Patrick (R)

Patrick has served as Texas’ 42nd lieutenant governor since 2015.

• opposes abortion • supports increasing charter schools • fiscal conservative • opposes illegal immigration • opposes same-sex marriage • supports Texas’ current statutory rape laws • supporter of maintaining Confederate monuments • favors creationism in schools • opposed legal protections for LGBT persons • pushed for a “bathroom bill,” similar to North Carolina

Mike Collier (D)

Collier served as a PriceWaterhouseCoopers Partner for 10 years, then became CFO at a Texas oil company.

• supports property tax reform • supports public education reform • wants to propose an amendment to stop government corruption • wants to modernize Texas’ budgeting process • supports labor unions • supports raising minimum wage • supports effective border security • wants to strengthen coastal storm preparedness policies

— Attorney General —

Ken Paxton (R)

Paxton has served as the Attorney General of Texas since 2015.

• Tea Party conservative • supports President Trump’s border wall • wants to dismantle EPA  regulations • supported the “bathroom bill” • against voter fraud • supports open and campus carry • blocked a climate change probe by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts into ExxonMobil • opposes same-sex marriage

Justin Nelson (D)

Nelson is a professor at UT Law School, former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and is the founder of the non-profit One Nation One Vote.

• wants to strengthen public schools • supports consumer protection • supports ensuring safety and welfare of senior citizens • supports universal healthcare • wants to end separation of immigrant families • opposes gerrymandering • supports child support reform • supports criminal justice reform

— 14th Congressional District — 

Randy Weber (R)

Weber has served as Texas’ 14th Congressional District U.S. Representative since 2013.

• pro-life • supports a balanced budget amendment • opposes same-sex marriage • opposes affirmative action • supports tax incentives for job creation • supports the death penalty • opposes decriminalizing marijuana • opposes gun control reform • opposed Violence Against Women Act

Adrienne Bell (D)

Bell worked at Southwestern Bell for 30 years and is now a second grade teacher.

• wants to raise minimum wage • supports Medicare for all • supports public school protection policies • wants to repair the immigration system • advocates for veterans’ issues • supports fully-funded higher education • supports affordable child care • supports criminal justice reform • supports paid family leave • supports student loan debt forgiveness

— Jefferson County Judge —

Jeff Branick (R)

Branick has served as Jefferson County Court Judge since 2015.

• supports economic growth • supports strengthening emergency management policies • currently developing an emergency management command center in Galveston County • supports environmental protection polices for the Gulf Coast • supports mental health reform • supports tax abatement policies • wants to enhance Jefferson County’s population growth

Nick Lampson (D)

Source: OnTheIssues.org

Compiled by Olivia Malick, UP managing editor

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