Democrats gained, but not enough to make a difference

AUSTIN (KXAN) — No doubt, Republicans still rule the Texas Legislature, but Election Day results meant losing their powerful supermajority in the House. And the GOP failed to oust any incumbent Democrat in the Senate.

Though Republicans controlled the redistricting process in the past legislative session, their efforts still meant they would ultimately lose a few seats of their 102-48 majority – something that let them basically pass any bill they wanted through the chamber.

On Tuesday, Democrats bounced back, cutting down Republicans’ lead in the House to 95-55. Though they are still in the minority, Democrats’ small gain could pay off negotiating fiery issues like public education funding in the upcoming session.

In the upper chamber, state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, won re-election, thus preventing the possibility of a GOP supermajority, which would have been able to suspend rules to pass legislation.

Thus, the partisan makeup of the Senate remains 19-12, though the re-election of the late Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, means voters will have to choose his replacement in a special election. The seat is likely to remain in Democratic hands, though Gov. Rick Perry could delay calling the election, therefore giving Democrats one less vote.

Of course, there is also the possibility of people switching parties. In 2011, three Democrats turned Republican in the House, pushing the GOP beyond necessary two-thirds majority.

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Republican Rick Perry is Governor of Texas. Two Republicans represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, and Texas has 32 representatives in the U.S. House: 20 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
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