Author’s Note: The Texas Horn also interviewed State Representative Bryan Slaton and Cass County Judge Travis Ransom. However, we did not include them in this article because they faced no opposition in the general election and were declared the winners after winning their respective primary elections. We do, however, thank them for allowing us to interview them.
On November 8th, 2022, people from across the country voted in various elections ranging from school board to US Senator. All seats in the US House and 35 US Senate seats were up for election. While, as of writing this, the fate of some elections remains uncertain, elections in Texas are all but completed. Once again, Texas Republicans fended off Democratic efforts to turn Texas blue with Republicans sweeping every statewide office, maintaining the State Senate, and gaining a few seats in the Texas House. Among the many winners and losers of election night, eleven of them were interviewed by The Texas Horn. We will discuss each candidate’s performance in the following paragraphs.
Nathaniel Moran (Texas Congressional District 1)
Congressman-elect Nathaniel Moran (R) won the race for Texas Congressional District 1 in the 2022 general election. District 1 is nestled in East Texas; it runs along the Arkansas and Louisiana border and encompasses 17 counties. It is majority Republican with a R-74% partisan lean, according to The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index. The district is currently represented by Congressman Louie Gohmert–who decided to forgo running for re-election and instead challenge Ken Paxton in the Attorney General Race.
Congressman-elect Moran is the, now, former Smith County Judge. Among many things, Moran is an attorney, small business owner, and father of four. He graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Russian, a MBA, and a law degree. Prior to attending Texas Tech, Moran spent two years at West Point. Moran and his family are also “proud” members of South Spring Baptist Church in Tyler.
Congressman-elect Moran cited his experience with increasing the pay of law enforcement and cutting taxes during the pandemic as County Judge in his campaign. Moran has also branded himself as a fiscal conservative who wants to tackle inflation, address government spending, and cut back on regulations–especially regarding regulations on the oil and gas industry. Moran believes the Department of Education should be “minimized to a large extent or potentially eliminated.” With regard to countering China’s global influence, Moran says the U.S. “needs a trade balance” with China and the U.S. should “build economic alliances…with countries that China is trying to get into.”
In a comment made to The Texas Horn, Moran stated “I am looking forward to joining with other liberty-loving members to stop the historically high inflation that is crippling our economy, secure our border, and hold this administration accountable to the people and to the rule of law. I think the results of the election show that Americans are ready for us to tackle these issues. Voters want people who are going to put their heads down, get to work, and deliver results.”
Election Results: Moran defeated Democrat Jrmar Jefferson in the election.
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Keith Self (Texas Congressional District 3)
Congressman-elect Keith Self (R) won the race for Texas Congressional District 3 in the 2022 general election. District 3 is located outside of Dallas; it encompasses a portion of both Collin and Hunt Counties. Congressional District 3 has a partisan lean of R-61%, according to The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index. The District is currency represented by Congressman Van Taylor. Taylor initially ran for re-election, however he was forced into a runoff with Keith Self after failing to receive over 50% of the vote. Self then became the Republican nominee when Taylor withdrew from the race after admitting to an affair with an “ISIS bride.”
Congressman-elect Self is the former Collin County Judge. After graduating from West Point, Self spent 24 years in the Army and retired in 1999. After being recalled in 2002, Self served for 15 months in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom.
Congressman-elect Self wants to “be a voice” for Texas on the border issue and “build a team” of like-minded legislators and activists to “stand up against what is happening.” Self also cited election integrity as a key issue; he wants to vote against any federalization of elections, address the international influence of our elections, and bring attention to mail-in-voting. Self also wants to fight against the “weaponization of the FBI” and “bring everybody that’s in the chain of command up before the right committee.”
Self believes in a peace-through-strength foreign policy strategy. He says we should “defend our NATO allies.” Self advocates for maintaining our alliances with Japan, South Korea, and Australia to counter the growing influence of China
Election Results: Self defeated Democrat Sandeep Srivastava
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Monica De La Cruz (Texas Congressional District 15)
Congresswoman-elect De La Cruz (R) won the race for Texas Congressional District 15 in the 2022 general election. District 15 is located in South Texas. It encompasses seven counties that range from along the US-Mexican border to outside of San Antonio. The district has a partisan lean of D-52%, according to The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index. Congressional District 15 is, reportedly, the “most competitive congressional race in [Texas].” Vicente Gonzalez previously represented the district. However, after redistricting, Gonzalez chose to run in Texas Congressional District 34 against Republican Mayra Flores. Gonzalez’s decision left the seat open, and Republicans nominated Monica De La Cruz.
Congresswoman-elect De La Cruz will become the first Republican to represent the 15th District in its history. She is a small business owner and mother of two. She was nominated for Congressional District 15 in 2020 but lost to Gonzalez by roughly 3%.
Congresswoman-elect De La Cruz hopes to “be a voice for Border Patrol agents.” She believes we need to “deploy more boots in the field.” She also argues we need to end “catch and release” and that we need the “Remain in Mexico” policy with “the same parameters as in the Trump Administration.” De La Cruz is also “unapologetically pro-life” and believes that the January 6th Commission is “political theater.”
Election Results: De La Cruz defeated Democrat Michelle Vallejo.
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Wesley Hunt (Texas Congressional District 38)
Congressman-elect Wesley Hunt (R) won the race for Congressional District 38. District 38 is one of the newer additions to the Texas Congressional map. It is located in Harris County and has a partisan lean of R-68%. The district contains the Energy Corridor–a business district in Houston home to many energy-sector companies.
Congressman-elect Hunt is a West Point graduate, former Army Captain, and host of SavingAmericanEnergy–a series where he travels around the country to talk with energy leaders and workers. He was also the Republican nominee for Texas Congressional District 7 in 2020 but lost to Democratic Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher by roughly 3%.
Hunt’s number one issue is energy. He hopes to be the “energy congressman” and serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Hunt is a supporter of Natural Gas and hopes to fight against the Biden Administration’s “all out war on the oil and gas energy industry in our own country.” Hunt also supports American energy independence and says the Biden Administration’s importation of “dirty oil” from Russia, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia is “absolute lunacy.” Hunt also wants to see the reopening of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Hunt supports Nuclear energy, but believes the U.S. should pursue it in conjunction with natural gas, oil, wind, and solar. Hunt believes in a “all-hands-on-deck” approach to energy.
While Hunt believes the U.S. has “sent over enough money” to Ukraine, he says “under no circumstances” should we side with Putin.
Hunt also hopes to address the border crisis while in Congress. He supports Governor Abbott’s busing of migrants to places like New York and Martha’s Vineyard. He also argues that “every state is a border state,” and that congress should use the “power of the purse” to put pressure on the Biden Administration.
Election Results: Hunt defeated Democrat Duncan Klussmann.
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Bob Hall (Texas Senate District 2)
Senator Bob Hall won re-election in the 2022 General Election. State Senator Bob Hall was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2014 after he defeated–then–incumbent Senator Bob Deull. Senator Hall is a graduate of the Citadel, an Air Force Veteran, and a small business owner. Senate District 2 is located outside of Dallas and contains portions of Collin, Dallas, and Ellis Counties and contains the entirety of Rockwall, Van Zandt, Kaufman, and Navarro Counties. SD 2 has a partisan rating of R-60%. Since entering office in 2015, Hall has–according to The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility–maintained the position as one of the most conservative members of the Texas Senate. Senator Hall defeated Democrat Prince Giadolor in the November 8th election.
Senator Hall stated he “doesn’t share the confidence that other people have that our elections are safe.” He stated there is a “great deal of fraud,” and has expressed concern that “we’re not doing anything about it.” Senator Hall charges the state’s election office has “chosen to ignore…or help those who would commit fraud.” Hall wants to see the state of Texas “move away from technology” and go to “hand-marked paper ballots.” Hall also expressed support for limiting mail-in-ballots to “the military, the disabled, and to any person that will swear under oath that they will be out of the county the entire voting period.”
Senator Hall also believes the Texas Legislature should prioritize the legislative priorities laid out by the Republican Party of Texas–which includes election integrity, the elimination of property taxes, and the banning of gender modification on children.
Senator Hall plans to also prioritize the protection of the Texas electrical grid, a “patient’s bill of rights,” and a “parent’s bill of rights.” Hall argues we need to recognize the threats to the electrical grid–which, Hall argues, includes “cyber-threats, EMP (electromagnetic pulse) and GMD (geomagnetic disturbances) attacks, and China.” Senator Hall argues that Texas “needs to stop buying our transformers from China.”
However, Senator Hall is not confident that some of these things will be passed this legislative session. Hall maintains little confidence that a bill banning child-gender-modification will get passed in the House, and he argues that Speaker Dade Phelan will kill any attempts to pass any such bill.
Election Results: Hall defeated Democrat Prince Giadolor.
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Taylor Mondick (Texas House District 95)
Businessman Taylor Mondick (R) lost to Texas House District 95 Representative Nicole Collier. House District 95–a Fort Worth area district–has a partisan lean of D-76%. Representative Collier has represented the district since 2013.
Mondick centered his campaign on accessibility. Mondick argued that Collier is a “non-existent” representative, and he believed that there was a “lack of representation on both sides of the aisle” from Collier. Originally, Mondick sought out other people to run for the position. Ultimately, after being told many times that “a Republican is never going to win,” Mondick decided that he can’t “sit on the sidelines and just let things be.”
When asked about the top issues for his district, Mondick stated that the border was a major concern. Mondick stated “[the border] has been an issue that every single voter that I’ve talked with is deeply concerned about.” Mondick wanted to use his position as a State Representative as a platform to voice opposition to “open border policies.”
Mondick also cited crime as another high priority for his district. Mondick wanted to forge “community partnership with…local PDs and neighborhood police officers.” Mondick was also against Democrats holding committee chairmanships.
In a comment made to The Texas Horn, Mondick stated “I knew going into this race I faced an uphill battle. Despite the impossible odds, I still felt like someone had to plant the seeds of liberty and conservative values here in District 95. I knocked on over 7,000 doors and turned the people’s attention to an elected official they barely knew. We accomplished so much and believe we will one day see the fruits of our labor. I plan to stay engaged with my community and run again. In a world full of politicians, we desperately need public servants, and when the time is right, or the need is apparent, I will get back in the game. Despite the negative attitude I see from many conservatives, we can declare victory, which is something to celebrate.”
Election Results: Democratic Representative Collier defeated Mondick.
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Michelle Evans (Texas House District 136)
Michelle Evans (R) lost to incumbent Democrat Representative John Bucy III. Bucy was first elected in 2018 to represent House District 136–an Austin area house district with a partisan lean of D-60%. Evans, a small business owner and founding member of Texans for Vaccine Choice, sought to defeat Bucy–who Evans saw as the “epitome of leftist identity politics.”
Evans campaigned on education and parental rights. Evans has expressed concern with schools “talking about social-emotional learning, mental health, and sexuality.” Evans cited controversies involving Round Rock ISD and Leander ISD in her discussion of education.
Round Rock has faced controversy with scandal-plagued superintendent Hafedh Azaiez, the silencing of parents at school board meetings, and allowing a male student to enter a women’s locker room. Leander ISD has faced controversy regarding books deemed “explicit” for students.
Evans supports removing social-emotional learning from school curricula, “working on” TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), and repealing “the educational exemption for…obscene materials distributed to minors.” Evans also believed in exploring the option of capping school administration and superintendent pay.
Evans describes herself as a “conservative-feminist.” She believes that “women should have agency over their lives and their career choices and equal opportunities when it comes to education, jobs, and whether or not they want to be married, have kids, [or] become a mother…” Evans believes, however, that what separates her from most traditional feminists is that she “is 100% pro-life.”
In a comment made to The Texas Horn, Evans stated “I began my race as the underdog in many ways, in a district drawn to heavily favor Democrats. With grit and determination, I ran the best grass roots campaign I possibly could. Although the results weren’t ideal, I am proud of the work that was put in. It was a clean campaign, I held true to my values, and I ran on my own merit. I’d like to think that this campaign gave people in this community some hope and that my loved ones are proud of me for stepping up; at the end of the day, that is a win. A 60/40 district remained essentially 60/40. I wish I could have chipped away at that margin a little, but Roe [Roe V. Wade] and school board politics energized Democrat voters enough to outnumber Republicans and right-leaning moderates.”
Election Results: Democratic Representative Bucy defeated Evans.
Source: Decision Desk HQ
Lauren Davis (Dallas County Judge)
Businesswoman Lauren Davis (R) lost to incumbent Democrat County Judge Clay Jenkins. Jenkins, who was first elected in 2010, faced scrutiny from the right over his handling of the COVID Pandemic.
Davis is a small business owner and mother of three. Davis branded herself and her supporters as “Happy Warriors” in response to critics labeling them as “angry moms.”
Davis, a small business owner and mother of three, entered the race for County Judge due to the COVID policies enacted by Jenkins and local school districts. She informed The Texas Horn that her children were bullied and discriminated against for not wearing masks. Davis stated that her children have “different medical issues” and believed “[she] should be able to choose if my kids wear a mask or not.” She stated that the school “coned” off her daughter during PE, and prohibited her children from eating in the cafeteria. Davis also cited an incident where the school “removed both of [her children] from the classroom, isolated them in the library, and withheld their education.” Davis also said she entered the race due to lockdown orders issued by Jenkins that shut down her business and affected other businesses. She said she opposes lockdowns and called businesses and private entities instituting vaccine mandates as “immoral.”
Crime was also an issue for Davis, who expressed concern over the current state of Dallas County jails. She hoped to address the overcrowding of jails and the backlog of cases within the court system. Davis criticized Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot for “decriminalizing every crime under $750.” Creuzot recently rescinded the policy of “declining to prosecute individuals who commit thefts, except for ‘economic gain,’ of items between $100 and $750.” Davis stated that this policy, the rising crime rates, and COVID policies are the reasons that people and businesses are leaving Dallas County.
Davis told the Texas Horn “I am excited to continue building on the movement that this race started. We have a huge army of Happy Warriors who are engaged in creating positive change in our local elected offices. To be continued…”
Election Results: Democratic County Judge Jenkins defeated Davis.
Source: The Texan
Alexandra del Moral Mealer (Harris County Judge)
Former Army Captain and West Point graduate Alexandra del Moral Mealer (R) was defeated by incumbent Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Hidalgo faced controversy over her COVID policies, rising crime levels, and alleged corruption–three of her aides have been indicted on felony charges of misuse of official information and tampering with a government record. The race was seen as a potential flip for Republicans as polling showed the race in a statistical tie–with Mealer leading Hidalgo in a few polls. However, Mealer lost to Hidalgo by 1.6%.
Mealer centered her campaign on “good governance” and crime. Mealer, who criticized the cashless-bail-system, supports the election of judges that “prioritize public safety.” She supports increasing the amount of law enforcement and funding for prosecutors and evidence processing.
Mealer criticized Hidalgo for “being a mouthpiece of national DNC talking points.” She argued that the County Judge should be an “advocate for the county” and “not spend all your time focused on all the partisan talking points.”
Mealer also spoke out against the Harris County Commissioners Court voting to explore ways to use local and federal tax dollars to promote and lobby for abortion. Mealer stated “I don’t think that’s something that our county should be funding.” She argued that her priorities are to “protect our families, our neighborhoods, and our small business owners.”
Election Results: Incumbent Democrat County Judge Hidalgo defeated Mealer.
Source: The New York Times
Tim O’Hare (Tarrant County Judge)
Tim O’Hare (R), former Tarrant County GOP chair and former Mayor of Farmers Branch, defeated Democrat Deborah Peoples in the race to replace incumbent Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley.
O’Hare cited property taxes, spending, crime, election integrity, and fighting “cultural marxism” as top priorities.
O’Hare wants to “significantly” lower property taxes, fully fund the District Attorney’s office and law enforcement, and establish a “pro-American” and “pro-business” tone while in office. He wants to eliminate “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion programs” in the county, address overstaffing, and prevent any increases in salaries for elected officials.
O’Hare also wants to serve as a “bully-pulpit” against “cultural marxism” and Critical Race Theory in public schools. O’Hare cited incidents in Grapevine-Colleyville, Southlake-Carroll, Mansfield, and Keller ISDs.
O’Hare also wants to create the office of “election integrity officer.” He explains the position will serve as an auditor over the elections department and offer recommendations on securing elections in Tarrant County. O’Hare also states that the position will serve an investigative role and hold law-enforcement powers to “find those committing voter fraud.”
Election Results: O’Hare defeated Democrat Deborah Peoples.
Source: The Texan
Jennifer Virden (Mayor of Austin)
Businesswoman Jennifer Virden placed third in a six-way race to replace incumbent Austin Mayor Steve Adler. The race included Virden, Former Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, State Representative Celia Israel, UT Student Phil Brual, Security Guard Anthony Bradshaw, and Cosmetics Executive Gary Spellman. Virden sought to present herself as the “common-sense candidate” compared to the more left-leaning Watson and Israel–who are both registered Democrats.
Virden focused her campaign on issues she believed “all (or most) Austinites want to see addressed…” such as affordability, property taxes, crime, and homelessness.
Virden advocated to enforce existing laws against camping and drug use, including the camping ban passed by Austin voters in 2021. She also wants to require mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.
Virden, who supports increasing staffing of the Austin Police Department, said the city needs to “refocus city resources on the core municipal functions–public safety, roads, parks, and city infrastructure.” Virden also supports a third party audit of all city expenditures.
When asked for comment, Virden directed The Texas Horn to a statement she made after the election. “We fought hard and I am proud of the campaign we ran. While we did not prevail in the number of votes cast, we have won hearts and minds, spreading a common-sense message for Austin’s future. As the Mayor’s race heads to a runoff, my opponents must now face the task of persuading the balance of Austinites who voted for me, that they can be the candidate who will rein-in property taxes, restore public safety, successfully address the homeless crisis, clean up widespread litter and improve basic, core municipal services of our City. I’ll be watching, looking for ways to positively affect the situation. Look to hear from me again.”
Election Results: Celia Israel and Kirk Watson will advance to the December 13th runoff election.
Source: The Texan
Editor’s Note: The Texas Horn reached out to Congressman-elect Self, Congresswoman-elect De La Cruz, Congressman-elect Hunt, Senator Hall, Alexandra del Moral Mealer, and County Judge-elect O’Hare for comment. We will update the article accordingly.