A group of 19 black women made history Tuesday when they all won elections to become judges in one Texas county during the midterm elections.
With a population of more than 4 million people, Harris County is the largest county in Texas and the third largest county in the US. The county effectively turned blue, with all 38 district judges elected being Democrats, including the 19 black women who won.
Harris County also elected Democrat Lina Hidalgo, who is an immigrant and just 27 years old, to be their county judge over incumbent Ed Emmett, a Republican who has held the position for more than a decade.
The 19 black women who won on Tuesday are Sandra Peake, Judge Ramona Franklin, Judge Maria Jackson, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Holleman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda Dunson, Toria Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin, and Lori Chambers Gray.
The women and their fans posted on social media about how it was “Black Girl Magic.”
LaShawn Williams, who won her district judge election, posted about it two months ago, saying she was “humbled” to be “part of a club of phenomenal Black women, sisters-in-law, gifted, brilliant, strong — everything I hope to be! It is with great pride and excitement that I share this ‘Black Girl Magic’ with you!”
“We stopped at Reggae Hut and saw this on the door!” wrote Angela Graves-Harrington just a few days before the election.
Though Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke lost to Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz Tuesday, a small blue bump was seen locally across Texas that might have grown out of the movement led by O’Rourke.
Democrats picked up two seats in the Texas state Senate. Republican state Sen. Konni Burton — a conservative known for being backed by the tea party and for her anti-abortion stance — lost to Beverly Powell, while Republican state Sen. Don Huffines, who was a coauthor of the “bathroom bill” that restricted transgender people’s bathroom access, was defeated by Democrat Nathan Johnson.
In the Texas House, Democrats — mostly women — flipped at least 11 red seats. State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, who is known as a far-right conservative and once said he would shoot a colleague who threatened him during an immigration protest, lost to Democrat Julie Johnson. Democrat Michelle Beckley beat Republican Ron Simmons, who authored a House version of the “bathroom bill.” Democrat Lizzie Fletcher defeated Republican John Culberson, who supported Trump’s travel ban. Republican Jonathan Boos was also defeated by Democrat Rhetta Bowers. And Lisa Luby Ryan, who opposes gun regulation, lost to Democrat John Turner.
Possibly the biggest blue win for Texas was when Republican US Rep. Pete Sessions, who has represented the area since 2003, lost to Colin Allred in Dallas County’s 32nd Congressional District.