For the first time in roughly a decade, voters in Hays and Blanco counties selected a Democrat as their Texas House representative.
Democrat Erin Zwiener, a Hays County resident and educator, defeated Republican Ken Strange Nov. 6 to secure the Texas House District 45 seat. Zwiener becomes the first Democrat to be elected to the HD45 office since Patrick Rose, who served from 2003-2010.
Zwiener secured 42,999 total votes between Hays and Blanco counties and claimed victory with just over 53 percent of the vote in the General Election.
Zwiener won the Democratic nomination in March by taking 51.4 percent of the votes against Texas State Professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau in a runoff.
At 11:04 p.m. Nov. 6, Zwiener said she got a concession call from Strange, a Wimberley resident and Wimberley ISD school board member, who gave in after 95 percent of Hays County precinct results came in showing Zwiener in the lead. Although Strange won all seven precincts in Blanco County, Zwiener held the edge in Hays County.
Zwiener takes the place of Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), who opted to forgo a reelection bid for a run at the Texas Senate; Isaac came up short in the March primary for that position. Zwiener, a mother, teacher and activist, ran a grassroots campaign throughout the district in an effort to secure votes on foot.
“I’m eager to get to work now,” Zwiener said. “I plan to get stated on all the things I promised from finance reform and public education, to protecting our rights as Texans and defending our groundwater.”
Zwiener said she owes her win to her campaign and her grassroots strategy, which she believes won over her voters.
“We’ve been a grassroots campaign since day one and I know I was outspent in both primary and general elections,” Zwiener said.