UPDATE 8:38 p.m.
AUSTIN– Commissioner Christi Craddick met an enthusiastic crowd at the Greg Abbott watch party in Austin’s Moody Theater. She encourages Republican voters to keep up the hard work.
“We plan to celebrate with our victories big, big after tonight and every election after that,” she said. “The biggest threat to our success is complacency. We cannot stand on our laurels tonight. It’s all about investment, determination and effort.”
ORIGINAL: 8:36 p.m.
AUSTIN – Results showing Greg Abbott’s victory are in, and it shows at the Republican watch party at the Moody Theater in Austin. Guests are lining up for barbecue outside and, between bites, they’re describing the feel of the room as “euphoric,” “fantastic,” “electric” and “extremely crowded.”
Janice Albert, who’s known Cecilia Abbott’s family for years, and even attended their wedding, came to Austin to attend the event with her husband.
“He’s a very principled, intelligent person. We’ve known him since he and Cecilia got married. We were at their wedding. We’ve followed him through even the horrible accident, when he was the judge, then became a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, and an attorney general.”
Although the guests support Abbott, their reasons for doing so vary greatly.
Small business owner Jim Metcalfe III voted Republican for border control and job creation.
“It’s hard to find good, quality employees that want to work these days,” said Metcalfe, “because there’s so much handouts from the government that nobody really wants to work anymore.”
Sheila Torres, who’s on the board of realtors in Lufkin, Texas, voted for Abbott because of his stance on property rights.
“We know he’s going to win,” said Torres. “That’s all that matters. He’s the only candidate to take the office after Rick Perry.”
Repealing ObamaCare is Andrew Heckle’s No. 1 concern in this election, who lost his job as a result of it.
“It’s the reason why our economy never recovered,” said Heckle. “[Abbott]’s a fiscal conservative and what Texas needs to keep it going in the same direction that it’s been going.”
Adam French was born into a Republican family. He and his family are excited about Abbott’s victory.
“They were excited to cast their votes today and I think they’re excited to see a win,” he said.
French headed to the polls for a few reasons.
“[Education, because] my mom has been a teacher over 20 years. Infrastructure, because we really do have a roads problem here in Texas. Spending, because I want to make sure that we’re kind of like the beacon to show people that we’re able to keep our budget low while prospering as a state.”
Felicia Bull’s mother is also a teacher.
“[Abbott] has a very detailed education plan, which I’ve looked over,” she said. “After block walking and phone banking for Abbott, I’m exhausted and just ready for a win tonight.”
SMUTV reporters on the scene in Austin