Williamson County shifts purple in midterm election

Williamson County had one of the highest voter turnouts in the state for the midterm election, but the turnout wasn't the surprise.

The selections on the ballots indicated a major political shift has happened in what was historically a Republican stronghold. 

County Judge Bill Gravell, who survived a close race from a Democrat challenger, spoke to FOX 7 Austin’s Rudy Koski about the election returns and how he plans to govern after Tuesday night.


BILL GRAVELL: Tuesday night, when the early vote numbers came out, clearly we were behind and we had some room to make up. But I wasn't worried. I was confident because I knew that our push all along had been for Republicans to turn out on Election Day. Now, to be candid with you, we turned out considerably stronger than I thought we would on Election Day. I'm proud of our folks for showing up and voting.

RUDY KOSKI: Do you accept that Williamson County is purple. Or in your mind, is it still red?

BILL GRAVELL: This is a county that is led by some Republicans. And if we want to continue to lead here, we can't be extreme. We've got to listen to both sides and be respectful of both sides. And I think that's the future of Williamson County, Texas.

RUDY KOSKI: If Williamson County is more purple now, how does that change the way you govern it?

BILL GRAVELL: One of the things that I've learned in the last few months of being on the campaign trail, after you listen to voters, they have needs and they were very clear this campaign cycle. Look, judge, public safety is our number one priority. We want it. We want to live in a safe community. We want our kids to go to safe schools. 

And then secondly, I heard may be equally as much. But there needs to be some help with property tax relief. And, you know, one of the things that I will champion this spring at the state House, working with our new state legislator, Caroline Harris, and State Representative Terry Wilson, is we need some reforms in our appraisal system for homes in Texas where we're almost taxing our residents out of the county and we need some relief from this state.