Here in Williamson County, Texas, the population is booming and that growth is having a major effect on the county's voting demographics. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the population has increased by almost 40% in the last decade, from 422,679 to 590,551. This surge has sparked a debate about whether it is beneficial or detrimental for the county. The Democratic Party has been leading the charge to try and turn the traditionally conservative county blue.
In the most recent election, Democrats managed to flip two seats in the Texas House of Representatives. James Talarico narrowly defeated Republican Cynthia Flores as state representative for District 52 (Round Rock), and John Bucy III beat current Republican Tony Dale as state representative for District 136 (Leander, Cedar Park) by several thousand votes. Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell, a Republican, said that Republican voters in the county are just as enthusiastic as Democrats about the election results. He anticipates similar outcomes in future elections. Jim Henson, professor of government at the University of Texas and director of the Texas Policy Project, stated that the demographics of Williamson County have changed drastically over the past 50 years. He believes that this transformation is due to a combination of factors such as population growth, anti-Trump sentiment, and better candidates being presented to voters. On Tuesday, at the Williamson County Annex in Round Rock, Roy Spencer was waving a “Ridin with Biden” flag near the polling station.
This is an indication that even in traditionally Republican counties like Williamson, there is a shift towards Democratic candidates. Although it is too soon to tell if this shift will be permanent or not, it is evident that population growth and demographic changes are having an impact on Williamson County politics. The county's population has grown by 40% in the last 10 years and this growth has led to a change in political direction. The victories in both Hays and Williamson counties could be a better indicator of how expansion, demographic changes and better candidates can be a formula for future success. Therefore, it is essential to keep an eye on how politics in Williamson County will continue to develop over time.