By Penny Levers
About one out of every seven registered Travis County voters made it to the polls for the primary elections to determine who will face off in November’s general election. And, while the county is usually solidly blue in general elections, primary voting was remarkably evenly split between the two main parties with just over 42,000 voters in each primary. While some of the statewide races will have run-off elections, the ballot is pretty well set for the races of local interest.
District 21, Congressman Lamar Smith handily beat his two opponents with 70% of the vote and will face off against Democrat Candace Duval, who bested rival Daniel Boone by a greater than 2-to-1 margin. If Smith wins re-election in the fall in his heavily Republican district, he will be serving in his ninth term.
State Rep. Paul Workman easily fended off opponent Ryan Downton in the Republican Texas House District 47 race. The reconfigured district should make it easier for him to hold onto his seat in November, when he will face Democrat Chris Frandsen who ran unopposed in the primary election.
It will be dejå vu all over again in the Precinct 3 County Commissioners race come November. Republican Gerald Daugherty beat back Westlake resident Jim Strickland and conservationist and SH45 foe Ira Yates to set up the re-match between him and incumbent Commissioner Karen Huber, who handily beat challenger Albert Gonzales. Huber had wrested the seat from Daugherty back in 2008.
“I am just really proud of the respectful race that all the candidates in my race ran and I am looking forward to a spirited campaign in the fall. With all the delays in this election, though, I would rather go get a root canal than to have to go through a run-off election, ” said Daugherty.
Coming out of an easier primary race, Huber sounded eager to get started on the general election run. “I’m excited about the fall election. I love to get out and talk to people and listen to what they have to say and I feel good about my accomplishments and relationships with constituents,” she said.
Perhaps the shocker of the night was the Place 3 Constable race. Democratic incumbent Richard McCain, who has held the office since 2005, lost by a 58% to 42% margin to Sally Hernandez, who works in the Travis County District Attorney’s office. McCain said “I am proud to serve my community and I intend to continue serving my community.”
Asked about his future plans, McCain said, “I’ll be looking for a job. Whatever I can find to feed my daughter and keep a roof over our heads.”
Hernandez said “I’m just excited about being the Democratic nominee and I look forward to working with the community and local law enforcement to make sure Precinct 3 is still a great place to live and raise a family.”
Hernandez faces deputy constable Mike Varela in the fall. Varela beat fellow deputy constable J Miller by less than 700 votes. Varela lost to McCain in the 2008 general election.
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