Tuesday’s primary election decided many local offices with no contested races in November but also left one race headed to a runoff and a few contests slated for November.
Here’s the rundown:
U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway easily won his GOP primary with 82.27 percent of the vote to challenger Paul Myers’ 17.72 percent.
“Suzanne and I are grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received, and we’re looking forward to protecting the America we know and love for future generations to come,” Conaway said late Tuesday in a news release.
State Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) held off two GOP challengers including former Midland Mayor Mike Canon and Amarillo businessman Victor Leal to hold on to his seat with 50.41 percent of the vote. Seliger will now face Libertarian Jack Westbrook in the upcoming November election.
Of the 80,636 total votes, Canon ended up with 31.39 percent of the vote and Leal with 18.19 percent. Canon won Ector County.
Seliger said his victory was “absolutely wonderful.”
“It’s fulfilling and vindicating and all those kind of things,” Seliger said.
He added that he and his team worked very hard and had a message of service and accomplishment to the district.
“We ran a positive campaign. …,” Seliger said.
In Ector County’s county judge race Odessa businesswoman Debi Hays won more than 60 percent of the vote over attorney Chris Fostel.
It was the first time in 16 years that the county’s top administrator had been decided by a contested election, with 7,805 votes cast in the race. And it fell as the county faces critical challenges including the prospect of an ongoing budget crisis and finding a way to replace a courthouse in disrepair.
Hays will be the first county judge in decades who is not an attorney, a fact she and her supporters touted during the campaign.
“I think that voters are really going to look to make sure that I’ve kept my word of making sure that their vote counts, and that there is transparency, that I have an open-door policy, and that the county is a good steward.”
The race was decided Tuesday because no challenger had filed for the November election. Incumbent County Judge Ron Eckert’s term expires at the end of this year. But Eckert, who announced he would not seek re-election after voters shot down a proposal last year to create a sales tax for unincorporated parts of Ector County, has left open the possibility of resigning before the end of his term.
The heated GOP race for the Precinct 2 county commissioner’s seat went to the incumbent with Greg Simmons defeating Brandon Tate by almost 17 percentage points.
Simmons won nearly 60 percent of the vote in a race that played out with almost daily social media jabs between the candidates and their supporters. There is no Democratic challenger in November.
Unofficial results from the Ector County Elections office show Simmons received a total of 2,585 votes and Tate received 1,836 votes.
Simmons said he’s proud of his track record and also excited to work with Ector County’s new county judge, as well as work toward the fruition of possibly a new county sales tax and a new courthouse sometime down the road.
“And so I’m glad to be a part of that and just very humbled that the people have entrusted me,” Simmons said, adding that he was thankful for everyone’s support.
Republican candidates for county commissioner Precinct 4, Russell Wright and Arlo Chavira, also had some mudslinging since the beginning as Chavira aired dirty laundry about Wright’s arrest history.
Wright came out on top Tuesday night though, receiving 341 votes to Chavira’s 191 votes, unofficial results showed. Chavira could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
After results came in Tuesday, Wright said the campaign has been an uphill battle all the way.
“From the Precinct Chair, all the way, every turn that I made it was an uphill battle. But I didn’t walk it alone. I had faith and my wife by my side,” Wright said. “I just had a good ground game, went door to door.”
Wright said he’s not getting too excited about the win, though.
“We’re only halfway there. We still have one more hill to climb,” he said.
Wright will face incumbent Armando Rodriguez in November. Rodriguez has held the office for 12 years.
Rodriguez came out ahead of Virginia Bryant in the Democratic Primary by 88 votes, unofficial results showed. Rodriguez won 55.56 percent of the vote with a total of 440 votes, with Bryant taking 44.44 percent with a total of 352 votes.
After the results came in, Rodriguez said he appreciated God and appreciated all of his supporters.
“I will fight for what we can do together to improve our community and Precinct 4,” Rodriguez said.
One county race is headed to a runoff. The race had seven candidates but is down to two. Missi Walden and Matthew Stringer will face each other in a May runoff election.
Walden stands in first place — the unofficial final results show her taking 31.7 percent of the vote with 1,361 votes. Stringer took second place at 22.87 percent of the vote with 982 votes.
“Right now, I have the plurality of the votes and I think that’s a good indication, and I’m hoping everyone will look and see that I have the experience and hope they’ll vote for me,” Walden said.
Stringer said he was tired and hungry after the results finally came in around 9 p.m. Tuesday night, but was happy with the results and is feeling confident going into the runoff.
Gary Dunda took third place in the election, taking 13.23 percent of the vote with 568 votes.
“I’m just happy at my age that I was able to run with the young ones,” Dunda said. “And I’ll be supporting Missi.”
Jet Brown had the fourth highest amount of votes at 449, taking 10.46 percent of the vote, followed by Sheryl Jones, who took 9.15 percent of the vote with 393 votes.
The two with the least amount of votes were Marvin Jennings, with 263 votes and 6.59 percent of the vote, and Steven Westfall, who took 6.01 percent of the vote with 258 votes.
The runoff election for the vacant seat will take place on May 22, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be early voting from May 14 to May 18. Whoever wins the runoff will be the de facto winner of the seat, as they will face no Democratic challenger in the November election.
Longtime incumbent Eddy Spivey held onto the Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 seat, defeating challenger Jesse Porras by more than 100 votes.
Spivey took 57.55 percent of the vote with 427 votes, defeating Porras, who took 42.45 percent of the vote with 315 votes.
This is the second time Spivey has beaten Porras for the seat, who challenged Spivey once before in 2014.
Spivey, a Democrat, was first elected to the seat in 1995, and will continue serving at least until the next election in 2022, as he faces no Republican challenger in the November election.
- The runoff election for the vacant seat will take place on May 22, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be early voting from May 14 to May 18. Candidates Missi Walden and Matthew Stringer will be on the ballot.