Seven candidates entered the race, and after the dust settled, Missi Walden and Matthew Stringer remain standing to 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.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to run and bring a diligent jurist to this office,” Stringer said.
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.”
Election night was still a celebration for Dunda, who took his family to Red Lobster after the results came in, as it fell on his and his wife’s 58th wedding anniversary.
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.
“I had a great time running,” Jones said. “I wish it would have been closer. May the best person win.”
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.
Westfall said he was happy that the people of Ector County came out to vote and hopes that whoever wins does their job well.
“As long as they do their job, that’s all that matters,” Westfall said. “If they don’t do their job, I’ll be back.”
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.
FINAL: Ector County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace GOP race: Mathew Stringer 22.87%, Jet Brown 10.46%, Sheryl Jones 9.15%, Missi Walden 31.70%, Steven Westfall 6.01%, Marvin Jennings 6.59%, Gary Dunda 13.23%
All precincts reporting.
Check back later for more information.