NEWS HEADLINES

Few voters choose winners in runoff races

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, May 31, 2014

The winner of Tuesday’s primary runoff elections was … apathy, apparently.

That goes for both Wise County and the state as a whole.

Of the 35,775 eligible voters in Wise County, 2,154 cast ballots in either the Republican primary runoff (1,939) or the Democratic runoff (215). That amounts to a 6 percent voter turnout rate.

Statewide, voter turnout was around 7 percent.

There were no local races on the runoff ballot.

Wise County results of the individual races mirrored those across the state. In perhaps the highest-profile Republican race, for lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick defeated incumbent David Dewhurst by a 65 to 35 percent margin in statewide results. Patrick’s win was even more lopsided in Wise County, where 76 percent of voters chose Patrick compared to 24 percent for Dewhurst. Patrick won every voting precinct in Wise County.

In the Republican race for attorney general, Ken Paxton cruised to victory with a 64 to 36 percent margin of victory statewide over Dan Branch. In Wise County, Paxton won by a 69 to 31 percent margin. Like Patrick, Paxton won every local voting precinct.

In the closest race on the Republican ballot, Sid Miller defeated Tommy Merritt by a 53 to 47 percent margin. That was almost exactly the same margin Wise County voters delivered for Miller – 54 to 46 percent. Miller won 17 of 25 precincts in Wise County.

In the final Republican runoff race, Ryan Sitton defeated Wayne Christian for railroad commissioner by a 57 to 43 percent margin of victory. In Wise County, 58 percent voted for Sitton compared to 42 for Christian.

Sitton won 22 Wise County precincts, and the candidates received the same number of votes in one precinct.

Two Democratic races were on local ballots. For U.S. senator, Democrats statewide chose David Alameel over Kesha Rogers 72 to 28 percent. Locally, Alameel earned 61 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for Kesha Rogers.

Alameel was the choice in 14 local precincts. Rogers led in 4 while the candidates tied in the other 7 precincts.

Jim Hogan was the Democrats’ choice for commissioner of agriculture as he defeated Richard “Kinky” Friedman by a 54 to 46 percent margin. Local Democrats also chose Hogan over Friedman by a 57 to 43 percent margin.

Hogan won 14 Wise County precincts compared to 6 for Friedman with split votes in the other 5 precincts.

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