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Election results in a “status quo”

Incumbents Obama, Sheriff Garcia, Constable Jones re-elected: Voter turnout heavy in most precincts

HARRIS COUNTY – Republican candidates took a great deal of the county and national votes, but not enought to unseat several incumbent Democrats the vote tally has revealed. Few substantive changes resulted, even after 18 months of expensive campaigning, and most commentators were referring to the final results as a return of the “status quo.”

But in important Harris County offices, voters decided to return Adrian Garcia as Sheriff, and Ken Jones as Pct. 3 Constable. Vote percentages were Garcia 53% vs Guthrie 45.2%, and Jones 63% vs Cruzan 37%.

Jack Cagle was re-elected as Pct. 4 Commissioner and El Franco Lee as Commissioner in Pct. 1. In the race for County Attorney incumbent Vince Ryan was re-elected with 51.5%, vs Robert Talton with 48.5%. Mike Anderson won the race for District Attorney, with 52.4% of the vote for this county office over Lloyd Oliver. Mike Sullivan was elected as Tax Assessor-Collector with 48.9% of the vote. Ann Bennett had 48.7%%.

In the national race for president, Obama had 303 Electoral College votes at press time, vs 206 for Romney. Only 270 are needed to win as president. Television networks declared Obama the winner at 10:15 Central Time, after the Ohio results were available. The irony was that Romney led in the popular vote most of the evening, and when this announcement was made.

In state of Texas races, Ted Cruz was elected Senator to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison, with 57% of the vote vs 40% for Paul Sadler. Ted Poe, Kevin Brady, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Gene Green were returned as Congressmen.

Dan Huberty and Wayne Smith, representing this area, were returned to the State Legislature.

One irony in the State Senate race was that deceased candidate Mario Gallegos received 70% of the vote, over opponent R. W. Bray. This means that the governor will have to appoint a replacement, and eventually call a special election. Speculation is that either Carol Alvarado or Sylvia Garcia might be appointed to this Democratic seat.

Barry Smitherman was re-elected as chairman of the important railroad commission, the misnamed agency that controls oil and gas production in the state. Smitherman was originally from Highlands.

Mike Parrott ran unopposed for Justice of the Peace and was re-elected.

The City of Baytown had 19 amendments on the ballot, and all were passed except #2, which called for a salary increase for the mayor and councilmen.

All the bond issues passed, which means Houston Community College, Houston ISD, and the City of Houston will have funds for new construction, and most likely will raise taxes to pay for them. METRO passed a proposition that will give 1/4 of its sales tax revenue back to local cities for mobility improvements, and keep the rest for buses and debt repayments.

School Board Elections

Crosby had three board positions up for election this time. In Position 4, David Porter defeated David Shaver with 62.5 percent of the vote. In Position 5, incumbent Carla Mills Windfont received 81% of the vote, over Will Locke. In position 7, challenger James Hofmann had 64% of the vote, vs Gerald Blankenship with 36%.

In Huffman, school trustees Dean Tinnin, Charles Bardwell, and Matt Dutton were returned without opposition. For Position 7 Patrick Keith won with 53% vs Guy Smith with 47%. Keith had 1855 votes, and Smith had 1641 votes.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart stated that 1,188,734 citizens voted, out of a total of 1,942,566 registered, for a 61.19% turnout. This figure is considered high for a general election, indicating the great interest in national and local races.