By Kathi Bliss
What some called an attempt by the Texas Legislature to drive incumbents out of office fell short in the state’s 27th and 35th Congressional Districts on Tuesday evening.
The two districts, which thanks to redistricting now both include portions of Caldwell County, have been at the center of a heated battle – particularly District 35, where longtime Democrat Congressman Lloyd Doggett has been locked in a fierce battle for months – suggested that they are pleased with their current representation. Both “incumbents,” Doggett in the 35th and Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) handily defeated the competition in their respective Primaries, securing their spots on the ballot in November.
Doggett earned a total of 14,540 votes, approximately 73.2 percent of the district’s support. Sylvia Romo came in a distant second with 4,212 votes (21.21 percent) and Maria Luisa Alvarado rounded out the field with 1,105 votes (5.56 percent).
Caldwell County’s election totals were in line with the rest of the district, with the lion’s share of Democrat voters (389) throwing their support behind Doggett for a resounding 87.81 percent victory in the county. Romo earned 39 votes (8.8 percent) and Alvarado took 15 (3.39 percent).
Former San Marcos mayor Susan Narvaiz edged the competition on the Republican ticket for District 35, bringing in 6,034 votes (51.78 percent). Narvaiz narrowly escaped a runoff election against second-place finisher Rob Roark, who earned 3,450 votes (29.6 percent). John Yoggerst brought up the rear in the race, earning 2,168 votes (18.6 percent).
At the County level, Narvaiz was the clear frontrunner, with 390 votes (61.42 percent). Roark earned 25.2 percent of the county’s support with 160 votes, while Yoggerst brought in 85 votes (13.39 percent).
Doggett will square off with Narvaiz in November.
In District 27, Farenthold was locked in a four-way race to secure his party’s support in the General Election. And like Doggett in the Democratic Primary, Farenthold ran away with the competition, earning 71.38 percent of the vote (27,733 votes).
Trey Roberts placed a distant second with 4,477 votes (11.52 percent), while Don Al Middlebrook earned 3,589 (9.23 percent). John Grunwald placed fourth in the race, earning only 3,049 votes (7.84 percent).
Had Caldwell County alone decided the race, Farenthold would have been in a runoff, having earned only 47.71 percent of Caldwell County’s support (395 votes). Roberts picked up 240 votes (28.99 percent) and Grunwald got 124 (14.98 percent). Middlebrook only earned 69 votes (8.33 percent).
On the Democrat side of the race, former Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald, who earned the region’s respect last year as he guided his county through the disastrous Bastrop County Complex Fires, fell short in his bid to earn his party’s nomination for the District 27 race, finishing third in a four-way race.
Corpus Christi attorney Jerry Trevino took a narrow lead over the race, earning 8,008 votes (39.84 percent) to Rose Meza Harrison’s 6,493 votes (32.3 percent). The two will slug it out in a July 31, 2012, runoff, with the winner heading into a final showdown with Farenthold in November.
McDonald, finishing third, drew 25.79 percent of the vote (5,184) while Murphy Alade Junaid rounded out the field with 411 votes (2.4 percent).