By Kathi Bliss
As Primary Election runoff polling drew to a close on Tuesday night, Lockhart resident Fermin Islas emerged victorious, besting former Lockhart City Council member Paul Gomez for the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for Caldwell County Judge.
A total of 1,126 voters, or around 5.48 percent of Caldwell County’s registered voters turned out for the Democratic Party runoff, where Islas drew 727 votes (65.09 percent) to Gomez’s 390 (34.91 percent). The pair square off in the runoff after facing a three-way Primary race with would-be candidate James “Jimmy” Bertram in March. Islas was the majority winner in that race, as well, pulling in 46.2 percent of the vote.
Islas will face Republican Party nominee Kenneth Schawe on the General Election Ballot in November.
Elsewhere on the Democratic Party runoff ticket, candidate David M. Alameel was Caldwell County’s choice to run against incumbent US Senator John Cornyn in November. Alameel, who pulled 64.78 percent of Caldwell County’s vote, earned 72.54 percent of the vote at the state level over opponent Kesha Rogers.
Caldwell County’s voting percentages also closely mirrored statewide results in the runoff between Richard “Kinky” Friedman and Jim Hogan for the party’s nomination for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. Hogan narrowly won Caldwell County, earning 528 votes over Friedman’s 506. Across the state, Hogan earned his spot on the ballot with 55.28 percent of the vote, while Friedman gained just over 44 percent.
The race for Ag Commissioner went to the runoff level on the Republican ballot, as well, with Sid Miller squaring off with Tommy Merritt. Caldwell County voters split with the state in this race, as Merritt won 415 votes over Miller’s 306. However, statewide, voters chose Miller to represent them November’s ballot, with a 53.08 percent majority of statewide Republican nods.
Caldwell County Republicans also narrowly chose Dan Patrick over David Dewhurst for the seat of Lieutenant Governor. Patrick earned 382 of the county’s Republican votes, while incumbent Dewhurst had 381. Statewide, Patrick earned more than 65 percent of voter support, effectively ousting Dewhurst from the position he has held since 2003.
Patrick will face Democratic Party nominee Leticia Van de Putte in November.
For the Republican Party nomination for Attorney General, Caldwell County voters, like statewide voters, chose Ken Paxton (457 votes) over Dan Branch (298 votes). Paxton won the state with 63.63 percent of the vote, and will face Houston Democrat Sam Houston in the General Election.
Finally, Caldwell County voters again mirrored state results when they chose Ryan Sitton (57.36 percent) over Wayne Christian (42.64 percent) to face Democratic Party nominee Steve Brown in November.