Clinton clinches county, state nods
By LPR Staff
Eyes of the nation turned to the Lone Star State on Tuesday as Texans helped decide the fate of the 2008 presidential race.
Caldwell County voters turned out in near record numbers to participate in one of the closest and most hotly contested primary elections in recent history. Not only did Caldwell County voters make i
t to the polls, they returned to their polling locations to caucus after the polls closed.
Texas” complicated electoral process is not usually widely publicized, but the closeness of this year”s Democratic Presidential Primary drew voters back to the polls in record numbers to participate in the “Texas Two-Step,” which allows voters not only to choose their candidate at the polls, but to help assign delegates to support those candidates in the County and State Democratic Conventions.
Notably, the Lockhart City Council chose to break their meeting midway through to give councilmembers and concerned residents the opportunity to participate in caucuses.
According to County Democratic Party Chair Philip Ruiz,official results of Caldwell County caucuses will not be available until later this week. Preliminary numbers, however, show presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama to be neck-in-neck in caucus voting.
Tabulation of county results went remarkably well, with final results in all precincts being available before 11 p.m., to the delight of not only Ruiz and Republican Party Chair Terry Alford, but also to Tax Assessor-Collector and election official Mary Vicky Gonzales.
More than 5,000 Caldwell County voters chose to cast their vote in the Democratic Party Primary, some only because of the local contested races on that ballot. All local races on the Republican ticket were uncontested.
Clinton proved to be the voters” candidate of choice, garnering 2,731 votes, around 53.4 percent of her party”s support within Caldwell County. Democratic Party frontrunner Barak Obama trailed with 2,248 (43.9 percent). Other candidates earned a combined total of 153 votes, despite having dropped out of the race earlier in election season.
On the Republican side of the aisle, Caldwell County voters threw less-than-overwhelming support behind John McCain, the last man standing in the Republican race. McCain earned 657 of Caldwell County”s 1,665 Republican votes. Mike Huckabee, who bowed out of the race on Tuesday evening after McCain”s victories in Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont secured his party”s nomination, earned 43.1 percent of Caldwell County”s votes (723). Texan grassroots candidate Ron Paul earned 194 votes, and other candidates drew 70, and 14 voters remained uncommitted.
Whether Republican or Democrat, 23.65 percent (7,060) of Caldwell County”s 29,853 voters cast ballots in the primary election.