By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – To say the very least, the 2018 general election was hotly contested. Finally, on the night of Nov. 6 – for most races – the political season ended. While waiting on the results to be tallied in Houston County, one election clerk was overheard to say, “The boxes are full. The turnout has been unbelievable.”

According to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, there are currently 13,090 registered voters in Houston County. Of those 13,090 there was a total of 7,387 ballots which were counted, representing a turnout of 56.4 percent. Out of the 7,837 total, there was a record of 4,588 early votes cast.

There were 3,128 straight ticket ballots cast for the Republican Party while 1,233 straight ticket ballots were cast for the Democratic Party. There were also 13 Libertarian straight ticket ballots.

In an interview prior to Election Day, Elections Administrator Cynthia Lum commented, “We have already reached the normal amount of people who come out and vote. We are going over that because we are just now going on our second week of early voting,” she said.

In the 2014 mid-term elections, Lum said a total of 4,215 people voted and in the 2016 presidential election, “… Houston County had a total of 7,874 voters who came out. That was our highest number ever.”

In the two contested races in Houston County, Terri Meadows defeated Janice Shroyer Turner in the race for County Clerk by a margin of 4,965 (68.03 percent) to 2,333 (31.97 percent.)

In the race for County Treasurer, Janis Moore Omelina defeated Mildred Robbins 5,515 (75.87 percent) to 1,754 (24.13.percent.)

All other county races were uncontested.

At the federal level in Houston County, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) defended his U.S. Senate seat as he defeated a strong challenge from Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

Cruz garnered a total of 5,536 votes or 76.2 percent while O’Rourke received 1,767 votes or 24.07 percent. Libertarian Neal M. Dikeman received 36 votes or 0.49percent.

In the race for the U. S. House of Representatives District 8, incumbent Kevin Brady (R) defeated Steven David (D) by a total 5,574 votes or 76.24 to 1,670 or 22.84 percent. Libertarian Chris Duncan received 67 votes or 0.91 percent.

At the local level, in the Texas State Senate District Three race, Houston County voters gave incumbent State Sen. Robert Nichols (R) 5,512 votes or 75.39 percent. Democratic challenger Shirley Layton received 1,751 votes or 23.95 percent. Libertarian Bruce Quarles received 48 votes or 0.65 percent.

In the race for the Texas House of Representative District 57, Houston County voters gave incumbent State Rep. Trent Ashby (R) 5,668 votes or 77.36% while Democratic challenger Jason Rogers received 1658 votes or 22.63 percent.

At the state level in Houston County, incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) received 5,643 votes or 76.99 percent while Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez received 1,636 or 22.32 percent and Libertarian Mark Jay Tippetts received 50 votes or 0.68 percent.

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) received 5,390 votes or 73.68 percent while Democratic challenger Mike Collier received 1,847 or 25.24 percent and Libertarian Kerry Douglas McKennon received 46 votes or 1.06 percent.

Incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) received 5,422 votes or 74.32 percent while Democratic challenger Justin Nelson received 1,799 or 24.66 percent and Libertarian Michael Ray Harris received 47 votes or 1.03 percent.

Incumbent Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar (R) received 5,425 votes or 75 percent while Democratic challenger Joi Chevalier received 1,691 or 23.37 percent and Libertarian Ben Sanders received 117 votes or 1.61 percent.

Incumbent Commissioner of the General Land Office George P. Bush (R) received 5,395 votes or 74.41 percent while Democratic challenger Miguel Suazo received 1,691 or 23.32 percent and Libertarian Matt Pina received 164 votes or 2.26 percent.

Incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller (R) received 5,348 votes or 73.78 percent while Democratic challenger Kim Olson received 1,813 or 25.01 percent and Libertarian Richard Carpenter received 87 votes or 1.2 percent.

Incumbent Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick (R) received 5,411 votes or 74.88 percent while Democratic challenger Roman McAllen received 1,712 or 23.69 percent and Libertarian Mike Wright received 103 votes or 1.42 percent.

Incumbent Justice, Supreme Court, Place 2 Jimmy Blacklock (R) received 5,462 votes or 74.53 percent while Democratic challenger Steven Kirkland received 1,769 or 24.46 percent.

Incumbent Justice, Supreme Court, Place 4 John Devine (R) received 5,454 votes or 75.72 percent while Democratic challenger R.K. Sandill received 1,748 or 24.27 percent.

Incumbent Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 Jeff Brown (R) received 5,450 votes or 75.74 percent while Democratic challenger Kathy Cheng received 1,745 or 24.25 percent.

Incumbent Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Sharon Keller (R) received 5,423 votes or 75.12 percent while Democratic challenger Maria T. (Terri) Jackson received 1,718 or 23.79 percent and Libertarian William Bryan Strange III received 78 or 1.08 percent.

Incumbent Judge Court of Criminal Appeals Place 7 Barbara Parker Hervey (R) received 5,453 votes or 75.83 percent while Democratic challenger Ramona Franklin received 1,738 or 24.16 percent.

Incumbent Judge Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8 Michelle Slaughter (R) received 5,557 votes or 89.24 percent while Libertarian challenger Mark Ash received 670 or 10.75 percent.

Any positions not listed were unopposed. All totals are unofficial until the ballots have been canvassed.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.