AUSTIN — About 1.5 million ballots were cast for Republican Party candidates and about 600,000 ballots were cast for Democratic candidates in the 2012 Texas Primary Election, in early voting and on Election Day, May 29.
Figures released by the Texas Secretary of State show those numbers work out to about 11 percent of the state’s registered voters voting Republican and 4.5 percent voting Democrat.
Mitt Romney, the prospective Republican nominee for president, received a runoff-proof 69 percent of the vote in a field of eight candidates. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, garnered slightly less than 12 percent of the vote and was Romney’s closest challenger. In the Democratic primary, President Barack Obama received 88 percent of the vote in a field of four candidates.
Texas voters will have opportunity to cast ballots again in the party primary runoff election scheduled for July 31. Early voting will begin July 23 and end July 27. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz will face each other again to see who will be the Republican Party’s nominee for the seat currently occupied by retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas. Whichever candidate wins that contest will face in the Nov. 6 general election the winner of the Democratic Party’s runoff, a contest pitting former state Rep. Paul Sadler of Henderson and retired public school teacher Grady Yarbrough of San Antonio.
In another high-profile race, longtime U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, running for the new, oddly shaped U.S. House District 35 that stretches from Austin to San Antonio, won with 73 percent of the Democratic primary vote in a field of three candidates. Doggett will face Republican Susan Narvaiz, a businesswoman and former mayor of San Marcos, who with nearly 52 percent of the vote won her party’s nomination in a field of three candidates. Some incumbents lost to their opponents in the primaries, for example:
- Dist. 16 U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, got 44.34 percent of the vote but lost to entrepreneur and civic leader Beto O’Rourke, also of El Paso, who won with a no-runoff-necessary 50.47 percent.
- Dist. 6 State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, lost to businessman Matt Schaefer, also of Tyler.
- Dist. 9 State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, lost to radio show host and former Marshall mayor Chris Paddie of Marshall.
- Dist. 15 State Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, lost to pastor and businessman Steve Toth, also of The Woodlands.
- Dist. 57 State Rep. Marva Beck, R-Centerville, lost to businessman Trent Ashby of Lufkin.
- Dist. 98 State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, lost to businessman Giovanni Capriglione, also of Southlake.
- Dist. 3 State Board of Education member Michael Soto, D-San Antonio, lost to social worker Marisa B. Perez, also of San Antonio.
- Dist. 14 State Board of Education member Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, lost to retired educator Sue Melton of Waco.
In other news, the Texas Republican Party Convention will be held June 7-9 in Fort Worth. The Texas Democratic Party Convention will be held June 7-9 in Houston.
Hurricane season begins
June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season, and on that day emergency responders from around the state convened at Austin Bergstrom International Airport to conduct “interoperability and resource capability assessments” and logistical planning.
Gov. Rick Perry urged Texans to prepare by developing an emergency plan, putting together an emergency supply kit and establishing an evacuation route
Hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30. It’s worth noting that state law was changed last year to require utility companies to put nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospice care centers on par with hospitals when it comes to the restoration of electrical power after natural disasters, including hurricanes.
Labor Dept. reports dip
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on June 1 reported the nation’s labor market added 82,000 private sector jobs in May, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent.
The Texas Workforce Commission’s labor statistics report for May will come after the U.S. Department of Labor releases its regional and state employment and unemployment report on June 15.
Lawmaker passes away
State Rep. Ken Legler, R-Pasadena, died of a heart attack on June 1.
The 54-year-old, two-term lawmaker served on the House committees on Environmental Regulation, and Pensions, Investments and Financial Services.
Gov. Perry ordered state and U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff.