The 2016 Republican Primary Election & Convention Report

The major story of the March 1, 2016 Primary was the voter turnout! More than 2.8 million votes were cast in the Republican Primary in Texas, a number that almost equaled a record Primary turnout of 2.9 million in 2008 set by Democrats. The Republican statewide turnout total was only 1.5 million in 2012. In 25% of the contested Texas State House of Representatives races, candidates experienced a 50% or more increase in voter turnout, fueled by many new voters with no Primary voting history. These new voters were attracted in a large part by the quality of Republican candidates and, in many cases, the competition for elective office.

The Statewide and District votes produced the following results:

President- Cruz 43.76%, Trump 26.75%, Rubio 17.74% and Carson 4.25%
U. S. Representative #8- Kevin Brady 53.42%, Toth 37.31%, Craig McMichael 3.92% and Andre Dean 3.20%
Railroad Commissioner- Gary Gates 28.38% and Wayne Christian 19.73%
Justice, State Supreme Court, Place #3- Debra Lehrmann 52.22%
Justice, State Supreme Court, Place #5- Paul Green 52.06%
Justice, State Supreme Court, Place #9- Eva Guzman 59.17%
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place #2- Mary Lou Keel 39.42% and Ray Wheless 35.43%
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place, #5- Scott Walker 41.48% and Brent Webster 20.45%
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place #6- Michael Keasler 56.87%

The following District officeholders were unopposed for re-election:
Member State Board of Education, District #8- Barbara Cargill
State Senator, District #4- Brandon Creighton
State Representative, District #3- Cecil Bell
State Representative, District #15- Mark Keough
State Representative, District #16- Will Metcalf
Justice, 9th Court of Appeals, District #9- Charles A. Kreger

At the County level, voter turnout was also the story. The Secretary of State estimated the turnout would be about 65,000 Primary voters and the County Chairman estimated 75,000. Both were wrong! The total Republican Primary voter turnout set a record for the Party with 91,381 votes, 31.23% of the voter registration total of 292,589. There were 41.888 votes cast during the Early Voting period and 48,852 on election-day. Voting Precinct #72 (Bentwater) led the precincts in turnout percentage with 56.35%. Thank you Montgomery County voters. You are very special!

The record County level vote produced these results:

9th District Judge- Phil Grant 45.56%, Kate Shipman Bihm 32.88% and Eric Yollick 21.56%
410th District Judge- Jennifer James Robin 45.75%, Kristin Bays 36.44% and Chuck Meyer 17.81%
435th District Judge- Mke Seiler 44.90%, Patty Maginnis 40.49% and Thomas (Tom) Brewer III 14,62%
County Attorney- JD Lambright 71.25% and Gary F. Beauchamp 28.75%
Sheriff- Rand Henderson 55.05% and Jim Napolitano 44.95%
County Commissioner Precinct #3- James Noack 75.09% and Jay Mac Sanders 24.91%
Constable, Precinct #1- Ike Fluellen 27.43%, Philip Cash 26.51%, Rusty Fincher 20.76%, Kim Franklin 9.60%, Sam Laird 8.52% and Billy Ballard 7.19%
Constable, Precinct #2- Gene DeForest 71.16%, Billy Beavers 14.71% and James E “Jimmy” Cox 14.31%
Constable, Precinct #4- Kenneth Rowdy Hayden 86.77% and Tim Hayes 13.23%
Constable, Precinct #5- David Hill 61.11%, Brian Clack 33.02% and Logan Gatewood 5.87%

The following County officeholders were unopposed for re-election:
418th District Judge- Tracy A. Gilbert
District Attorney- Brett W. Ligon
Judge, County Court at Law #5- Keith Mills Stewart
County Tax Assessor-Collector- Tammy J. McRae
County Commissioner, Precinct #1- Mike Meador
Constable, Precinct #3- Ryan Gable

On March 3rd Judge Mike Seiler timely withdrew as a candidate in the Primary Runoff election and Patty Maginnis was certified as the winner in that contest. She has no Democrat opponent in November.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to losers for their campaign efforts!

And THANKS to all the election Judges and Clerks who processed the record turnout in a professional manner! Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Now the stage is set for the May 24th Primary Runoff in all 90 Voting Precincts. Here are the races that will appear on the ballot- three Statewide, two County and one Precinct race:

Railroad Commissioner- Wayne Christian and Gary Gates
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2- Mary Lou Keel and Ray Wheless
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5- Scott Walker and Brent Webster
Judge, 9th District Court- Kate Shipman Bihm and Phil Grant
Judge, 410th District Court- Kristin Bays and Jennifer James Robin
Constable, Precinct #1- Philip Cash and Ike Fluellen

The Convention process and the presidential sweepstakes began on Tuesday evening, March 1 at the precinct voting locations. Delegates/Alternates were selected to attend the next Convention level, the Senatorial District #3 and #4 Conventions held on Saturday, March 19th at the Lone Star Community Center in Montgomery. Nearly 600 Republicans attended these meetings where 48 Delegates/Alternates were selected from SD #3 and 221 Delegates/Alternates were selected from SD #4 to attend the May 12-14 State Convention in Dallas. A big thank you is due all the Convention officers whose work made the Conventions a success!

In Dallas the Convention Delegates will adopt a Party Platform, elect Party officers and select 155 Delegates/Alternates to attend the National Convention in Cleveland, OH in July where the Republican nominee for President will be selected by the Delegates assembled there. Texas will have the second most Delegates/Alternates at the Convention-155, just behind California with 172. A majority of Delegate votes, 1237, is required to win the nomination. The General election is scheduled for November 8, 2016.

All hands will need to be “on deck” for this presidential campaign!