The tote board for Somervell County voting at the end of the night in Tuesday’s Republican Party Primary showed that incumbent Sheriff Alan West defeated Tony Yocham (1,798 votes to 540), but both the Precinct 1 and Precinct 3 Commissioners Court seats will have a runoff election on Tuesday, May 26.
In the runoffs, Jeff Harris will take on Tonja “T.J.” Sims for the Precinct 1 spot, while Lisa Andersen and Tammy Ray will compete for the Precinct 3 position. Precinct 3 incumbent Kenneth Wood had 123 votes — just one behind Andersen’s 124 — while Ray led the pack with 128.
A reminder posted on the electronic results board outside the county annex building stated: “Unofficial until canvassed by Somervell County Party chairs.” Deedee Jones, Somervell County’s Republican Party Chair, stated that the canvassing is scheduled to be done during the afternoon on Wednesday, March 11. In order to avoid a runoff in these races, a candidate has to get a minimum of 50 percent of the votes, plus one.
There were no Democrat candidates running for those local elected positions this time around.
With three of the four in runoffs being women, it may have seemed like “ladies night” on the downtown square as the votes were posted for the crowds gathered next to the gazebo.
“It was. The girls topped the race,” Andersen said after the vote totals were posted. “Now, I think the real work’s going to begin. And I’m excited for the next several weeks. When it’s that close, you’ve got to go work that much harder.”
Ray told the newspaper, “I am very grateful for all the citizens that got out and voted. I appreciated getting out and being able to talk to everybody, and them opening their doors for me. I’m ready to continue on and see what I can get done for the citizens.”
Sims, the other woman who will be in the runoff — but taking on Harris — said, “First, I want to thank God, and thank all of the people that voted for me, and it’s been an honor to meet them and I can’t wait to visit them again and I will do my very best for them.”
In his post-election comment to the Glen Rose Reporter, Harris said, “I would like to say thank you to all those who voted in the Primary. I am excited to be in the runoff for Commissioner and look forward to continuing my campaign and visiting with voters. Returning voters are critical and I hope to see a large voter turnout for the runoff election in May.”
The others who ran for Precinct 1 commissioner were Clifton Brown and George Freas. The current Precinct 1 commissioner, Larry Hulsey, chose not to seek reelection.
Kenneth Wood, the incumbent in Precinct 3, was unsuccessful in his reelection bid. The other candidates in that race were Lou Cocita, James “Jim” Vaughn and Lendel Flournoy.
West emphasized that he wanted to thank everyone who helped him along the way, winning his second four-year term — with support from office staff, deputies and family members.
“I’m humbled that the citizens have stepped up and appreciated my last three years of my leadership,” West said. “I appreciate everybody’s support, reaching out to us in the election process. I’m already looking forward to getting out and seeing the public the next four years.”
Both the Precinct 1 and 2 constable positions were uncontested. Mike Reynolds retained his Precinct 1 post, while Neal Bieler will be the new Precinct 2 constable because Jeff Slation announced a while back that he would not seek reelection.
In the race for District 59 state representative, Somervell County citizens cast 1,013 votes for Shelby Slawson, 682 for incumbent J.D. Sheffield and 539 for Cody Johnson. Slawson and Sheffield will be in a runoff.
The other top vote-getters among Somervell County voters were incumbent Roger Williams over Keith Neuenin the race for U.S. Rep. Dist. 25, and Sydney Hewlett over Brent Huffman in the contest for District 18 judge.
A post on the Facebook page for Huffman’s campaign on Wednesday showed that Hewlett had 8,873 votes (50.38 percent) compared to Huffman’s 8,738 votes (49.62 percent).
Somervell County Voting
Republican Primary
U.S. Rep., Dist. 25
Keith Neuendorff 227
Roger Williams 1,861
State Rep., Dist. 59
Cody Johnson 539
J.D. Sheffield 682
Shelby Slawson 1,013
Dist.18 Judge
Sydney B. Hewlett 992
Brent A. Huffman 878
Somervell County Sheriff
Tony Yocham 540
Alan E. West 1,798
Prct. 1 Commissioner
* Tonja “T.J.” Sims 123
* Jeff Harris 239
George A. Freas 109
Clifton Brown 57
* Runoff election, Tuesday, May 26
Prct. 3 Commissioner
* Tammy Ray 128
Lou Cocita 76
Kenneth Wood 123
James “Jim” Vaughn 72
Lendel Flournoy 86
* Lisa Andersen 124
* Runoff election, Tuesday, May 26
UNCONTESTED LOCAL RACES
County Constable, Prct. 1
Mike Reynolds
County Constable, Prct. 2
Neal Bieler
County Attorney
Andrew Lucas
Tax Assessor/Collector
April Gore Campos
District Clerk
Virginia Dickson