In the closely watched race for Somervell County Judge, Justice of the Peace Dwayne Griffin was edging County Commissioner Mike Ford, with four precincts and early voting results tallied.

As of 9:15 p.m., Griffin had a lead of 1,213 votes to Ford’s 1,200.

Ford was narrowly beating Dwayne Griffin in the early voting totals, with 724 votes cast for Ford and 701 for Griffin.

But as other precinct voting totals came in, Griffin pulled ahead. The race was too close to call at press time.

Please see complete election results today on the Reporter's Web site,

Election results trickled in as a crowd of several dozen people braved the fall chill and drizzling rain. They gathered in front of the Somervell County Courthouse, as voters have done for years, to watch the election returns come in the old-fashioned way, written by hand on a big white board.

Ford, who ran on the Republican ticket, and Griffin, who currently serves as Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, and ran as a Democrat, shook hands before the first vote totals came in and wished each other well.

The winner will succeed County Judge Walter Maynard, who has served as county judge for 12 years.

Of the more than 5,500 registered voters in the county, about 25 percent cast ballots in early voting, which began Oct. 18 and ended Oct. 29. The total set a record for an election with a gubernatorial contest.

In the County Commissioner, Precinct 2, election, Republican John Curtis, who worked as a radiation manager at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, defeated Paul Harper, who manages the local food bank and is an engineer for software giant Microsoft Corp. Curtis held a wide lead in the early voting totals, with 350 votes to Harper's 87. Precinct 2 voters cast 273 ballots in favor of Curtis and 68 for Harper.

In the County Commissioner, Precinct 4 race, Democrat Pete Moore, owner of Glen Rose Auto Parts, lost to incumbent James Barnard, who ran unopposed in the Republican Party primary. Moore received 159 votes in early voting, compared with 181 for Barnard. When Precinct 2 totals came in, Barnard cemented his win with 121 votes to Moore’s 83.

Incumbent Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Ronnie Webb ran as a Democrat and had no opposition. He received 471 votes in the early tally and 399 in Precincts 1 and 2.

For Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Democrat Scott May also ran unopposed. He netted 398 votes in the early total and 216 in Precincts 3 and 4.

Several Democrats ran unopposed. Re-elected to their positions were Candace Garrett for district and county clerk, with 895 votes in the early results, and County Treasurer Barbara Hudson, with 856 votes in early voting.

In the congressional District 17 race, one of the most hotly contested in the nation, longtime incumbent Chet Edwards, D-Waco, was losing to Republican challenger Bill Flores by a margin of almost 2-to-1 in early voting in Somervell County. Flores won 903 votes to Edwards' 473. As more precincts came in, Flores’ lead widened.

In the governor's race, the county gave incumbent Rick Perry a wide lead in early results, with 929 votes to Democratic challenger Bill White's 444 votes.