A full ballot of Somervell County candidates has left voters with a lot to consider in May. With five contested county races on the Republican primary ballot, only one of 18 candidates walked away election night with a straight path to the November general election.
Unofficial voting totals show the races for county judge, county and district clerk, county treasurer and commissioner precinct 4 will be decided May 27 in the Republican Primary Runoff Election.
Meanwhile, Jeff Slaton, running for the unexpired term in constable precinct 2, won the race in a landslide. Slaton garnered almost 88 percent - 721 of the 820 - of the votes cast in the race. Vick G. Castillo received 99 votes.
Five candidates campaigned to serve as the next county judge, and local businessman and current Glen Rose City Council member Danny Chambers led the race with 516 votes.
He will face off against Jerry Lee, who garnered 483 votes. Lee worked for Texas Utilities for 30 years, serving as the director of community relations for two decades.
Those two candidates led with almost 28 and 26 percent of the total votes cast in the race.
G. Darrell Best came in a close third, but his 431 votes were not enough to secure him a spot on the May ballot. Dr. Mike Jones and Mickey Garrett trailed the race with 259 and 175 votes, respectively.
A runoff election is called in races where a single candidate fails to gain 51 percent of voter approval. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary face off in the runoff race.
The closest of all the five contested county races, for the office of commissioner precinct 4, has led to a runoff between 27-year resident and local business owner Mike Daniels and Don Kranz, who has been in the county for less than seven years but previously served as commissioner in Marion County.
Daniels led the race with 145 votes - just shy of 28 percent. Kranz was a close second, with 139 votes - almost 27 percent.
But only eight votes separated Rick Clark from a shot in the runoff. He garnered 132 votes, and Edwin Mueck received 102.
In the three-way race for county and district clerk, Jeff Harris, 17-year resident and associate principal at Glen Rose Junior High School, and Michelle Reynolds, a lifelong resident who worked for several years in the Hood County clerk's office, will continue along the campaign trail.
Harris led the race with 777 - almost 44 percent - of the total votes. Michelle Reynolds received about 38 percent approval, with 679 votes.
Virginia Perales, deputy clerk, is out of the running after trailing the race with 326 votes.
Susanne Graves, deputy treasurer, tallied 540 votes - about 29 percent - and led the four-way race for county treasurer. She will face a challenge from Carrie-Knight Mapes, a lifelong resident with many years of governmental fund accounting experience, whose 516 votes secured her a place on the runoff ballot.
Jennifer Stroud received 462 votes and April Gore Campos garnered 317.
The votes will not become official until they are canvassed next week.
With a Democratic ballot void of county candidates, the individuals who garner the most votes in each of their respective races will run uncontested in the general election in November.
Commissioner John Curtis, Pct. 2; Justice of the Peace Ronnie Webb, Pct. 1; and Justice of the Peace Scott May, Pct. 2 are also up for re-election in November. Those three candidates ran unopposed in the Republican primary.
Meanwhile, District 59 is hanging on to its state representative. Incumbent J.D. Sheffield garnered almost 61 percent of the more than 15,400 votes cast in the race districtwide.
The three-way race also included former Erath County GOP Chairman Danny Pelton and Howard "Eddie" Ray, a military veteran. Pelton received a little more than 31 percent of the votes districtwide and Ray received almost 8 percent.
In Somervell County, a little more than 58 percent of participating voters backed Sheffield, while Pelton garnered almost 28 percent of the votes and Ray took almost 14 percent.
Sheffield will not face a challenger November, as the office failed to gain the attention of a Democratic candidate.