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Voters in Burnet County helped propel the election of 13 of 14 Republican state and regional candidates on the ballot during Tuesday’s general election in complete but unofficial returns.
Beginning from the top of the ballot down, voters in Burnet County overwhelmingly chose GOP incumbents, including Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, state Rep. Terry Wilson, Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Place 7 Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd, Place 8 Supreme Court Justice Brett Busby, Criminal Court of Appeals Justices Bert Richardson, David Newell and Kevin Patrick Yeary and State Board of Education member Tom Maynard.
Voters also selected GOP candidates in two instances where there was no incumbent in the race — Jim Wright for railroad commissioner and Jane Bland for the unexpired Place 6 Supreme Court justice seat.
The only GOP candidate chosen by Burnet County voters who ended up being defeated, however, was incumbent Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice Jeff Rose, who lost to Democratic challenger Darlene Byrne. The Third Court of Appeals includes heavily Democratic Travis County, which helped offset GOP votes carried by Rose in outlier counties.
Cornyn won re-election to his fourth term as the senior senator from the Lone Star State as he picked up 5,927,761 votes statewide for 53.6 percent.
Democrat Mary “MJ” Hegar was second with 4,840,730 (43.77 percent), followed by Libertarian Kerry Douglas McKennon with 208,034 (1.88 percent), Green candidate David B. Collins with 81,047 (0.73 percent) and write-in candidate Ricardo Turullols-Bonilla, who received 915 votes (0.01 percent).
In Burnet County, Cornyn polled at 76.19 percent with 18,642 votes, while Hegar got 21.66 percent at 5,299 votes. McKennon had 436 votes and Collins had 91.
“It is the honor of my life to serve Texas in the U.S. Senate. Inspired by your trust and your patriotism, I will continue to be a strong voice for our values in Washington. Thank you, Texas!” Cornyn said after his victory was announced.
Williams received 56 percent of the vote, or 219,053, in District 25 to win re-election to a fourth term in office, defeating Democrat Julie Oliver for the second consecutive time. Oliver had 164,415 votes, or 42.03 percent, while Libertarian Bill Kelsey had 7,678 or 1.96 percent.
At one point, Oliver did have a lead after votes from Travis and Williamson counties had been tabulated, but rural counties like Burnet County helped push Williams back in front to stay. In Burnet County, Williams received 18,529 votes or 76.64 percent, compared to 5,160 for Oliver and 468 for Kelsey.
“Tonight, the people of Texas’ 25th District have once again sent a clear message that they want a government that abides by the Constitution and empowers the American people to reach their fullest potential,” Williams said. “I’m honored they have once again trusted me to represent them in Congress, and I pledge to spend this next term continuing the fight for lower taxes, defending our law enforcement, taking care of our military and veterans and protecting the unborn.”
Buckingham had little trouble in being re-elected to a second term as the District 24 state senator, as the Lakeway physician captured 263,156 votes (69.64 percent) to 114,737 for Clayton Tucker, the Democrat. In Burnet County, Buckingham received 18,845 votes or 78.79 percent, compared to 5,074 for Tucker.
“Tonight the people of Senate District 24 have sent a clear message: they want experienced, conservative leadership to represent them in the Texas Senate, and I am honored to be that person,” Buckingham said. “I would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support in this election cycle.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Senate District 24 by increasing access to high-quality, affordable health care, making sure that Texas continues to have a balanced budget, and working to bring back our economy stronger than ever.”
Wilson, a Marble Falls resident who was seeking his third term in the Texas Legislature after first being elected in 2016, also was not seriously challenged Tuesday night, receiving 71.42 percent of the vote, or 78,405, to 28.58 percent (31,380) for Democrat Jessica Tiedt. In his home county, Wilson received 18,864 votes, or 79.06 percent, while Tiedt received just 4,995 votes.
A number of county officials also were re-elected Tuesday without opposition, including 33rd District Judge Allan Garrett; District Attorney Wiley B. “Sonny” McAfee; County Attorney Eddie Arredondo; Sheriff Calvin Boyd; Tax Assessor-Collector Sheri Frazier; Pct. 1 Commissioner Jim Luther Jr.; Precinct 3 Commissioner Billy Wall; Pct. 1 Constable Leslie Ray; Pct. 2 Constable Garry Adams; Pct. 3 Constable John “Chip” Leake; and Pct. 4 Constable Millicent “Missy” Bindseil.