Harris, McNutt Headed to Run-off / County Commissioner Precinct 2 Seat Contested

By Michael Kormos - Corsicana Daily Sun
The Republican primary election race to fill retiring State Representative House District 8 Byron Cook's seat is headed to run-off following the release of the State's final vote totals Tuesday night.

Neither front-runner Cody Harris with 8,864 votes (44.95 percent) or Thomas McNutt with 7,786 votes (39.46 percent) claimed more than 50 percent of the total vote, which will require them to face-off in a May 22 run-off election.

"We are blown away by the amount of support in such a short period of time," Harris said. "We were outspent by our opponent but voters showed they want an effective voice to represent them in Austin."

"I'm honored to be in the run-off and excited to spread our conservative message to the voters of House District 8," McNutt said. Governor Greg Abbott and others are supporting us because they know we will fight to advance conservative principles in the legislature."

HD8 GOP candidate Linda Timmerman received 3,080 votes (15.61 percent) across House District 8, which includes Anderson, Freestone, Hill, and Navarro Counties.

"A big, massive, huge thank you to everyone who voted for me," Timmerman said. "Those who supported David and me, who donated to my campaign, and who prayed with and for us these past months. The outcome was not the one we hoped for, but the experience of running was rewarding in so many ways."

The Navarro County Commissioner Precinct 2 Republican race is also headed into a run-off after Bob Carroll drew 489 votes (39.12 percent), Eddie Perry drew 409 votes (32.72 percent), and Bradley Boyte came in third with 352 votes (28.16 percent).

"I thank everyone for their support," Perry said. "The common sense approach and open communication will help me in the next step of this campaign and if I'm elected to serve as Precinct 2 Commissioner after the run-off election."

Carroll said he is humbled and honored by the confidence that his supporters showed in him. He said he will be a cheerleader and promoter for Navarro County and a strong voice for the people if elected. "My opponent is a good man," he said. "And I look forward to a positive race where all duties of the Commissioners job will be considered by the voters of Precinct 2."

The remaining Navarro County contested races were won outright with the Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Darrell R. Waller reclaiming his seat with 71.29 percent of the vote over challenger R.D. Lewis' 28.71 percent.

"I am very humbled by the support I received," Waller said. "I would like to thank everyone that voted and to everyone that supported my campaign. We couldn't have done this without everyone's support. I would like to thank my wife Julie for standing by me and working. I am honored to serve as Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 for another term and I will do everything in my power to exercise honesty and integrity while being fair and impartial in my decisions."

The Navarro County Commissioner Precinct 4 nomination went to James Olsen who secured 68.10 percent of the vote over newcomer Terry Brooks' 31.90 percent.

"Thank you to the people who showed confidence in me," Olsen said. "I believe this election result was a thank you to my road crew and a testament of the work they do on a daily basis. I very much appreciate them and the voters of Precinct 4. As I begin my fourth term as County Commissioner, I'll continue to look for ways to improve our service and be a voice for Navarro County."

In the contest for Navarro County Republican Party Chairman, Eric R. Meyers received 3,942 votes (70.04 percent) to incumbent Chris Baldwin's 1,686 votes (29.96 percent).

"I want to thank the citizens of Navarro County for trusting me with the responsibility of Chairing the Republican Party of Navarro County," Meyers said. "This is no easy task, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead for the Republican Party of Navarro County. Those who know me well, know once I commit to an obligation, I strive to deliver success through transparency, open lines of communication, and coordination with all of our stakeholders. Thank you again Navarro County, as I look forward to serving as your next Republican Party Chairman for Navarro County."

Navarro County officials who ran uncontested races were: Criminal District Attorney R. Lowell Thompson, District Clerk Joshua B. Tackett, County Judge H.M. Davenport, County Clerk Sherry Dowd, County Treasurer Ryan Douglas, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Greta Jordan, Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Jackie Freeland, and Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Connie Warren.

No Democratic candidates filed for contested races in the Navarro County Primary Election.

Linda Mertz, Navarro County Democratic Chair, said she was thrilled with the turnout, but sorry that some Democrats felt they needed to vote in the Republican Primary.

According to Interim Navarro County Elections Administrator Roger Francia, a total of 7,013 ballots were cast out of 27,876 registered voters: 6,035 in the Republican Primary and 978 in the Democratic Primary.

Statewide, Ron Wright received 45.12 percent of the votes to send him to a run-off with J.K. "Jake" Ellzey who gained 21.74 percent in the Republican race to fill retiring U.S. Representative Joe Barton's empty seat. Democratic contestants Ruby Faye Woolridge (36.94 percent) and Jana Lynne Sanchez (36.87 percent) will head to a run-off for the nomination.

United States Senator Ted Cruz secured his GOP nomination with 85.34 percent of the vote to democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke's 61.79 percent.

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