March 08, 2006
Primary results: Statewide

Though there's still a lot of uncertainty in a number of races, let's start looking at the ones that have been decided. Chris Bell was an easy winner in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination:

With most of the state's precincts reporting, Bell had about 64 percent of the vote, while [Bob] Gammage had about 28 percent. Rashad Jafer, a Houston retail manager, trailed with about 8 percent.

"We now have a bigger mountain to climb," said Bell, who struggled with the other Democratic contenders to get attention against a Republican-dominated landscape.

"But the field is set in such a way we can easily win this," he added.

Gammage, who entered the race in December, months after Bell had started campaigning, said, "We didn't have enough time to put it all together."

That ought to quiet the factions who had been claiming that after a year of campaigning, Bell had not consolidated support in the party. Congratulations to Chris Bell on his hard-earned victory. That's good news. One other Dem statewide won a clear majority, Ag Commish candidate Hank Gilbert, who may have benefitted from having a simpler name than his opponent, Koecadee Melton.

At least, the simpler-name theory is what I'm hanging my hat on. The bad news is that Barbara Radnofsky failed to win a majority of the votes in the Senate primary, and thus will have to face perennial candidate Gene Kelly in a runoff. I'm rather at a loss to understand this. Kelly ran strongly in South Texas and (oddly, since Radnofsky dominated the big urban counties otherwise) Harris. All I can say is that if he's the nominee again, Democrats should have gone ahead and left that race alone. Nothing good can come from that.

Finally, in the Lite Guv race, Maria Alvarado and Ben Grant will face off after running neck and neck through yesterday.

On the GOP side, pretty much all of the big names were unopposed or close to it. Rick Perry got about 85% against three loonies, while David Dewhurst cruised with 78%. Railroad Commish and Anita Perry favorite won with 65%. Other contested races were more exciting, as Perry appointee and unoriginal thinker Don Willet held off Steve Smith for his State Supreme Court seat, and Court of Criminal Appeals justice Sharon Keller survived in her race. Finally, we see why former State Rep. Terry Keel wanted to knock his opponents off the ballot - he wound up with just 30% of the vote and will go into a runoff against CCA Justice Charles Holcomb.

On to the next post for the non-statewide races and a lot more action.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 08, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack