A paltry 3 percent of Denton County’s registered voters helped the Democratic and Republican parties mop up in Tuesday’s runoff elections, settling the last of the November ballot.
The in-person turnout barely outpaced the 4,200 or so ballots voters sent by mail. But it was enough to settle five local races, including the Republican nominees for district clerk, county commissioner for Precinct 4, and two justices of the peace, as well as a Democratic nominee for Texas House of Representatives District 64.
On the Republican ticket, Denton County voters chose David Trantham as nominee for district clerk. In an unofficial vote that split about 53 percent to 47 percent, he defeated Mark Yarbrough in a bid to succeed longtime District Clerk Sherri Adelstein.
Trantham said he will shift his focus and resources at summer’s end toward the last leg of the race. He faces Yesse Rodriguez, the Democratic nominee, in the fall. The race was fun, Trantham said, but it was also long and a lot of hard work, which helped him understand why so many people decide not to run for public office.
He thanked his friends, family and supporters, as well as longtime members of the Denton County GOP.
“I’m a new face in the Republican Party, and that they have put their faith in me to get the job done — that says a lot,” Trantham said, noting that Yarbrough has worked hard for the Denton County GOP over the years.
Yarbrough went into the runoff with the most votes of any candidate in the primary, but he had health issues that kept him from campaigning for the past month.
“While my health was an issue for some, my long-standing record of being a strong, active, Republican conservative, and having a servant’s heart shined through,” Yarbrough said in a prepared statement. “I am deeply appreciative for those of you who supported me in every sense of the word throughout this campaign.”
Dianne Edmondson, who won the GOP nomination for Precinct 4 county commissioner, mingles during a watch party Tuesday.
Dianne Edmondson narrowly defeated former Denton County Commissioner Jim Carter for the nomination to Precinct 4. In an unofficial tally, she led by just over 100 votes — 51 percent to Carter’s 49 percent. She will face Democrat Bryan Webb in the fall.
Edmondson said she gives God the credit.
“I’m just thrilled,” Edmondson said. “We’re ready to serve the people of Denton County.”
Carter called the campaign a good, hard-fought race.
“Robson [Ranch retirement community] is a very strong area filled with good people, and they came out and supported my opponent,” Carter said.
Andrew Morris, a Democrat vying for Texas House District 64, smiles after he views election results during a watch party at his home Tuesday.
Also in Precinct 4, Harris Hughey prevailed with nearly 58 percent of the unofficial vote in his second bid to become the Republican nominee for justice of the peace. He defeated Don Cartwright and faces Democrat Michael Callaway in November.
On the Democratic side, Andrew Morris secured his party’s nomination to Texas House of Representatives District 64. He defeated Mat Pruneda, 54 percent to 46 percent, and will face the Republican incumbent Lynn Stucky, who is seeking a second two-year term.
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Morris was still heading back to his new home in Corinth when early voting results were posted at 7 p.m. He walked to more than 100 homes Tuesday to get out the vote, and his team worked hard, too, he said.
He credited Pruneda for pushing his campaign every step of the way, making them “battle-hardened” for the fall, Morris said.
“The next steps are to take a breather, relax and recuperate for the bigger fight ahead,” Morris said.
Pruneda said he was proud of the race he ran with his team, saying they were unapologetic about returning politics to the people.
“I stand by everything we did,” Pruneda said, adding that he’s concerned about the direction the Democratic Party appears to be taking. “We’ll see what happens in November.”
Another race for Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, in the Lewisville area, went down to the wire. James Kerbow maintained a percentage point lead over challenger William Lawrence to win the Republican nomination for the post.
Election Day is Nov. 6.