One nail-biter and two runoffs highlighted Lubbock County's primaries Tuesday night.
With 100 percent of the Lubbock County vote counted, the race for the unexpired term as Judge in County Court at Law #1 was almost too close to call. Interim Judge Mark Hocker led Scott Morris by 137 votes, 50.31 to 49.69 percent. The numbers won't be finalized until the ballot board meets Monday, June 4. Provisional ballots may play a role in the interim.
Responding to the narrow lead, Hocker said, "We've done everything we could to reach out to the people, and get our message out there, that what we stand for is a fair and honest judge, someone that gives the people an impartial judge who's going to call a ball a ball and a strike a strike."
Morris said, "I think it's important that the judge has the understanding and recognition that they set the tone of the court, and they are the ones that create the environment to either just push cases, and move cases along because we think it's 'just a misdemeanor', or that we recognize it as being more than just a misdemeanor. There are things that we can do to be intentional about our dispositions, to have a positive impact on the people, and a positive impact on our community."
A Lubbock County race which will lead to a runoff is the Democratic nomination for County Commissioner Precinct 3. Incumbent Gilbert Flores easily won a plurality with 47 percent, while Lorenzo "Bubba" Sedeno and Richard Calvillo fought it out for second place and a spot in a runoff. Sedeno finished with 28 percent to Calvillo's 25, and will face Flores in the runoff.
Sedeno told FOX 34, "I am looking forward to the run-off right now. We have been working really hard, and we are going to continue to work. This is just the first leg of the race, and we are looking forward to the second leg of the race, and we are ready to go win this Precinct 3 race."
Before the result was known, Flores said, “The runoff, I am looking forward to it, if it comes to that. I have a lot in life in a sense, and if I have to work for it, and if that is what I have to do, then I will just work a little harder. I feel confident the people in Precinct 3 will see me through this. I am already looking forward to a November election."
An area race which will lead to a runoff is for District 88 State Representative. The former District 85 incumbent, Jim Landtroop, earned 40 percent of the vote, with Ken King finishing with 30 percent. Gary Walker came in with 21 percent and Mac Smith with 9. Landtroop is no longer in District 85 following the redistricting process.
Taking a more easy path to victory, incumbent District 28 State Senator Robert Duncan beat out E.M. Garza by 85 to 15 percent. Duncan is no stranger to the Texas Legislature. He has served since 1987.
Duncan said, "Let’s start talking about some of these solutions to some of these problems Texas has. You know, fortunately, we are in good shape in Texas. We have a lot of challenges, but there are solutions to those challenges we are going to have to work through. School finance in my view is the one challenge that we need to start working on now."
District 83 incumbent State Representative Charles Perry also won handily, defeating former longtime state legislator Delwin Jones for the second time in a row, 75 to 25 percent.
"I didn't expect that kind of a margin," Perry said. "We had to make tough decisions and votes in the last time in Austin. You never know how those are going to play out in the next election cycle. The next session will be a little more difficult but a lot more manageable. I hope it's a session for resolution."
Another not-so-close race was for Republican County Commissioner Precinct 3. Jim McCay beat out former Lubbock City Councilman, Frank Morrison, 60 to 40 percent.
In the 19th District Republican Congressional primary, incumbent Randy Neugebauer beat out challenger Chris Winn 74 to 26 percent district-wide, and 66 to 34 percent within Lubbock County.